Yep, I know what you’re thinking, why the hell would you love something like the Coronavirus? ARE YOU INSANE?? And sure, I totally get that. And while I don’t love the Coronavirus, or, Covid-19, what I do love is how Covid is beginning to shift our mindset.
If you’re someone who misses the old world, or if you still find yourself clinging on to reality pre-Covid, then let me take a brief moment to remind you what that looked like in Australia as far as our health is concerned anyway… When it came to our physical health, around 17 million out of the total population of 26 million of us were overweight, or obese. About 300 of us were developing Type II Diabetes every single day. Around 2.5 million of us had Cardio-Vascular Disease – making it the nation’s biggest killer. Around 150,000 of us were being diagnosed with Cancer each year with 50,000 of us not making it to see the next year. Around 4 million of us were living with some form of chronic pain every day. And over half of us weren’t sleeping properly. When it comes to our bodies and drug use, 300,000 of us were using Methamphetamine’s like Ice and 4 million of us had a drinking problem.
Apart from all of the physical disease, how were we doing in regards to our mental health before Covid? Around 17 million of us indicated that stress was seriously affecting both our physical and mental health. Around 1 million of us had been diagnosed with Depression, and over 2 million of us had severe Anxiety. A staggering 60,000 of us were attempting Suicide each year (think Marvel Stadium in Melbourne at full capacity). Around 1 million of us were calling Lifeline each year. Well over 4 million of us had an eating disorder and close to 7 million of us had Body Image and Self-Esteem Problems. And many of these conditions were being found in not only adults, but also kids too.
Looking at these figures, it’s clear that even before Covid arrived, most of us were struggling to maintain a sense of balance and well-being in our lives. Do we really want to go back to a pre-Covid world? A system which never really worked in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that since Covid everything has gotten better – far from it. In-fact, most of these problems and statistics have gotten far worse.
But in saying that, sometimes things need to get worse before they start getting better. And I truly believe that for many, Covid has helped us to create a paradigm shift in the right direction. You could think of it more simply as a course correction if you like. It has done this by providing an ‘opportunity’ for us to pause, reflect and create a better and more balanced life for ourselves. So, if you haven’t already done so, here are some of the important lessons that we should take from Covid if we want to create a healthier and happier life for ourselves…
To live in and enjoy the present
Covid has reminded us that everything around us is so temporary and everything can be taken away from you in an instant – your health, your life, your loved ones, your job, your house, your finances, and anything else. All that you have is the present moment. So, we need to ensure that we don’t waste time crying over the past or worrying about the future, but rather living fully in the only moment that we have – the present moment, and making sure that what we do with that moment counts in life.
To not have so much stuff
Covid has reminded us that we really don’t need all of the stuff we once thought we did, and that we can still be happy without it. That less is more, because the free stuff is the best stuff – love and kindness, being together, etc. So, moving forward, remember to only buy what you absolutely need, not what you think you need, or want, and also to declutter and ditch the excess stuff you already have. That includes the 300 toilet rolls that you’ve stockpiled too.
On this note there’s also something to be said for doing less stuff too. I say that because I’ve spoken to countless people who have now streamlined their routines because they now realise that they don’t really need to be doing so many of the things they thought they once had to do, or at least not as often anyway. Things like needing their morning café coffee, putting on makeup, getting monthly haircuts, keeping up with the latest fashion, going on expensive holidays, and so forth.
To appreciate the small things
Forced lockdowns took away most of our freedoms to do the things we enjoyed, but which we often also took for granted too. Things like going to a restaurant with friends, to our kid’s basketball match and taking our dog for a walk. Covid has reminded us to reflect upon the simple things which are of value to us, which makes us much happier when we do so. So, remember that there is much joy to be found in even the simplest of things, so never take anything for granted ever again.
To slow down
Covid has reminded us that we very often rush too fast to go nowhere important. Putting a halt to the rat race taught us that by slowing down, we not only have much less stress in our lives, but also that we have an opportunity to stop and smell the roses. Whether its baking bread, growing vegetables, or reading a good book, taking the time to slow down and enjoy whatever we are doing gives everything much more meaning in life. So next time you find yourself rushing through life at a million miles per hour, don’t forget to pull the breaks and slow down. Focus on being a human being, rather than a human doing, and you’ll be much healthier and happier in the process.
To improve our work-life balance
Covid has taught many of us that not only can we work from home, but we can be more productive in doing so. This has been a real gamechanger in the way we do our work and organise our day. It has equated to less time wasted on getting ready for and commuting to work, and more time to do the things we want to do. So, if you are lucky enough to have more flexible working arrangements, including the ability to do some of your work from home, then ensure to spend your time in a way which enhances your wellbeing, such as using that additional time to prepare healthy meals and exercise.
To look after our health
Covid has taught us that our number 1 asset in life is our health. It has taught us that in order to be well, we need to eat well, exercise often, stress less and keep our immune system strong. In other words, it has reminded us that taking a holistic approach to our physical and mental health and wellbeing is super important, if we are to survive and thrive.
So, as you can see, Covid isn’t all doom and gloom after all. And there are lots of other valuable lessons which Covid has taught us, lessons which have already begun to shift how many of us are living our lives. But if there’s just one thing that I want you to take from Covid, it’s that having balance is crucial if you really want to live a healthier and happier life. Which is why I am strongly encouraging you to ensure that you’re making the most of this opportunity to create a better life for yourself and your loved ones.
So, my question to you is, what lessons have you learnt from Covid, and more importantly, what have you changed to ensure that you have increased balance in your life? Leave me a comment to let me know.