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Lessons I’ve Learned

“If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.” -Thomas Fuller

In researching “lessons learned during COVID-19,” many health practice and science-research focused lessons emerged in my search. A few came up showing the demographic populations and regions affected the most. However, there was nothing I could find reporting personal impact, and I found myself perplexed. I’m not sure about you, but for me COVID-19 has affected my home, my family, me personally, my business and everything else in my life in a multitude of ways. I’m sure the effects will continue to ripple for some time.

Having been on this earth for five plus decades, life has taught me to look for the silver lining … to look for opportunity in bad times … to consider in any situation what we have control over and what we do not … and that change can be good and has purpose (minus the sickness, despair and death that the current pandemic has brought to our world).

As we continue on this uncertain, confusing COVID-19 journey, now is the time to begin to reflect on lessons learned. Consider your personal growth during the past several weeks, look at how you have adapted and take a moment to ponder how you’ll continue to adapt. It’s in times like these that it is best to grow, adapt, pivot and hold on to hope.


  • Keep a positive, optimistic mindset. Mold a positive attitude that supports you and your family, and feed yourself daily with hope and faith.
  • Refuel and rest. Take extra care of YOU. It’s okay to sleep, eat, exercise and do those things that help you take care of yourself.
  • Get dressed and maintain your grooming every day, even if you’re working from home or are laid off. It will help you keep that positive mindset and indirectly support others who see you.
  • Surround yourself with those who matter, whether in person, with appropriate distancing or electronically.
  • Make/grow new relationships. Reach out to deepen both personal and professional relationships.
  • Zoom, Facetime, Skype (or any of the other video/audio calling services). Need I say more? Thank goodness for technology!
  • Pivot. Identify and pull opportunity from the uncertainties of these times.
  • Draw what you need from your resources for personal, social, mind/body/spirit well-being and career/professional development.
  • Be kind and lead with empathy. Don’t hesitate to ask for the help you need and give help when you can.

2020 can still be a great year. Many I spoke with started the new year on a high/positive note and I’m optimistic that success still awaits us in the year. In finding hope in these times, I’ll close with a bit of humor. A good laugh is good for the soul. If you happened to miss Danielle Brennandifili’s YouTube video, I’m sure you’ll get a chuckle. Take a few minutes to search for this silver lining, a bit of humor in this unprecedented time, and next, consider what lessons you have learned.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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