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This pandemic was my opportunity for self-reflection

By Haskirat Grewal, July 14 2020 —

Who would have thought the world would come to this. Airports and borders closing, cities going on lockdown and the number of infected increasing everyday are just a few of the key events that make the COVID-19 pandemic a fearful event. Like most people, I have also been staying at home to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. While staying at home, I came to a few realizations about myself and what my life means at this very moment. After journaling my thoughts over the past few months, I realized that this pandemic may have provided the time and environment where one could analyze their life and self-reflect on what they have done and are planning to do with their life. I dissected many aspects of my life, mostly pertaining to all the things I haven’t done in hopes of doing them at the ‘right time’. I’m sure many other people have thought about similar things when staying at home and this article is meant as a reminder that you’re not alone in feeling this way and hopefully after this pandemic is over, we all come out stronger than before.

My first deep dive into myself revolved around my bucket list. In grade nine, my social studies teacher assigned us a bucket list project where we had to come up with 100 things we wanted to do before we died. After we got our assignments back, my teacher told us to keep this list and to try and complete things as we grew up. At the time, I had no idea what the significance of this list was and ended up throwing my list away. Fast forward to the pandemic, and I realized how many things I still wanted to do and haven’t done always coming up with some excuse. Once the pandemic hit, I realized all my fears and reservations regarding my bucket list were so insignificant compared to what we all are facing now. So, I grabbed a pen and notepad and started jotting down all the things I wanted to do before I died. Before I knew it, I had filled the page and I told myself that when things get back to as normal as they can be, I would do all these things no matter what. The lesson I learned here was that all my fears and anxiety I had about small daily hassles were so small compared to this pandemic, and I was going to use this newfound confidence to live a more fulfilling life even after the pandemic is over. 

The second aspect of my self-reflection involved my mental health. After being home for many months, I realized that I missed going to university, my daily commute and even my professor’s jokes in lecture. Even on exam days when my stress levels peaked, I took comfort in knowing that I was accomplishing things in my life and moving forward. I told myself that nothing came easy and hard days were just a constant reminder that I was going places. After being home for so long, I quickly became demotivated and worried that my school habits and routines would disappear, and I would struggle with school after this long break. Knowing that I was a person who loves to stick to routines and a schedule, I ended up making one where I incorporated new activities like running and writing. At first, I was skeptical of whether my new schedule would be beneficial. Having always had a planner personality, I knew I had to make daily plans in order to appease my mind. After implementing my new routines, I became busy with my day-to-day and started feeling much happier. The lesson I learned here was that it was important to take steps to help keep my mental health strong. Knowing what helps relieve your stress and incorporating that into your life is crucial to help you get through this tough time. 

Overall, I took advantage of my self-isolation to reflect on my life and hope to come out of this with a much clearer picture of who I am and what I want to accomplish in my life. This pandemic has rocked the world, and no one could have imagined that this year would turn out like this. But as the world recovers, I think it’s important to take a step back and give yourself the time and space to reflect on your goals and accomplishments. We owe it to ourselves to take care of our mental and physical health while also helping others survive this time. I reflected on my mortality and routines, but there are many things that deserve to be pondered upon, such as how privileged we are to be living in a country that is helping out its citizens every step of the way, or how interdependent the world really is and even how societies have a long ways to go in regards to social inequalities. We need to take care of ourselves through this time and be hopeful for the future so we can bring positive change to the world and live meaningful lives.

This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.

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