How did the Pandemic help me?

Sharmishtha Balwan
3 min readMay 26, 2021
Source: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

After reading so many blogs by people talking about what they did during the pandemic and how it grew them, I kept wondering if that would happen to me- the realisation, that consistent goal-driven living. But, at the same time, there was a lot of empathetic content on the internet as well, which allowed me to not get crushed under the weight of the anxiety and loneliness during this time.

So here it is, I think I realised it today-

The pandemic provided me with a space free enough to think and crystallize my goals and focus areas.

Yes, it does sound a little bit cheesy and a little bit MBA-ey. It probably is.

A few realisations that led to the goals-

  1. Although I always knew that being healthier and fitter is a lifestyle change and not a temporary weight loss endeavour, prioritising it consistently has become possible only during the pandemic somehow
  2. I realised that I actually do network with people I don’t know. It might not be of the level of people who run volunteer organizations or are group admins, but I did connect with a few people- good, cheerful, who did enjoy a good conversation and more importantly, wanted to help as much as possible
  3. I realised that as much as and even though I donated, it didn’t really make me feel better about the situation around us in the country and the world. The picture wasn’t getting any better, it was just a roller coaster in the pit of chaos, and the ladder seemed to be taken away by ourselves and the government every other week with new news. In the end, actually seeing some positive change in the lives of the people I was able to help made hope slightly stronger (otherwise, it just kept feeling like “is this really helping? why are things still so bad?”)
  4. It is actually possible to meditate or sit still for a few minutes and just zone out of a zone. This helped me navigate different aspects of life like work, study, reading, workout time, etc. I felt that before the pandemic, our life revolved around work; and yes I did crave for that normalcy & busy-ness for a long time, but this tuning in and out is really something
  5. All the productivity gurus on Youtube (Youtube is a treasure trove, btw! Premium is worth it & more) keep talking about productivity pockets, and those always seemed like just ideas to me which I tried here and there. The time at home really allowed me to find what my productivity pockets are and actually build the discipline of getting work done in those pockets
  6. Yes there are many meetings, but the moment I shifted my mindset to thinking of them as “opportunities to meet people”, I started not feeling so negatively about them
  7. The pandemic actually kickstarted my efforts in building a second brain- the PARA way- this has been a fun journey & more on this later
  8. I realised that communication is the strongest pillar of almost all connections & I saw its nuances, strengths & weaknesses during the pandemic in almost all relationships. I thought about this on and off, but never so deeply, because communication wasn’t the only thing holding me close to the people in my life, there used to be activities, space, body language and emotions earlier too, which felt stronger in comparison

(I hope this is at least “towards the end” of the pandemic now because I want to say the following with hope)

So, towards the end of this, I feel I have come out

  1. More strong- both mentally and physically
  2. More self-disciplined and empathetic of the struggle
  3. More connected with my family, due to the time we spend together
  4. More clear on what my goals are (details on this and pyramids too, but later)
  5. More aligned on the prioritisation among those goals
  6. More aware of the breakdown of those goals into smaller projects & habits

P.S.: These realisations & my efforts on the goals are all “work-in-progress”, as they always should and would be.

P.P.S: This is my first blog, but I want to make “cogent written communication” a habit.

More on the what and why of the goals in a future blog.

Until then, bye-bye & take care.



Sharmishtha Balwan

Hiya! I’m a product manager and an artist living in India, sharing thoughts, dreams and some things in between. I like greens and greys.