You may feel like the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown your life off its course. Even as we regain a sense of normalcy, you might feel like a different person than you were a few months ago. It can be hard to accept so many drastic changes at once, especially when some of them weren’t a result of your own choices. But these transitions might actually benefit you in the future. Here are a few unexpected changes you may have faced during this pandemic, and how you can find the positives in the midst of this rough patch.

Switching Careers

Some workers have been laid off because of the pandemic, while others are dealing with burnout after months of working overtime. If you’re mulling over a potential career change, ask yourself what you like about your current job and what kind of legacy you want to leave.

If you’re ready to embrace your passion and turn it into a fulfilling and lucrative career, consider becoming a freelancer. Whether you’re a pro at social media management, accounting, illustration, or videography, you can work with clients on a freelance basis instead of looking for a full-time position. For instance, if you’re a talented writer with a portfolio full of persuasive and engaging copy, you can seek out companies and entrepreneurs that are looking for a freelance content writer on online job boards. Striking out on your own as a freelancer can feel nerve-wracking at first, but you’ll gain more control over your professional and personal life.

As you seek new job opportunities, look for ways to save in your everyday life. For example, now that many gyms and yoga studios are closed, this is the perfect time to set up a home workout space so you can avoid expensive monthly fees in the future. You can also order less takeout and start preparing more meals at home (and improve your health in the process). Now is also a good time to learn more about long term saving goals or to check out some Dave Ramsey podcasts.

Essential Business

Perhaps you’ve had to move forward with certain essential tasks during this pandemic, like an urgent doctor’s appointment, a business trip, or a family visit that you couldn’t postpone. And if you were planning to move in the next couple of months, you might be wondering how you can still find the perfect property, despite the impact of the pandemic on the real estate market.

House hunters don’t have to give up on their plans to relocate. You may have to take steps like applying for a mortgage online and “meeting” with your real estate agent through a video chatting platform rather than in person. Get ready to look at homes through 3D walkthroughs, virtual open houses, and private video-chat tours! Buying a home is more complicated right now, but you’ll likely have less competition from other buyers, making it easier to put an offer on your dream home.

Adopting a Dog

Perhaps your time in quarantine has prompted you to think about adopting a pet. If you live in a rental community, it’s time to get familiar with “dog etiquette” before you bring your furry friend home from the shelter so that they don’t bother your neighbors! PupJobs notes that you’ll have to be careful about cleaning up after your dog and training them to be well-behaved around other people. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a trainer or animal behaviorist if you need any help! Training a new pet is exhausting at first, but there is nothing better than the unconditional love from a four-legged friend!

Trying DIY Projects

With so much time at home, you may have picked up some new hobbies or skills. At this point, you might feel like an expert on all things DIY! From giving yourself a stylish haircut to planting your first garden to sewing your own clothes, you may have felt confused about how to handle all these tasks by yourself. But now, you can save money in the future by doing these things on your own rather than outsourcing them.

Embracing change is difficult. It can be tough to acknowledge that your plans for this year have been disrupted. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed everyone to adjust to an unexpected set of circumstances. But if you keep an open mind, you may be able to look back on these changes with gratitude in your heart. Overcoming obstacles makes you stronger, and in the long run, you may find that a change was exactly what you needed.

Seeking Out Assistance

If you find yourself suffering from depression or feeling overwhelmed or anxious during this challenging time, it’s time to seek help. Don’t hesitate to call a counselor and always know that the national Crisis link is available every day and every hour 1-800-273-TALK.