5 Life Skills I Learned or Improved On During the Quarantine

Updated: May 2, 2021

A couple of nights ago, I was on an “online video hangout” with friends and one of them asked what were the things we learned during the quarantine.

We shared some of the online courses we took, the books we read, and the things we tried; which includes making Dalgona coffee, watching documentaries on Netflix, and experimenting on different ways to cook and prepare corned beef and sardines.

It was a fun conversation.

Yesterday, while I was relaxing in the living room and trying not to let the hot summer weather bother me, I asked myself again the same question, “What did I learn during this quarantine?”

However, this time, I tried to think about the habits and life skills I built and developed during this period. And below was the list I came up with.

1. Rituals and daily routine

Last month, I wrote about the benefits of having a daily routine and it’s really been what has kept me sane and productive during this time. Keeping a regular schedule gave my days structure.

Moreover, establishing personal rituals, like how I go about my mornings; i.e. shower, breakfast, and meditation – in that exact order every day; has allowed my thoughts to gain some form of agency or organization during these uncertain times.

2. Sleep discipline

One of the struggles for many during the quarantine is keeping a healthy sleeping habit. At first, it was a joy for me because, without early appointments and meetings the next day, I could sleep late and stay in bed the whole morning.

However, I realized that this time is also a good opportunity to establish a regular sleep schedule and take care of my body clock, which of course, leads to various health benefits. So while it was difficult at first, I persisted and finally achieved a healthy sleep routine several weeks after the start of the quarantine.

3. Listening and empathy

People scheduling financial consultations increased during this time. Moreover, because of the absence of real-life social interactions, a lot of my friends have been doing “virtual hangouts” at least twice a week.

Through all these, I am able to improve my listening skills and strengthen my empathy. And it feels good and fulfilling to see how these two life skills provide comfort for others.

4. Self-motivation and positive self-talk

I am not immune to procrastination and bouts of laziness. There have been days when I did nothing but just binge-watch movies and TV series on Netflix.

I used to regret having those days, but now I tell myself that “it’s okay to be not okay” – that it’s normal to feel lazy and just do nothing on some days. And what’s important is doing your best to not stay in this state for too long.

Self-motivation and learning how to give myself positive self-talk has allowed me to survive through several rough days during the quarantine.

5. Spheres of control

Lastly, this pandemic has magnified before my eyes the reality that there’s only so much we can control in our life; and how there’s so much more of which we cannot control.

But, instead of feeling helpless and hypervigilant, I learned to channel my energy and focus more on the things I can control. And this has allowed me to thrive and be more resilient during these times.


  1. Thank you for sharing the article… It is an affirmation on what I’m also doing during this time of uncertainty…

  2. Number 5 was a topic of conversation again in our home this very morning. My beautiful bride is starting to show signs of distress from not being able to do anything with our three local business operations and the difficulty of keeping her Mom across town stocked with her prescriptions and staple items. Based on reading this blog for a long time, I confidently reminded my wife to concentrate on those things we still have control over. Good thing we agreed as yet another extension to the quarantine / lock-down has been put in place in our province. We are fortunate we have the income to hire rider/couriers to make deliveries to Mother-in-law on days my wife is not permitted to venture out past the checkpoints.

    I am also guilty of the lack of sleep discipline with the kids home from school and wanting to spend additional time with them. Wife is very busy writing several dissertations for some new local clients she has taken on. I guess it is OK to miss the market open mid-week, usually not much to worry about. If I miss a trade, there will always be another. Friday afternoon I will have to get to bed on time to rest up for the New York market open at 9:30 PM here/ 9:30 AM in New York. Friday is option expiration day and my most important day of the week. We did some adjusting and CLEARLY we will come through this rough time OK.

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