• Amber Spalding

‘Through the looking glass’: Why self-reflection is important in pandemic life.

In unprecedented times, it is crucial to reflect on one’s own being. Recently, I read Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical essay ‘Sketch of the Past’ and it has allowed me to consider our own consciousness outside of the realms of the chaotic, and often monotonous life. Woolf argues that our lives are filled with ‘moments of being’ and ‘moments of non-being’. A day of ‘being’ would be characterised by an event, as such riding our bikes or going on holiday - something we are likely to remember. However, days of ‘non-being’ are those moments we often forget. The days where we curl up on the sofa, feeling melancholic or unwell - those days have little meaning to them. My point is, since the beginning of the pandemic our lives have been filled with far more ‘moments of non-being’ as opposed to ‘moments of being’; we haven’t been able to travel, see our friends or even create substantial memories. This time, more now than ever, we must reflect on ourselves, seek resolution and embrace everything life throws at us.


After all the chaos the pandemic has caused, I think we should all allocate a few moments our of our day to reflect; whether you write that diary entry, or whether you take a stroll. Whatever it may be, we must question our own consciousness. Overshadowed by the pandemic, we often forget how far we have transformed as an individual. I wanted to share a few words of advice on how to reflect on yourself. First and foremost, you have worked incredibly hard to get where you are now. Those extra hours at work, or those late nights studying will get you the results you deserve. Hard work always pays off, stop doubting yourself. Secondly, although we are living in this anxious time, it is crucial that we relax, listen to our bodies and mind. Take that bath, watch that film, eat that chocolate.


Whatever your comfort may be, we must embrace these ‘moments of non-being’, for these moments can change our whole outlook of the world.