Right now, everyone in some way is impacted by COVID-19. It is impacting everyone on a global and at an international level. The coronavirus is not discriminatory and doesn’t care what country you live in.
It is impacting everyone and in order to help with people’s anxiety, stress and fear of the unknown at this time of uncertainty, I wanted to offer another angle to view this – a positive perspective.
A potential positive side to give you hope for change when we see this through on the other side.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some of the same triggers and self-reflection for myself and my family which are similar to the changes we made in our lives when we travelled the world fulltime with our kids for a year. We’ve been tossed into the world of being all together again, doing everything remotely, homeschooling, and focusing on what is truly important in our lives.
I hope in some way you take this list to bring hope and some positivity to the situation we are all in.
What You'll Find in This Post
- 1. You’ll find Gratitude for small things
- 2. You’ll spend 24 x 7 Together with Family
- 3. You’ll realize you have Too Much Stuff
- 4. You’ll have time to Think
- 5. You’ll respect other ways of Schooling
- 6. You’ll be aware of How you spend your free Time
- 7. You’ll realize the Freedom you have
- 8. Your Life afterwards will not be “Normal” and that’s Okay
- 9. You’ll be Kinder
1. You’ll find Gratitude for small things
The best part of finding gratitude for small things is that sometimes they make you the happiest and when in dark places it can make the world of difference.
Start writing down 5 small things you are grateful for – a good cup of coffee, sun shining in your window, laughing so hard you cried at a movie or hearing your kids giggle.
Just think how your daily gratitudes will change when you can go to the grocery store anytime you want, take your kids to play at the local park, have dinner and visit with a friend in person, or hug your grandparents. These things you might have taken for granted before will now mean a lot more to you.
After our travels, I have written constantly about how grateful I am to have my friends close by to help pick up the kids, a dryer for my clothes and my own bed to sleep in.
You don’t realize these small things until you don’t have them every day.
2. You’ll spend 24 x 7 Together with Family
This is a unique time when some families will be able to spend 24 hrs and 7 days a week all together. Take advantage of this opportunity because it rarely comes in your lifetime.
Get to know your kids more, LISTEN to them, spend more time reading them books. Have romantic dinners in your home with your spouse and enjoy each other’s company without the distractions of the outside world.
It’s a great time for your nuclear family to spend some quality time together, don’t waste it!
When we were travelling as a family this was one of the best things that came from our travels. In a letter that I wrote to my kids at the end of our travels, this was one of the greatest reflections I loved.
3. You’ll realize you have Too Much Stuff
Plain and simple you probably have too much stuff and this might be a good time to clear the clutter in your life. You’ll start to wear only the same clothes and shoes, and you’ll realize you don’t need that much stuff in your life.
And now that you are spending time in your home, you may realize it might be too big or underutilized. There may be gadgets, things and trinkets that just create noise in your life. Clear the space and clear your focus.
Observe what you use, what you wear, what you need and what items have a purpose in your life. If they don’t fit into one of those categories, get rid of the stuff and simplify your life.
This was a realization that we had as we were getting ready to embark on our travels when we cleared out much of our stuff in our life. We learned to value more experiences and spending time with people versus having the stuff to please the perception of others.
4. You’ll have time to Think
This one might be the most powerful item in the list of positive things that could come from this time in your life. Use this time for some self-reflection about what changes you might want to make now and afterwards.
Do you need/want to change careers? Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to stay home with the kids? Do you want to start a business or side-gig? Do you want to make your fitness or health the main priority in your life?
What changes in your life do you want to do after you realize that you only have one life to live?
Having time is a blessing. And this moment in time might be a blessing in disguise to hopefully open people’s eyes about how precious their time is to live their best life.
Time to think can be just what you need to change the trajectory of what you want out of your life. These can be big things or they can be small things, but they are things you want to change to move towards the life you want.
When we had more time to think on our travels, we realized we wanted to move any try living somewhere else, so upon our return from our year of travels, we up and moved our family to Kelowna, British Columbia and haven’t looked back.
Don’t wait. Take action.
5. You’ll respect other ways of Schooling
If you have kids, most likely your traditional schools are closed and you’re left with trying to figure out how to homeschool your kids. You are tossed into a space that you have no idea how to handle or never expected to deal with.
It’s going to be okay! Your kids will be okay! Take a deep breath and know that you are doing the best you can do. You are doing great!
What your kids need most right now is just to be with you and to be loved.
If you do absolutely nothing but love your kids and spend time with them doing ANYTHING, then you’ve done a great job.
The anxiety about how you are going to homeschool is real though, I get it and I was there once before. It was one of my major concerns about travelling for a year with the kids, and you can read all about my worldschooling / unschooling plans while we travelled. I never anticipated ever homeschooling my kids, this was not in my plan when we first had the kids and wasn’t until we wanted to travel that we had to figure out a plan.
The best advice that I can give is not to sweat it!
No matter the best intentions, plans or curriculum that you can come up with, it will probably not go according to plan so don’t stress about it. You’ll figure out your rhythm, your kids will go back to school and be just fine.
You will though, however, had some mad respect for teachers now (if you didn’t already)! You will have respect for other forms of learning including those who choose to homeschool, worldschool, unschool or any other form of school.
You will discover there are other ways for kids to learn than a traditional school and there might be some things you keep! I have a feeling that formats of how we learn things will change going forward. You can already see the quick pivoting of more learning opportunities online. It’s an exciting time in the world of education.
6. You’ll be aware of How you spend your free Time
During this situation, you will probably have some time to SLOW down. Which might just be what your family needed.
We live in a society that is overscheduled and booked by 1-hour intervals, with kid’s activities almost every night, lunch hours filled and weekends booked up with things to do.
Right now, all social sports are cancelled, all extracurricular items are cancelled, everything that would have filled up your social calendar is cancelled.
When these activities open back up, choose carefully how you fill up your free time. This is valuable time so ensure it’s for the right things.
It’s ok to have FREE time! Some of the best and most creative things come from when you have free time.
This was one of the biggest lessons we learned from travelling, every evening and weekend does NOT need to be filled with something.
7. You’ll realize the Freedom you have
Freedom is a right and now many of us feel like we have our freedom taken away from us. Freedom is temporarily a privilege.
We are limited to what we can do, where we can go and who we can see. It may feel like you are handcuffed by not being able to do what you want, whenever you want to do it!
Understandably, it is for the greater good but through this situation, you will realize the freedom you have and hopefully not underestimate the freedom you are given.
Do not take your freedom for granted after we are through this!
When we were travelling we had the freedom to travel to so many countries as long as we were following their entry/exit rules we were free. We sometimes wondered why others never fully utilized their own freedom with a passport to be able to experience and learn from other places in the world. We just wanted to shake people and tell them to use the freedoms they were given.
8. Your Life afterwards will not be “Normal” and that’s Okay
As much as everyone may wish to get back to “normal”, the coronavirus will change the way the “new normal” looks when things have settled down and life becomes more like it used to be.
This will look different for everyone and things will change because of it. That is the unknown that can be unsettling at times.
But, the unknown is not something that should be feared. Great things come from the unknown. Embracing change to realize there are positives that can come from it provides hope.
The way you view things will change, the way you appreciate things will change, the way you think about things will change – all of these are positive things if you are aware and living purposefully in the “new normal”.
After travelling fulltime, it changed our family in so many ways, and those who could only relate to our “new normal” were those who had done the same things.
With the coronavirus being a global situation, we are all in this together, so we are not alone as we try to navigate what the “new normal” will look.
9. You’ll be Kinder
I hope what a global pandemic of this magnitude will bring about with people across the world is more KINDNESS.
Everyone should be a little kinder to one another afterwards and that will be a better place to live.
I’ve seen an increase in the kindness already as people pull together to get through this challenging time. Let’s not lose that kindness.
Some may think I live in rose-coloured glasses, but when put in situations when we were travelling around the world I found kindness in more people than not. People helped us, took us under their wing, were honest and reinstated the belief that genuinely people are good.
Take care of one another. Be kind to one another. I know it can be hard in tough times to look at the bright side of things but it’s the only glimmer of hope I have to help push me through these unprecedented times.
For those who are on the front lines and leading the charge with this coronavirus pandemic, they don’t have the privilege or the time right now to see any of these potential positives right now. They are heads down and keeping us all strong, so please be extra kind to them.
From our family to yours – be safe, stay home, practice social distancing and stay healthy. Stay positive.