~8 Months of COVID-19: How I’ve Changed Since March

Safe to say a lot has changed since March of this year – the world is entirely different, our lives are entirely different, and thinking about the future, whether immediate or years from now, feels more different to process than it ever did before. Like 99.9% of the human population on Earth, I’ve gone through many personal whirlwinds since the start of the Pandemic. With two months left of this horrific year, we’d like to be hopeful for a stronger outcome in 2021 – but the reality is that we’re probably not going to resume the lives we had for maybe another 2 years; that’s a tough pill to swallow but we’ve tolerated navigating this climate in the dark pretty well for almost 8 months already, without a light in immediate sight. Nothing phases us like it used to anymore, a sad reality of how numb we’ve become in a matter of months.
What I wish I had the energy to do from the start is to keep a journal documenting every emotion, every concern, every moment each month up ’til now. There’s so much that has happened & years from now, I know I’ll want to look back and read exactly what I was thinking/feeling/doing/experiencing during this time. So to make up for lost time, my goal is to provide a brief summary detailing the positive & negative changes  in my life up to this moment since the start of the Pandemic. My hope is that those of you reading will not only be able to relate (in)directly to these changes I’ve discovered within myself today, but also you will seek comfort in knowing you were never alone in how you felt during the highs & lows of this period thus far.
The one thing we can be grateful for is that none of us are going through any of it alone. Our circumstances might have been different during these 8 months, but the feeling of uncertainty is one we 100% share and will continue to endure together until all of this is over.

POSITIVE CHANGES

Increase in gratitude & awareness of not only my well-being, but of those close to me as well
Stronger understanding of my self-worth
Prioritizing connection with friends & family, checking in as often as I can
Easier ability to remove myself from anything that doesn’t spark “joy” in my life – from tangible things to situations/environments to toxic people
No longer taking the littlest of things for granted, soaking in every moment that feels good/happy
Feeling more ‘present’ than before (still depends on each day though TBH)

— OUTFIT DETAILS —
Coat: L.L.Bean (old, similar here) | Sweater: Amazon The Drop | Denim: Abercrombie | Sneakers: Converse

Side Note: If you’re in the shopping mood as you read this, I suggest taking a look Shopbop’s Everyday Essentials & Fall Favorites picks!

NEGATIVE CHANGES

Short fuse & prone to snap/argue more in response
Daily struggle to manage my ADD effectively
Difficulty managing work-life balance & time management
More defensive in conversation
Constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario
Feeling restless late into the night, resulting in lethargic mornings often
Weight gain & loss of motivation to tackle it
Get defeated almost too easily
Hard to maintain excitement about things for too long
Frequent panic attacks for the first time ever (in March/April)
Overall anxious feeling 24/7

Clearly the negatives outnumber the positives on my list of changes, but the positives are much more valuable in their individual worth as well as combined. Sometimes I wonder if it weren’t for COVID, what would trigger these changes of becoming more grateful & finding a better understanding of how I want to live my life going forward? What if we didn’t get this chance to literally put everything on pause and figure out who the hell we are? Despite feeling down most days, I know I’m going to come out of this pandemic a much stronger, better version of myself. Nothing in life comes easy, and this is no exception to that rule. The end result will be worth all of this patience leading up to it.
While I know there are many things listed here that can be dealt with at-home or professionally, the purpose of this post is to indicate that these feelings are NORMAL to have during this time & OKAY to admit to having. How you choose handle them is entirely up to you, but understand the struggle is very real to most of us these days. I’ve found certain things help me cope better than other methods, and I’m constantly working on ways to manage all the negative changes I dislike having these days. Journaling/writing this post has been one of the better ways to manage my anxiety these days, sort of like a brain dump. But regardless of how I’m feeling in a particular day, I’m not punishing myself for having to deal with so many negative personality changes all of a sudden – it’s important to make a conscious effort to not to put yourself down when you’re already on your knees.
You are your own best cheerleader and it’s crucial to understand, respect, & support your own self when undergoing personal development. Circumstances trigger change, but how you manage it starts from within.

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