This is an unprecedented time filled with various life lessons. The pandemic has forced many unexpected changes as well as challenges.

I began thinking about my takeaway due the current circumstances over the past several months due to the pandemic.

I spent the beginning of this year in a very stressful move into my new home all the while working almost every day. I finished moving into my house around mid-February. I still was not settled into my new home when things started getting serious due the pandemic in March. With boxes all over the places & only certain things unpacked, I had not settled into my new home. I did not have a new normal at the start of COVID. This helped me ease into everything going on in the world as my life was in a whirlwind of change. I was able to just adapt & adjust to all the changes that were occurring due to the pandemic. I readily implemented new protocols for my clinic & how I went about my day outside my clinic acting cautiously to protect all my patients. At first the Lysol was irritating my respiratory tract so much, I started wearing masks just to disinfect my office. All the extra cleaning & disinfecting were tiring in then beginning, then it became routine. I went from being busy every day to having some free time. Life slow downed. When it was still cool outside, I took my dog for walks to explore our new neighborhood. The previous few years in my life had posed some challenges & problems that were taxing. My new environment has been refreshing for me. Being able to slow down & still help treat patients was even more rewarding during this time. I have been through worse, so I was savoring each moment. While the thought occurred to me that I do not know what will happen & whether I would still be able to help people in my clinic, I never stressed out or was worried. Maybe already being in a state of change, it did not feel like anything changed for me. I have been in a state of bliss enjoying my new home & surroundings. Finishing unpacking has been a slow process because I wanted to enjoy the days, I had free time or had other tasks to attend to on my free days. For me, the takeaway of this pandemic is that I do not have to be constantly busy & to savor the moment. Stuff will get done in due time. I am using the free time in other ways. I know that now more than ever it is important to take care of my health. I went from going to yoga classes frequently to walking my dog to doing plank challenges & cardio at home. As a licensed acupuncturist & herbalist, I am treating myself with acupuncture & am taking herbs to help support my immune system. I do not feel like a mask is a huge inconvenience, though I wish I didn’t have to disinfect my groceries after returning home from the store. I do enjoy the personal space while run errands though. Though I do not always get personal space at home between my English bulldog Calliope & my newly adopted kitten, Esme, from this summer. Both I have deemed as my unofficial mascots. You can read both their bios on my website.

Ultimately, the things that have become important are allowing for free time & enjoying it while continuing to care for my health. The question is: What is your takeaway from this time? What good has come about for you due the changes that we have been forced to make? What do you need to change to improve your life?