What the Pandemic Taught Us: Finding the Positive in a Tumultuous Year 

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed life for everyone and caused stress and struggle for many. Throughout 2020, families and communities have mourned the loss of loved ones to a virus that is still raging.  

It’s hard to imagine remembering this year with any fondness, but there are some aspects of 2020 that could be worth holding onto. As we look forward to 2021, take a second to pause and reflect on the positive aspects that have resulted from 2020. 

A slower pace 

With many extracurriculars canceled or postponed, families and individuals had a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of jam-packed calendars throughout the spring and summer. Moving into 2021, consider which activities and obligations can be resumed. Fewer outside commitments can foster meaningful time to connect with one another at home or pursue individual hobbies that could enrich quality of life. 

More time for family 

With many parents working from home and kids and teens learning through virtual platforms, families are together more than ever. While this can certainly be cause for stress, it can also foster closeness and camaraderie. Families who take on the pandemic with a sense of gritresilience and an attitude that they’re in this together might emerge closer after things go back to normal. Many families might remember this time with a sense of nostalgia.    

return to nature

One of the ways people coped with COVID-19 restrictions was by getting outside. Many tried running, cycling and hiking for the first time, exploring parks and natural areas near their homes. Time spent in nature is linked to decreased anxiety as well as lower cortisol and blood pressure. If your new routine involves more time spent outside, work to make it a permanent change.    

Renewed interest in home cooking

Early in the pandemic, more than half of consumers reported cooking more and 46% reported baking more. Making food from scratch gives you more control over what goes into the finished product. If you’ve incorporated meal planning into your week, try to continue this healthy habit into the new year.   

New ways to connect

Although in-person gatherings were shut down or extremely limited in scope, many people found virtual alternatives that helped foster a sense of social connection. Whether you instituted virtual happy hours with far-flung friends or turned Sunday family dinners into games played over Zoom, maintaining social connections will remain important as the pandemic lingers as a safeguard against loneliness and isolation.   


While there’s no question this has been a tough year, working to develop a grateful mindset for the good in life can be a powerful way to protect your mental health  

Will you remember any positives from 2020? Share what you’ve been thankful for this year in the comments.  


Photo credit: fizkes

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  1. Me and my family learned how to use Zoom as a tool to connect and stay connected with each other right in the comfort of our homes. I set-up a Zoom meeting inviting my family members from Detroit, MI (west and east side), Southfield, MI, Lagrange Georgia, Covington Georgia, New Orleans, Cleveland, Ohio and East Point,Georgia to bring in the New Year together on New Year Eve. And, everyone joined the Zoom meeting and we had a ball until wee hours into the brand New Year 2021. We couldn’t have done this without the technology we have today cloud-based video/audio communications. I am so grateful for the video/audio technology to keep love ones connected during this pandemic.

    1. That’s so wonderful to hear, Mary. We’re glad you’re staying connected with your loved ones during these uncertain times. Thank you, Candice

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