Episode 11 - 2021, the pandemic continues...
Hey everyone! My name’s Amy, welcome to The British English Language Podcast, a podcast for intermediate level students who want to improve their English language listening skills. This podcast is perfect for those interested in learning British English, to help improve your British accent by listening to British pronunciation whilst learning British vocabulary as I discuss some British topics! Today though I’ll be talking about something we can all relate to - the challenges we’re facing during this global pandemic.
It’s incredible to think that every single person on our planet today has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. Last time I checked, this podcast had been listened to by people from 57 different countries! This is completely amazing to me and makes me feel very happy and excited and also grateful! But it also makes me think about you and wonder how you’re coping where you are? By the way the verb ‘to cope’ means to manage a difficult situation effectively. So I wonder how you’re all managing during the COVID 19 pandemic after a year? I know that you will all be facing difficulties which could be related to health, family, relationships, work, money, education, loneliness, depression or anxiety. Some of you could be experiencing difficulty in all of those areas. And sadly, some of you will have lost a loved one to the virus. When we say we’ve ‘lost a loved one’ it means that someone close to us, a family member or good friend has died. And this means that we will go through the extremely difficult process of grief. Grief is the process of intense sadness that follows a traumatic event, such as death. Sometimes we can experience grief for many years. And we will all experience it at some point in our lives. It’s a very intense time for us all and we need to be more flexible, more patient, more resilient and more kind to ourselves and others than ever.
Kindness is one of the most beautiful qualities expressed by human beings. To be kind is to be friendly, generous and considerate towards others or to ourselves. When we’re feeling upset or stressed it’s not always easy to be kind. But this is when it’s needed most. I think that the pandemic is a good opportunity to learn how to be kind. After one year of the stress of losing your job, your security and your freedom we can start to feel angry and express our anger towards other people. We’re being forced to live together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whilst experiencing these high levels of stress. And we all have different needs. It’s easy to be focussed on our own needs and forget the needs of others, but both are important.
The last two months of the pandemic have probably been the most difficult months for me until now. I had been able to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude until now but I feel like I am being pushed to my limits! And I can feel the same energy in other people around me too. It feels very uncomfortable but there are a few phrases which I tell myself that help to keep me going.
The first one is - ‘when you get to hell, don’t stop - keep going’. This means that when you reach a low point in your life, don’t give up, keep going and you will get to the other side.
The second phrase is - ‘life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us’. This means that whatever is happening in life, no matter how painful it might be, it’s happening for our benefit. It’s showing us something we need to learn and we will grow from. This phrase reminds us that we don’t have to be victims to the circumstances of our lives.
And the third phrase is by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that ‘in every difficulty is opportunity’. This phrase helps me to feel empowered by transforming a ‘negative’ experience into a positive experience, by discovering the opportunity that exists within it.
It’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel through the darkness of uncertainty. Meaning it’s difficult to see a way through to the other side when nothing is certain. But I suppose uncertainty has always existed and always will. Maybe, paradoxically, one of the only things that are certain in this life is uncertainty! So maybe we need to learn to cope better with uncertainty. The only thing we can rely on is faith. Faith that there is opportunity, faith that life is working for our benefit, faith that there is a way out to the other side. We simply have to trust.
I have definitely been learning a lot during this pandemic, mostly a lot about myself. I wonder what lessons you’ve been learning too? What opportunities have helped you to feel more positive about this challenging situation we’re all facing together? I would really love to hear from you and know how you’re doing. You can send me a message using the contact form on my website - www.britishenglishlanguage.com. Remember, as always, you’ll find the transcription for each podcast episode on the website too.
I would like to send my love out to every person listening. I’m thinking of you all and hope that you’re coping ok. Thank you so much, and I’ll see you next time.
If you’d like to support me in making this podcast then you can do that by clicking the ‘Donate to Amy’ button on my website. Alternatively you can subscribe to become a Patreon where you’ll receive exclusive weekly episodes as well as one-on-one online English conversation classes! I’m so grateful for your support as it allows me to continue making this podcast and doing something for others that I love.