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Sheinelle, Dylan and Craig reflect on lessons learned, 1 year into the pandemic

Taking time to reflect can help you cope with any struggles you might be facing due to the pandemic.
/ Source: TODAY

One year into this life-altering pandemic, it's impossible to look back without thinking about all the ways we've adapted and grown during these past several months.

This topic was the focus of a chat on Thursday's 3rd Hour of TODAY with Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer, who shared the biggest lessons the pandemic has taught them.

After Sheinelle joked that her kids are "officially" over staying at home and Dylan quipped that the co-hosts used to sit so close together they could "smell each other," the conversation turned a bit more serious.

Dylan's learned to "live in the moment," she said.

"As bad as you think things are, if you don't try to look three months into the future and if you just live in the moment and just get through each day, then you look back and realize, 'Wow, I got through this time, the hardships and the difficult days,'" she continued. "You just have to stay focused and just keep getting through every single day."

"One foot in front of the other," Craig added before explaining that he's learned about the importance of gratitude.

"There was so much we were all collectively taking for granted before all of this, not just the hugs, but our health, our parents' health, our jobs perhaps," he said. "We were just ... sort of walking through life like zombies, and now that we've experienced this, on the other side, and the other side is near, we're going to really appreciate all of it."

"I'm actually really looking forward to hugging you," he joked — a big deal for someone who doesn't consider himself a hugger!

Sheinelle said she's more focused on slowing down.

"I think it's important to recognize that you have to give your brain a break," she explained. "You guys know I'm always trying the Calm app or meditating, but it was turning into, 'OK, I gotta do that now, I've got 15 minutes to do it.' ... So sometimes your brain just needs a break to just be, and I think that's good for your mental health and your physical health."

Dylan added that her parents recently got the COVID-19 vaccine and it's already put a new perspective on her relationship with them.

"I've never been so excited to see my parents before, like my heart races just thinking about them," she gushed. "To (Craig's) point, taking things for granted, my parents (used to) just show up."

In addition to the crisis of the coronavirus itself, the pandemic has created a secondary one relating to managing stress, grief and trauma. Taking time for yourself to reflect on what's changed for you in the past year can help you process it.