I never expected a global pandemic to turn me into an optimist.

I’ve historically been a glass half empty kind of person. You know the kind – questioning why something is happening and not looking on the bright side. But as the world spins on its axis and life as we know it continues to grind to a halt, my approach to life has become more buoyant.

Maybe it’s having more time to stop and smell the metaphorical roses, but I’ve learnt to look for and appreciate the silver linings. Here’s what I’ve found.

Lockdown has been a leveller

For one in five older people, the highlight of their day pre-pandemic was someone saying hello to them on the street. I now acutely understand and appreciate this.

Having never spoken to a neighbour across the street, we now take joy in smiling and waving to each other every Thursday evening during ‘clap for our carers’. 

What started as offering to help my 81-year old neighbour with his shopping has turned into daily phone calls. He uses them to ‘check up on me’ and you know what, that feels good too. We’re all here to help each other.

Communication has helped us emotionally and physically

What’s become apparent over the past six weeks is that what we call social distancing is in fact physical distancing. We’ve changed how we all connect and communicate for, what’s in my honest opinion, the better. We’re thinking of each other more, on a deeper level.

We’ve all shown that we’re here for each other. When my wedding was postponed, friends rallied round and held a virtual hen do. I’ve been having more meaningful conversations with my parents than ever before.

I work with older adults, helping them to stay fit and active and have seen them gladly embrace technology so that they can stay healthy (a personal trainer whose client base is largely over 65 has kept 95% of her sessions remotely). So we’re all communicating better, which is helping our physical and mental wellbeing.

Time to reflect

How often do we get the chance just to pull back, look at where life is going and see if it’s the direction we want? We’ve used this time to properly plan for the future, consider where we want to buy a house (and spent countless hours on Right Move!). It’s a real luxury to be able to do this.

It’s the little things that count

It was wanting to support small businesses that started it. We ordered a weekly coffee delivery from a local supplier, not realising that we would be fuelling more than just our caffeine addiction.  What this has given way to is the 11am and 2pm coffee break – a time for my boyfriend and myself to step away from the screen, put down our pens and come together to chat.

Final thoughts

As time seems to have slowed down, it has allowed me the privilege of looking for the good out there. And you know what, although it’s a scary and confusing time, I’ve learnt that there is always a silver lining to take away.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more of Jessica’s thoughts at ElWell.