As we get ready to close another year, I can’t help but think about how much 2021 taught us… about ourselves and about each other.

What did COVID teach me this year (and perhaps you too?)

  1. Patience. If Coronavirus didn’t teach us the ultimate test in patience, I don’t know what did. We had to learn to be patient for our kids to return to school, for a vaccine, patience when our family members were always around and we needed more personal space than ever. And this lesson in patience led to acceptance – I have learned to accept that all I can in any given moment is my best, and that has to be enough. Thanks COVID! The bar was lowered!
  2. How to embrace uncertainty. None of us knew when things would go back to  “normal.” Since we couldn’t control so much this year, we learned how to relax and make the most of our days. We learned how to embrace the uncertainty with greater ease.
  3. To appreciate the simpler things in life. For most, we have lived twenty two months of minimalism. We realize how little we need – healthy family, food on the table, board games or throwing a ball outside as a way for the family to reconnect – we went back to basic family families. WE REALIZED WHAT WAS IMPORTANT.
  4. COVID was the ultimate sex-life killer. Before the pandemic, many couples lived busy lives like “two ships passing in the night.” When couples found themselves on lockdown together at home, at first it was fun to take spontaneous intimate moments together. At first couples reconnected, but for the majority of couples on lockdown together, “sexual desire took a nosedive.” Yup, just giving you the research, my friends. If your sex-life was enhanced throughout the pandemic, YOU GO GURL!
  5. A walk around the block is the greatest way to regroup. I remember how many walks Hilly and I took throughout COVID. Why? There was honestly nothing else to do! With a return to more “normalcy” after lockdown, we still continued to keep walking as the best way to get the cobwebs out, or regroup from a tough day. COVID taught me how important my block walks are to my sanity.
  6. I learned how to cook! I finally embraced my inner Martha. I am not afraid in the kitchen anymore! I watched YouTube videos, I experimented, I really leveled-up my kitchen game. I had more time, so I guess I used it wisely. I’m still not good with the timing though – if you come over for dinner and you’re enjoying a drink that Hilly made and I tell you the food is ready NOW, YOU BETTER COME NOW! I have no clue how to keep the food edible if people aren’t ready to eat, lol!
  7. I learned we are extremely polarized and divided as a society, and that has only been enhanced throughout COVID. I realized the exact same benign fact can be interpreted as two completely different things. I saw people celebrating vaccines, I saw people bashing those getting vaccines. We didn’t fight nicely. I think that was the very ugly part of COVID. We didn’t find a nice way to agree to disagree.
  8. Which leads us to tolerance for some, as Sharon Cohen, a friend of mine shared on Facebook, I learned to be tolerant and compassionate with people who have very different beliefs than me as the world is my mirror. I see that what triggers me in another is what I have suppressed, repressed or denied in myself. As I cultivate kindness, grace and gratitude towards the self, it is felt by all life as we are all connected.
  9. We learned to take mental health seriously. And this is important. There was a rise in reported mental health struggles throughout COVID that were also described as “a second pandemic.” As Dr. Fesharaki-Zadeh, a Yaleneuropsychiatrist says, “We’re seeing these problems in our clinical setting very, very often. By virtue of necessity, we can no longer ignore this. We’re seeing these folks struggling, and we have to take them seriously.” We hopefully also decreased the stigma significantly as well.
  10. We are not in the same boat, and so tolerance and compassion are imperative. A COVID poem, “I heard that we are in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.” ‘Nuf said. ‘Nuf said.
  11. We learned that self-care is not self-indulgence. “Not only does self-care have positive outcomes for you, but it also sets an example to younger generations as something to establish and maintain for your entire life,” said Richelle Concepcion, clinical psychologist and president of the Asian American Psychological Association. We learned we have to put the oxygen masks on ourselves too to survive. Activities that once felt indulgent became essential to our health and harmony, and that self-care mindset is predicted to continue.
  12. We saw a SERIOUS spike in athleisure wear. Umm, I’m still the poster child! America became the “hibernation nation” throughout COVID. The athleisure market that includes sweatpants and yoga wear saw its 2020 global revenue push past $200 billion. That spike has continued – we are now at approximately $300 billion for 2021.
  13. We befriended technology and there’s no going back now. My parents who NEVER bought a thing outside of a physical store, learned how to shop online. They (and many) realized just how easy it is to enter your home address and credit card only once, and then with one-click, ship anything from anywhere. This was awesome but also WAY TOO DANGEROUS! Oy vey!
  14. We learned that well-rounded individuals thrive more. Those skills which adhere to being well-rounded and balanced such as adaptability, resilience, positivity, tenacity and empathy, those who possess these traits have certainly thrived more throughout COVID. How can we learn to be more adaptable and resilient going forward?
  15. We learned the meaning of my favourite quote – “Necessity is the mother of invention.” We were forced to adapt, to try new things and reinvent ourselves in so many ways. The workforce adapted too – with many working remotely since the onset of the pandemic, millions of workers and their managers have learned they could be just as productive as they were at the office thanks to WIFI!
  16. We learned that isolation hurts – a lot. It took a toll on all of us. What we’ve learned throughout COVID is that isolation doesn’t just happen to older adults; it happens to all of us. And isolation and loneliness are hard on our mental-health… cue point #9. It hit kids and teens just as hard. We learned that humans are fragile alone– our strength lies in being part of a community.
  17. We embraced more yoga and meditation. Harvard Medical School told us that yoga and meditation help us deal with COVID induced anxiety. As a certified yoga and mediation teacher, I couldn’t be happier to see how they are both going completely mainstream. EVERYONE NEEDS TO MEDITATE. No one is exempt, including our kids.
  18. I learned that watching the news can make anyone feel anxious. I learned we need to control our exposure to the news. The constant reminders perpetuate uncertainty which leads to more unnecessary stress and anxiety. There’s that point #9 again.
  19. We learned not to take a single damn day for granted. At least, I hope we all learned that.

Another year in the books, y’all. 

I wish us all the ability to retain the good life lessons, and let go of what doesn’t serve us.

And to remember to be grateful for what we DO HAVE. An attitude of gratitude and mindset of being grateful will boost our happiness and well-being tenfold. There is always something to be grateful for.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and lots of love. 



Teaching busy women how to prioritize self-care, Erica Diamond is a Certified Life Coach and Certified Yoga & Meditation Teacher, TV Correspondent, Founder of Bliss Essential oils, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, and Founder of the award-winning women’s empowerment brand® 


  • Teaching Empowered Living, Erica Diamond is a leading Women's Expert in Lifestyle, Wellness and Empowerment. A Certified Life Coach and Certified Yoga Instructor, Erica is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Award-Winning Women’s Lifestyle Platform® (previously®), Weekly Lifestyle and Parenting Correspondent on Global TV, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker, Spokesperson, and Author of the women’s entrepreneurial book, 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own Business. Erica founded the Global Get Off The Fence Movement inspiring people worldwide to get off the fence, get unstuck and thrive, and launched The Erica Diamond Podcast in summer 2019 to spotlight trailblazers and change makers around the world.

    Erica Diamond has been named to the coveted list of The Top 20 Women in Canada as well as FORBES Magazine’s Top 100 Sites for Women and FORBES 25 Most Influential Women In Entrepreneurship on Twitter. Erica Diamond was the Spokesperson for National Entrepreneurship Day and is a Huffington Post contributor.