What Have I Learned Since 2020?

We are More resourceful than we think.

I’ve never seen people get that creative on ideas ranginf from homeschooling methods to decent toilet paper substitutes! (LOL).

We care about each other.

I’ve seen posts on various sites, about people helping people. Coming up with creative ways to help, to care, to share. Posts on different platforms, during the lock downs of people having block, dance parties, outside, on the street, sharing, connecting, caring. It, on many occasions, brought tears to my eyes.

We all have something to contribute.

All the tutorials that popped up online were incredible. I learned to cook different dishes from a 36 year old. People sharing recipes, sharing books they have read, different ways to do things. I saw people sharing on TikTok, on being positive and uplifting. It was truly amazing. I noticed that alot of people sharing, began to realize, “Hey, I can do this? I can share what I have learned.” With everyone cheering them on. LOVE IT!!

Isolation can create anxiety or depression.

About six weeks into the quarantine, I was experiencing insomnia. The “what-ifs” began taking over my thoughts . . .  especially at 3 a.m. What if life never returns to normal? What if my baby gets Covid? What if this is the end of the world? I would wake up every morning with a vague sense of dread. I was growing more miserable by the day. 

It wasn’t until I started connecting meaningfully with other people that I realized I’d been spending FAR too much time inside my own head. Getting outside of myself and investing in others was critical to managing my growing anxiety and depression. 

We need Healthy Coping Mechanisms

At first, the day-drinking memes were kinda funny. But after seeing that theme repeated across all platforms of social media for weeks on end, I got a little grossed out. Is this the best we can do? I thought. I’m not taking a stance on alcohol here. I’m taking a stance on our mental health. We need healthy ways to manage our disappointment, anxiety, and depression. Or risk exacerbating them all. 

Taking a Hike can be a good thing.

I’m not really an outdoorsy kind of gal. But when the only opportunity to get outside of your house is to walk around in the great outdoors, you do it. Imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed it. Looked forward to it, even. At one point, my girls and I were taking walks two times a day. Without the distraction of a screen, we connected with each other and with the nature around us. 

Sometimes you need to call someone.

I’m of the mindset that if something can be said in ten paragraphs or less, it’s a text conversation. But after not hearing the voices of the people I care about for weeks, I needed something more. Once I started calling people on the phone, I realized how much more it means to talk instead of text. 

The internet isn’t evil.

Well, not all of the Internet is, anyway. It took my breath away when people and organizations began providing free content online to brighten someone else’s day. Museum tours, concerts, book readings, art tutorials . . . the Internet provided us with a vehicle to joy. 


I learned to stop asking my friends, “How are you today?” Because everyone was very not okay. When I learned to operate under that assumption, it helped me accept my own not-okaynessAlso, I learned to be more specific when checking in with others: “Did you sleep last night?” “Can I do anything for you today?” “On a scale of one to ten, how is your anxiety right now?” 

We need community.

If nothing else, I think we can all walk away from 2020 with a deeper understanding of our own vulnerabilities. And one, undeniable need is the one of community. It’s the feeling that we’re not the only ones struggling. It’s the feeling that we don’t have to walk through darkness or fear on our own. It’s knowing that when something happens, good or bad, we have someone to share that with. We all need community. We need it yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

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