2020 is undoubtedly the most challenging year for many people. Since the pandemic has begun and still does not want to back out of our lives, we get to experience the great changes in the global economy and social behaviour. COVID-19 has rapidly affected our daily functioning and has brought suffering to most people, not only to those who have been infected but also those who have lost confidence in various institutions.
However, in many cases, it has also opened the doors to new life-changing opportunities and decisions. And probably the most important change that everyone has encountered is a different way of looking at things and a shift in perspective on life.
How the coronavirus pandemic influenced people?
Coronavirus pandemic has had a strong negative impact and profound consequences on many aspects of people’s lives. Since the pandemic started the world has become extraordinary, we had to adjust to a new norm and adjust accordingly. Not only the pandemic impacted the physical health of those who have contracted the virus, but it also led to changes in people’s mentality and view of the world around them, often feeling unheard and dismissed!
Those who have been quarantined had to go on forced leave and often spend this time all alone with their thoughts, surrounded by four walls. Oftentimes, these people had to face all their greatest fears they’ve been avoiding and come to the conclusions that they would not normally feel this way if it wasn’t for this extraordinary, challenging situation.
Pandemic has challenged Individual Perceptions
Today’s society is highly focused on material goods and developing a career, sometimes blindly chasing a dream that is not even their own! We believe promises that someone else has sold us that when we achieve certain things in our life that we will become happier, complete people. So, we have the capacity to envy other people’s achievements, hoping that when we accomplish the same, I will be close to self-actualization.
Pause, Think & Reflect
During the lockdown, people have been given time to rethink and slow down the pace of life and evaluate what is valuable and what is not. Oftentimes they have come to conclusions that the way they are living life is unsatisfactory for them and quite mundane. They have come to understand that the work they go to every day is not fulfilling and is not really what they would like to do for the rest of their lives!
The pandemic has also profoundly impacted relationships on all social levels. Some people have realised that their relationships are shallow and cold whilst some relationships have improved creating a closeness and a bond that was not evident beforehand.
Having more free time during the lockdown and being able to spend more time at home has also shown people that being constantly busy at work is not what life is all about. And while work is an important and inseparable part of our lives, it should not preoccupy us all the time, leaving no room for quality time with self, family or actual life, hobbies and favourite activities.
How the pandemic has changed society’s behaviour?
While the pandemic has surely left a stigma and had destructive effects on us, some people have started making more conscious decisions because of this experience. For example, appreciating the valuable time and cherishing people around them rather than money and keeping up with the Jones’s.
Also, several individuals have become more concerned about their psychological health and started putting more effort into maintaining mental wellness by exercising, stopping smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
The idea of a slower lifestyle and not being permanently busy has also become more attractive as people understand that the reality of a fast-paced lifestyle is only used to cover up personal insecurities.
Having more free time has led to fracturing or tightening of the family bond and making room for more healthier communication.
Not only doing the right things that help us stay at ease is important, but also making sure that whatever we are doing in life is bringing us a level of joy and a sense of fulfilment. Trying to find a hobby and learn new, useful skills has helped many people endure the lockdown as well as bring great satisfaction in being innovative and creative.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how short and fragile our lives are. The past few months have taught us that we cannot take anything in life for granted. We also have a chance to learn how interaction and being with other people are important for mental stability and longevity.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process