The Pandemic Made Me Re-Evaluate My Life

    Like for many others, 2020 was the year when I re-evaluated certain aspects of my life. A series of circumstances and life changes, together with witnessing lives being lost way too soon, led me to take a long hard look at the life I was leading.

    From thinking about career and location to how I spend my time and money, nothing has been overlooked. Was this how I wanted to spend the next 30 years of my life? Is this lifestyle impacting my health? Does the location (and its weather) enable me to spend my free time the way I valued most?

    How I Lost my Connection to Creativity and Nature

    When I was growing up I didn’t have a clue about what adult life looks like. I was surrounded by forests and mountains, but still a short drive away from a big town. Life was idyllic when it came to having the freedom to explore the natural world because everything was on my doorstep. I wouldn’t imagine in a million years that I would one day lose my connection to nature.

    But I did, and it was awful. As you begin working in an office job, 9-5, with one-hour commute each way, it’s so easy to lose touch with nature.

    Working in offices where you are sitting for extended periods of time every day takes a toll on both your body and mind. It is simply not natural for humans to sit still for so many hours every day. Our bodies were made to move and breathe some fresh air.

    While I enjoyed the work I was doing, the routine of the same office walls every day and office politics were draining and have blocked my creativity

    I longed to one day build something of my own and this led me into research. I would spend hours reading and watching inspiring stories – about people who have taken the leap and quit their jobs. To do something different or to follow their dreams. 

    These stories have shown me what is possible but more importantly, they have given me generous heaps of hope and inspiration. 

    reconnecting with nature during pandemic
    My favourite spot during the year-long lockdowns

    The Year 2020 Was Full of Uncertainty

    2020 was one of the most difficult years. Both me and my partner had to face losing our jobs, which was soon followed by the world closing down due to a pandemic raging across the continents. It’s something you never imagine to happen.

    This showed us that being in regular full-time employment doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s still as uncertain as other forms of work.

    We waited to see what would happen and took comfort in the simple things in life.

    When I lost my grandmother in March, I wasn’t allowed to travel to her funeral due to countries closing borders and airports being shut.

    By not being able to be there in person I decided to create my own ritual of saying goodbye at home. I lit a candle, bought flowers, and remembered her life. By celebrating her path which created all of us I somehow felt more connected to my roots.

    escaping to nature during lockdown
    Escaping to nature was life-saving

    The Pandemic Has Reconnected Me to Living Slowly

    And so here we were, confined to our little flat. During those long months of lockdown, nature is what saved me. I walked 4.5 kilometers every day and honestly, I don’t think I would have survived without it. 

    Being stuck in between four walls every day, where you do everything from eating, sleeping, and working, required a break from it all, an escape. And what is nicer than escaping to nature? Breathing in the fresh air, seeing all the colors, letting the sun caress your cheeks. 

    It was wonderful. 🙂

    Working from home has been amazing for me. I never flourished in confined spaces and set schedules. I got so used to cycling to work over the years that having to now drive one hour in the car to reach the office seemed like a waste of my time. It was a huge change for me and those two hours that I had to spent commuting made the workday feel very long.

    Not having to commute meant that I could go for hour-long walks after finishing work because it wasn’t too late or too dark. Or maybe do some yoga and cook a nice meal. I wasn’t tired because I wasn’t spending those two hours sitting in traffic. 

    Newly-gained time made living slowly and fully possible. Breakfast was peaceful and delightful. I enjoyed every second of the little rituals – making tea, listening to music, reading, and soaking up nature.

    There was less rushing and this made me happier.

    cooking slowly
    Cooking meals from scratch every day

    Finding a Quiet Time and Getting to Know Yourself

    2020 was tough for everyone. When the world came to a standstill, people had more time and inevitably they did some introspection.

    I tried to quiet down all the noise and society’s expectations that I so long followed and lived by. And when my mind was calm and free of distractions my desire became clearer. I wasn’t afraid to talk about my passions anymore. I saw possibilities and opportunities. 

    Even if I fail or look back one day with bitterness, it’s okay. At least I’ll know I tried. I want to find my true self again, learn new skills, and connect with like-minded people. 

    To create a life that will give me joy and then share it with others. This is my journey back to nature, to a more simple and slow life. 

    Nature will be there with me. But I also want to give back to nature. To cherish, protect and share it with future generations that are yet to come.

    Did you have any light-bulb moments in 2020? What did you learn about yourself?

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