The shock of COVID-19 and the nation-wide lockdown was a shock for all, not just South Africans. The scare of COVID-19 that spread across the world was enough to challenge the norm, shack us in our boots and force us to pivot our businesses, daily routines, and more.

With a lot of bad, comes tons of good, and I have forced myself to look at the good in this situation. Before COVID-19 we never stopped. If anything, our routines and worlds were spinning uncontrollably and beginning to go even faster. This pandemic has forced us to slow down. It never gave us a choice, and it’s something I needed.

We live in the great world of the booming social media generation. Everything is online. You can work online and 24/7 if you would like to as well. It’s hard to keep track of how much time you spend on social media a day because it’s such a huge part of our daily routines and lives. During the level 5 lockdown, I was able to spend more time with my husband, getting to know one another more, and doing household things together.

And since we are still in level three of lockdown, this is what it has taught me.

Family time is absolutely everything

Before lockdown, I never realized how much time I was losing with those closes to me. I was either working late or working at home the moment I got home from work, or responding to emails and taking calls just before dinner and after dinner. There was no switch off. I never really took the time to sit and enjoy the time with those closest to me because I was always rushing out the door or doing something else. Being able to spend a full day with those I love has been amazing and it has made me more thankful and appreciative of my loved ones.

You need to switch off

I would never switch off and I finally did during the lockdown. Because I was at home, not traveling to work and losing that valuable time, I feel like I was finally able to switch off and relax after a long day. Before lockdown, my mind was constantly spinning. I couldn’t fall asleep properly because I was on my phone until 10 pm responding to emails, but now I was switching off at 6 pm and finally switching off to enjoy the quiet time.

Anything can happen

If anything, this pandemic has taught us not to take our lives for granted and that anything can happen at any time. It taught me to no longer wait around for things to happen but instead go after everything I want because anything could happen that could stop me in my tracks. This pandemic has made me want to take risks, put myself out there, and take more chances.

Sometimes plans don’t always work out

For many, they had planned holidays, weddings, and birthdays, only for it all to come to a crashing halt the moment we went into level five lockdown. Yes, we can make plans, but we need to be ok with things taking a different route now and then, and maybe there is a reason for it. I tend to be a slight control freak when it comes to certain things, and I like to plan things down to the last detail, and I have now learned that plans don’t always go as we want them to go.

With COVID-19, the new norm, our routines changing every day, and the constant uncertainty, it’s important to try our best to look at the positive instead of the negatives. Life is going to throw us some curveballs in life, and we need to make sure we get back up every time we are knocked down. Yes, this pandemic has hit me and others with a ton of bricks, but it has also taught me some pretty valuable lessons.