Thinking good thoughts, and what we have learned during COVID

  • During the pandemic, many people learned to better enjoy their time, through music and hobbies, which is a good thing.

    During the pandemic, many people learned to better enjoy their time, through music and hobbies, which is a good thing. Stock Photo

Posted11/27/2021 7:00 AM

Recently I mentioned to a friend that I was feeling a little down, having a bit of a bad day. She gave me some good advice.

I was missing Baheej and feeling like COVID-19 was going to last forever, a permanent state of life, despite our vaccinations and boosters. I guess I was feeling exhausted with being restricted -- however self-imposed.


My friend assured me this happens to everyone once in a while, and said the first response she has to such low times is to "think good thoughts." That takes some effort of course, but it helps, I can attest.

Another idea was to focus on next spring and a new season of gardening, which she loves to do, and not focusing on the increasing darkness of late fall and winter. That's a good thought.

We discussed the need to have a somewhat routine schedule for the day, including relaxation when needed, and doing some activities you enjoy, even if the "activity" is sitting and reading an interesting book or article. I agree with this and have even written a column about how important it is for a bereaved person to build a structure to the day, and not just drift.

All this got me to thinking: What have we learned during the ongoing pandemic?

Well, a lot. For instance, it seems to me we learned to:

• Be more self sufficient.

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• Entertain ourselves, regularly watch TV shows we enjoy, listen to more music, restart our hobbies or get new ones.

• Read more.

• Remember to call friends and family more often.

• Be more online and shop online.

• Spend more time playing with our pets and spoiling them.

• Start writing letters again.

• Slow down and have more patience and peace.

The point is: Oddly, these lessons from the pandemic seem like good changes, to me anyway. Personally, now that I'm fully vaccinated and getting more and more back out into social life, I'm trying hard to protect some peace I acquired during those "stay at home" isolated days.

Especially, when bereaved or living alone, or both, the more at peace and self-sufficient your are, the better!

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

• Susan Anderson-Khleif of Sleepy Hollow has a doctorate in family sociology from Harvard, taught at Wellesley College and is a retired Motorola executive. Contact her at or see her blog See previous columns at

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