Did we gain anything from the pandemic?

The last 18 months have been a real slog, and we’re not out of the woods yet. So, as we keep moving forward, what can you do to shift your pandemic perspective from “did to me” to “did for me”? And why would you bother? Here are four suggestions to apply as you keep on keepin’ on.

Choose to look for upsides so you can reclaim your power and leave victimhood behind.

If you focus only on what’s happening in the external world, you’ll feel pushed and shoved and controlled by circumstances. But whenever you choose to identify even one advantage to a situation, you start building back your confidence and sense of control. You just might get rid of just a tiny little bit of stress in the process.

Take advantage of “yes, but.”

While my usual stance is to caution against this phrase, you can put it to strategic good use in certain situations.

Specifically, “yes, but” is a powerful tool when you’re looking for ways to not become mired in thinking nothing is working and everything is rotten. Yes, I’m really tired of wearing a damn mask, but I’m glad to take it off and be comfortable in my home.

“Yes, but” is a good way to break a downward spiral of negativity before you get totally sucked into the pits. As an added benefit, it makes it easier to apply tactic #3.

Follow the detour, and if you don’t see one, make one.

How many of us were on such close terms with Zoom before all this started? How many businesses were open to experimenting with most of their employees working from home? How many commitments to the “one right way” to do something got tossed out the window?

We’re creatures of habit. That can be great if the habits serve us well, and not so great if we’re no longer sure why we do things that way. (NOTE: “That’s just the way we do it” is typically not the best reason to keep doing it that way).

So most of us have gotten a powerful boost in creativity as we figure out a different road to take in order to get where we want to be. Sometimes the road will be longer or harder, but sometimes it will actually be smoother and easier to travel. At least we’ve been knocked off dead center and forced to consider new ways and means to get things done.

Look for more ways to stop “should”ing on yourself.

The pandemic actually gave us permission to say “no” to some activities we may have been saying “yes” to out of a sense of obligation. Woohoo! Be sure to take that permission into the future as things open up.

No justifying necessary. Self-care includes setting healthy boundaries and choosing not to should on yourself. It’s both your right and your responsibility to take care of yourself, so be sure to maintain that new, pandemic-inspired habit.


While I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, I do believe that we can identify something of benefit in even horrible situations. In other words, there are gifts to be had from any experience, even if they come in really ugly wrapping paper.

How about you? What has helped you successfully come this far despite a really rough journey? What’s one upside you can identify to this life-altering, mind-boggling pandemic era? Leave your thoughts below so the rest of us can take advantage of what’s already helped you!

BTW, thanks to kajsa for posting the plain-brown-wrapper gift in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.

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