By Judy Mbugua

2020 has been a rough year for all of us. For a couple of months, everything seemed to be on a downward spiral. A lot was happening all at once and life left us in a daze. Yeah, Covid-19 happened! Around the world, many people lost their lives. Others lost their sources of livelihood while others barely got by. On the upside, some were able to push through life normally while others made it big. 

For me, January 2020 started as a promising month that would see my dreams come true. The stars were finally aligning in my favour. But that would not be the case. All my plans were met with curfews, lockdowns, and restrictions and everything came to a standstill, literally. 

Despite this, I was able to realize and understand a couple of things in the months that followed. It was an aha period that gave me awareness and appreciation. 

My mental health

During my stay at home due to the lockdown, I was able to get a better understanding of my mental health and how I needed to safeguard and be more aware of the things and triggers around me. For instance, when alone and in my thoughts, I was able to learn my moods, how to adjust them, and how to employ different coping mechanisms. 

Made more meaningful connections with loved ones

During this period, I couldn’t help but worry about my loved ones. I would call and text and always eager to know how they were doing and feeling about this situation. This has made me more aware of the importance of family and close friends. Because of this, I have learned to always check in on them regularly to date. I have also created more time for my family and created deeper bonds with them. 

Lifestyle changes 

If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught me is that there’s so much more to life than partying and getting wasted all the while spending loads of money. I have recognized that I can have fun in the comfortable confines of my home and spend next to nothing while at it. I have learned to be more cautious about what I eat, drink, watch, and say. I am now able to make more conscious decisions and adjust to a healthier and fulfilling lifestyle. 

Focusing on what’s important

Thanks to the lockdown and curfews, I have been able to focus on more important things and finish up on projects that I started. I have taken several courses within that time that have gone ahead to be a part of my self-improvement journey. I have also been able to prioritize and critically think about what is necessary and what’s not. 

Despite the positive impact that Covid-19 has had on me in the past months, there is also the uncertainty of what lies ahead; what life has in store post-Covid. There is uncertainty in the resumption of work, how the health system has changed, how the economy is still on its knees, the fate of schools and education lies solely on how we control the virus and how we can adequately adapt to the new normal. 

Although Covid has had negative impacts on us all, I have learned to be more caring, empathetic, and compassionate towards others; values I believe will help me get by in life. 

What impact has Covid-19 had on you? 

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