The past two years have represented change for everyone. Regardless of how direct or indirect our contact with COVID has been, we’ve all been exposed to the effects of the pandemic
We’ve all borne witness to the effects of the pandemic as it has raged on around us for the past 24 months, and we’ve all had to adapt in one way or another.
From changing our work/life pattern to dealing with loss, every single one of us has been impacted by the effects of the pandemic. We wanted to know how change had manifested itself in the life of our readers. We hear from two people whose lives were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Alessia – from rock bottom to sky high
Alessia Pace was a victim of domestic abuse who lost her job. She now runs two new businesses and is loving a healthier mental state. Here she opens up about her pandemic pilgrimage.
“Before the pandemic I was working part-time as a family support worker, a freelance makeup artist, and a beauty and fashion blogger. On top of this, I was starting my training to become an empowerment and transformation coach.
“I was married to the father of my three children, living in our owned three bedroom property. However, I felt like a single parent and struggled with my mental health, but I kept going with the determination to transform my life for the better. I wasn’t happy and felt I had a lot more to give and do; I felt trapped and lonely. I lost who I was and felt I needed to just keep going for the sake of my children.
“During the pandemic, I struggled a lot. My freelance work has stopped, and my family support work became intense due to working from home. I also had to home-school my eldest while looking after my younger two who were yet to start school. Managing all of this alone had a huge impact on my mental health.
“The domestic abuse had been going on for years, from when I was pregnant with my youngest. I felt so mentally weak that I couldn’t leave. I’d tried a handful of times, but I was scared and often had to deal with consequences each time. As a family support worker, I felt very passionate about supporting victims of domestic abuse, yet I buried my head when it came to my own problems.”
Making a transformation
Alessia began working for a network marketing business while continuing her coach training.
“I found a whole new world that taught me about mindset, balance, energy levels, and the important of self-care. I started to read and research a lot about mindset and transforming my life. This was when I started to change my life for the better, finally recognising my worth and what I needed to do to become ‘me’ again.
“Doing training on domestic abuse it when it truly hit me. It was like a tsunami to the mind and I finally got to a point where I realised I needed to leave. I had felt trapped and lonely, and I was worried about what others would think. It felt like I’d look silly as I was helping other families in similar circumstances yet I was leaving myself in the same situation. I was more worried about the impact it would have on my children than anything else; I was scared of where would go.
“Now, my life has completely transformed. In lockdown, I moved into a rental property with my children. Unfortunately, I lost my job; they weren’t the most supportive. I couldn’t afford to pay for childcare and I couldn’t rely on family and friends for help due to the pandemic. Despite losing my job, I kept up with my positive mindset and within a few weeks I’d started up two businesses.”
The impact of change
“Financially, I am so much better off; I earn more and I can control my own money. I used to have to give a chunk of my wages to my ex-partner, and I vividly remember going around the supermarket, tallying up each item as I put it in the basket to ensure I didn’t spend above £30. Honestly, I didn’t know about finances in the home; I didn’t know what bills were needed – it was all kept from me. I now know a lot more about money, and have control over my bills.
I have taught myself many coping techniques, and I’ve learned to live with my PTSD
“Mentally, I’m doing really well. I’m off my antidepressants, though I still have some down moments due to the impact of domestic abuse. I have taught myself many coping techniques, and I’ve learned to live with my PTSD. But I have a spring in my step, and my confidence has bloomed. I am also now in a loving, safe relationship, which I had never expected. As a result, I have learned a lot about what love is, and I’ve realised that I am more than enough, and I am worthy of love and security.
“I am still living in a rental, but I am hoping to save up and buy a property to continue creating the life that our family deserves. My children are my reason, they keep me going no matter what life throws my way.
“I feel free, and both family and friends have commented on how I’ve ‘got my sparkle back’.”
Farren – becoming an inspiration
Farren Morgan is a serving soldier in the British Army, who is now a business owner and record-holder for the Guinness World Records.
Living day to day
“My life before the pandemic consisted of serving my country and doing my job as a soldier. Despite my achievements, I just lived day-to-day. I knew I had the potential to be and achieve more, but I didn’t have life-changing aspirations or life goals that I was striving towards at the time. The reason for that was likely because I didn’t have inspirational figures or role models to look up to while I was growing up to help motivate me, recognise my full potential, and inspire me to become someone greater.
“That was something that I had to find within myself growing up, but through that process, I got to where I am today, and I’m grateful for that.”
“The pandemic was a traumatic shock that affected everyone throughout the world. Many people were losing loved ones, suffering from COVID symptoms, and being rushed into hospitals. No one had a clue about the behaviours of this new, foreign illness.
The emergence of COVID made me consider my life and re-think my goals
“The pivotal moment during the pandemic that changed my life was the inability to meet with family members, go to work, and the gym. It was easy to notice the negative impact the pandemic was having on peoples’ physical and mental health, and something needed to change.
“The emergence of COVID made me consider my life and re-think my goals, and ultimately helped me envision what I wanted for myself and my family. I had the potential to give more but needed to decide how I would apply that potential in a way that would be fulfilling to me and my purpose.
“After I won the Soldier of the Year award in 2020 for my dedication to fitness within the military, I thought about helping people looking to join the uniformed services. This led to the start-up of my business in September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. This is when people needed to be motivated and inspired. People needed to be shown that they could push beyond their limitations, expand their capabilities, and ultimately live a better and more fulfilling lifestyle, regardless of what was going on in the world. I decided to embody the inspirational figure that I couldn’t find throughout my youth to push others to be their best selves.”
A new person
“My life and who I am have changed drastically from the person I was before COVID. Today, I have my very own business that inspires people worldwide to pursue their fitness goals and their passions in life. I’ve successfully transformed the lives of thousands of people into Tactical Athletes, and I’ve helped at least 500 people get into the military through the training services that I’ve provided.
“I’ve consistently developed my fitness, competed in many marathons, and broke a Guinness World Record. This year, I plan to break three more while I continue raising awareness to military charities, creating more Tactical Athletes, and doing my part to inspire the youth to pursue their dreams and ambitions.”
Embracing a new normal
While we’ve all experienced change over the past two years – some good, some bad – it’s important to acknowledge the journey we’ve been on. We must not take life for granted, but instead embrace our new normal.
Have the effects of the pandemic left you feeling groggy? Read our tips on how to improve your wellbeing.