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5 unexpected life lessons learned from living through a pandemic

It's March 13, 2020 and you're told there's an extra week of spring break because of a "flu-like" illness making its way around the world. An extra week turns into an extra two weeks, three weeks, four weeks. Colleges close for the semester, restaurants are take-out only, even Disney World locked its gates. It may have seemed like our worlds were crashing down (and sometimes maybe it still feels that way), but there are so many reasons to appreciate what the past 365+ days have taught us. Here are some of our top life lessons we have learned:

Comfortable clothing isn't a bad thing.

Prior to Covid-19, looking presentable every time you left the safe haven of your home was the norm. The pandemic taught us to embrace sweatpants and sweatshirts each and every day. Some of us even stayed in pajamas all day until we changed into a new clean pair for bed—or accidentally wore the same pair for days. Sure we look forward to nights where we can put on jeans and a silky top for a fancy—socially distanced and outdoor—dinner, but we've grown to love any sense of comfortable yet fashionable clothing and that usually doesn't involve skinny jeans.

Take advantage of the moments you have by yourself.

Quarantine glow ups are real. Physically and mentally, we learned to put ourselves first and love ourselves more than ever before. At the end of the day, your relationship with yourself is of utmost importance. The temporary pause on all aspects of life was the *perfect* time to work on your relationship with yourself and so many people realized their true self worth with all the available down time.

Creativity is endless.

So many pandemic related businesses popped up almost overnight. Tie dye outfits, face masks, mask chains, TikTok dances, recipes, the list goes on and on. We created anything and everything to distract ourselves from what looked like never-ending boredom. We made the most of our situation and began our own businesses with creative thinking. We shared our 30 second dances on TikTok and came up with the most amazing banana bread recipes possible—sometimes even selling it to willing customers.

Family time is the best time.

If you have older siblings they were sent home from college and parents were working from home. Socializing in person with someone meant hanging out with family. You finished bingeing every show on Netflix after a few weeks and there's only so many times you can rewatch Tiger King. So, naturally, we played board games. Family game nights were low-key the best nights and we created so many personal memories with parents and siblings that we would not have had otherwise.

Appreciate all the little things in life.

We took this time to live in the moment. Simple things like sunny days and short walks gave us joy. You looked forward to seeing your BFF through your phone screen because it was the only way you could stay in touch. We craved daylight and fresh air so we took advantage of outdoor picnics or watching the sunset from a parking lot. We looked forward to these simple little things that we overlooked prior to the pandemic, but now feel happiness when thinking about.

What other silver linings and positive impacts come to mind? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @girlslifemag.

All GIFs via Giphy

Slider image: Photo by Atoms on Unsplash

by Jaclyn Kaufman | 3/26/2021
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