• Henrieta Ribeiro

What I am learning during the pandemic!


This is what I have been learning throughout this darn pandemic.

Fact checking is a necessity - I have found that you cannot believe everything that you read, see on social media or hear. If the information is important to you then it is important for you to take the time and check that it is correct. The majority of the information that I hear and read is misinformation. It is not easy to fact check, but making sure that my information is correct helps my outlook, decisions, life choices, and most importantly, my ability to share correct information.

Live in the present moment – Throughout the pandemic things keep changing. Plans that we make one day need to be cancelled the next. Planning meals is not always feasible. Finding specific food and household items in the stores is sometimes challenging (can I just say toilet paper!). Planning my weekly schedule is problematic when work schedules keep changing, shopping trips take longer and family members, now all working and living at home again, add their needs to a growing to-do list. A lot of time is lost in trying to see into the future, planning what will happen down the road or what needs to be done. A lot of emotions swirl around these thoughts of the future. My stress levels are skyrocketing. When I started to refocus on just the current day, then just the morning or afternoon, I soon found that I was less stressed, that I was able to get more done with less worry and effort. I found ways to better embrace time spent in lines by deep breathing activities, lifting up prayers, and doing basic stretches. Meals are now an experiment in using what we have in new and sometimes unusual (mostly enjoyable) ways. I am not saying to let go of long-term plans, goals and the what’s nexts. I am saying - I enjoy taking a deep breath and focusing on experiencing the good around me - in the now.

Take care of yourself – This is something that I have always struggled with. I tend to put others needs before mine. During the pandemic the “others” have a lot more needs than usual and to be honest, so do I. I started to feel overwhelmed and a little out of control, which for me is not a good thing. I found that once I started putting my needs higher on my priority list, when I set boundaries and take more time for myself, I start to feel better and became more relaxed. As a result, I am able to do more for myself and others, and to do them in a better frame of mind. The interesting thing that I am learning is, that when I let go of things that I once thought important and/or that I was the only one able to do them, someone stepped up and took the task on, or, I realized that it was not has important as I made it out to be.

The importance of relationships – My family and friends are more important to me than ever before. I enjoy(most of the time) having more time at home with my family. For those who are not able to be in the same place with me, I have developed a stronger connection through more intentional emails, phone calls, zoom time and sending notes and cards. It is through relationships and the ensuing discussions that I have been able to refocus and better understand my own feelings and emotions. It is in my time connecting with others that I am reminded that others share my feelings and that I have an amazing support system.

Keep on growing, Change is not always bad - I think that I have learned more about myself and resiliency in the past 4 months than I have in the past 4 years. I am learning about virus’s, politics, face masks, social distancing, virtual meetings, creative cooking, alternatives to toilet paper and so much more. I even learned to make a “Happy” station on my Pandora music app! I am able to attend more workshops and learning opportunities online then I could have ever done in person. I have found some new and interesting podcasts and TedTalks. I am learning how to fact check information, live in the present moment, take better care of myself - while still caring for others, the importance of healthy relationships and I am learning to embrace my love of being a lifelong learner.

What are you learning during the pandemic?

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