Girl Reading A Book In Bed

One Year of Pandemic – Why It Wasn't a Year Lost

It’s hard to believe that the pandemic has been our unwanted companion for a year now (in Finland), and what a year it has indeed been. A year of canceled trips, parties called off, classes never happening, job opportunities that didn’t lead to anything, being restricted from your hobbies, getting refunds from shows and movie screenings that never took place. A couple of times I even had to cancel plans because of a migraine from prolonged use of the face mask (I still used it, though).

Possibly the worst aspect of all this has been not being able to make any plans or promises because you or someone else might fall sick at any time.

Well, having survived the year I am still inclined to look back at it and find some positivity in all of this. What are the things I did and the novel hobbies I engaged in that I possibly wouldn’t have done without the impact of the pandemic? And by this, I mean things I actually did or started, not things that everyone supposedly should be doing now, at least according to flashy advertisements and social media stories. What kind of little pleasures did I find in my life amidst of all the uncertainties?

Every cloud must have a silver lining I guess; and you’ll simply have to look out for it. This is something I recommend for everyone to try and think of – here is my list (or at least a shortened version of it) as an example!

  1. 1. Audio Books

    Can’t believe I didn’t realize earlier the potential lying here… Reading more books is something that has been on my to-do list for ever. Yet it always felt impossible to wade through thousands of pages when I had only finished studying for the day, the dishes still remained to be done and the fridge being empty. Enter audio books and bam! you can walk, do the washing-up, and let your eyes rest while enjoying literature.

  2. 2. Relaxation Before Sleep

    I admit that I started doing this already before the pandemic, but it has been especially helpful now that anxiety might lure around every corner. I am also aware that my sleep pattern often slips to “crazy-late” mode, but at least I know how to fall asleep easily and without unwanted thoughts. I’m also less reluctant to go to bed. I recommend mind relaxation exercises or ASMR.

  3. 3. Gaming with Friends Remotely

    This is something we have been doing a lot with my friends and as a competitive person I really enjoy party games. It’s funny how we never played those amusing and creative Jackbox games before the pandemic! As a matter of fact, I feel like people don’t play enough games in general. It’s a super fun and sociable past time, fit for all and definitely makes you feel less lonely!

  4. 4. Staying in Touch with Faraway Friends

    Meeting via video chatting services has become so regular that it feels like less of a deal to meet with faraway friends online (as in friends living in other countries). I feel like I’ve had a better chance to do this during the past year, which I am grateful for!

  5. 5. Book Projects

    While life has gradually slowed down and there are less places to go to, there has also been more time to engage in different reading and writing projects. Currently I feel like I have managed to lower the threshold to opening a new book by an author I am not familiar with (I started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time last year, and currently all but done. Weird, right?). I’ve also started to write a novel of my own!  

  6. 6. Crosswords

    Not meeting with other people on a daily basis can also be damaging to your brain. I, at least, have realized how words and names tend to slip my mind if I haven’t had a real conversation with anyone for a while. I have discovered good old crossword puzzles to train my mind and I've got to say, they can be quite challenging (and addictive, too)!

Some other novelties I can think of are having online movie nights with friends, work-out routines at home, watercolors, and trying to reinstate some neglected skin care routines.


In point of fact, there are a lot of stimulating things one does in a year, however insignificant they may appear at first. If the past year has made you feel crummy too, why not try and make a list of your own?