May 8, 2020, by Shweta

Things I’m grateful for during quarantine

Growing up, I was always an aggressively optimistic kid. I could find the silver lining in almost any situation. Many years later, in the face of a pandemic and an uncertain future, that, has become my super-power. With nothing but the sad and the bad everywhere we look, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to remind my readers of the silver lining. Here are all the things that I am grateful for during these difficult times.

First off the list are family and friends. If social distancing has proved anything, it’s that we’re social animals. We’re meant to be together. And in a world otherwise plagued by so much hate and inequality, we’re learning to come together again. I think that’s beautiful! Being an international medical student, I’m away from my family for majority of the year. This gave me the chance to reconnect with them, spend time with my ageing grandparents, and give my 12-year old dog some love in his last few years. I couldn’t be more grateful to make up for lost time with the people that matter most to me in this world.

My not-so-young baby hopes you’re safe and healthy x

Up next is all things virtual. From happy hour on Zoom to virtual book clubs and long phone calls, the internet has made social distancing a breeze. Whenever I find myself missing my friends, I remind myself that the internet has brought us closer than ever before and really, they’re only a click away. Furthermore, with online shopping, e-reading, online courses and so much more, I’ve managed to keep myself entertained and intellectually stimulated.

Another reason to smile is the environment! By now, we’ve all seen the pictures. Lions asleep on a highway, penguins strolling through aquariums and goats running through the villages. Canals reflect the clouds again and the air has never been clearer. The environmental impact of lockdown is undeniable. I’m glad we’re giving the Earth a chance to breathe again. And only being in my 20s, I’m so glad we’re making strides in our fight against global warming. The future looks brighter, where that’s concerned, and that is something to be grateful for, in my book.

Who else to be more proud of in this moment, than our NHS heroes and other essential workers. Thursdays aside, without our essential workers, we would not have made it as far, as comfortably as we have. From doctors and nurses to delivery-men and the police, I’m grateful for the combined efforts of the public in coming together against a common enemy. And for keeping my loved ones and myself safe, of course!

Finally, and most importantly, I’m grateful for the gift of time. As a medical student, I’m constantly on the move. Without a minute to spare, life can get ahead of me sometimes. As difficult as things may get, I like to remind myself that I have been given the gift of time. And with that, comes the opportunity to reflect. Reflect on your life, your plans, your future and on your well-being. Strive to come out the other end, bigger, brighter and ready for a new day. Many of us have and will continue to face devastating economic and/or personal setbacks during this time. I remind myself that I want to come out stronger, not because of this, but despite it. I’m grateful for the time to engage with things I didn’t have the time or energy for before. I’m grateful for the time to reflect.

I appreciate that these are chaotic times. And gratefulness may not come easily. But I urge you to try. Try to look for the silver lining. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that no matter what, you will come out of this stronger than ever before. We all will. Having said that, please be wary of your mental well-being. If you’re struggling, talk to friends and/or family or approach mental health services in person or online.

Until next time, stay positive x

Shweta

Posted in Shweta