2020, THE YEAR OF AWAKENING.
As 2020 comes to a close, I'm sure we've heard it a million times over but... what an unpredictable, whirlwind year it's been! The ongoing global pandemic has no doubt impacted us in many ways. From grief, heartache, anxiety, and stress — each of us has gone through our own struggles or transformation in one way or another. These tough times has taught us some tough lessons; forcing us to slow down, adjust to new routines, give things up (whether by choice or not), and despite our longing for the world to return to normal, I think we've realised with each passing day that we may never fully get back to the way things were.
While it's been really overwhelming, it's important to look at the silver linings which come in forms of personal growth and learning opportunities. So let's reflect back and see what 2020 has taught us about ourselves, our relationships, our passions and our values...
GRATITUDE IS A MUST
If you have good health, a roof over your head, food on the table, clean water, a stable job, access to free healthcare, a support system, and enough money for non-essentials... you are privileged. These are things we easily take for granted every day. When we show gratitude, it helps us refocus on what we have instead of what we lack. I've been doing it for a while now (through meditation and prayer) but I highly recommend cultivating gratitude on a daily basis.
TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH
In life we have two lists: the things we achieved, and the things we wish happened. I know it's a cliché but life really is short, so don't waste it by waiting for the right time. If you want to start a new hobby, solo travel (when things settle down), learn a new skill, change career... don't let life to pass you by. Rather than daydream, get things in motion and start making it a reality.
HEALTH IS WEALTH
I know, I know.... I'm going in with the classic sayings in this post. 🙈 In modern society money and career is highly valued, we strive to get promotions at work, and buy things to have the lifestyle we think will make us happy. However, without health, we're limited to what we can do. Isn't it ironic that so many people spend their health to gain wealth and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health. Good health doesn't only refer to the absence of disease in the body but physical, mental, social as well as spiritual well-being of an individual.
HONOUR YOUR FEELINGS
Vast change and uncertainty can feel stressful. And with it now being winter season, this means shorter days and less light — these factors can trigger low moods or put us into lulls. For some of us, coping with lockdown and restrictions has been a challenge. What we must not do is ignore these feelings. Honouring our emotions without judgment will give us deeper insight and clarity about our own lives. Perhaps we've come to realisation that our career path isn't quite right for us, maybe it's time we meet new people, maybe it's time to move home, or live away from the city life. Either way, feelings are never wrong, and they're not bad. They are simply messengers of what lives deeply inside ourselves.
ENJOY THE SMALL THINGS IN LIFE
With most places shut, events cancelled and things taken away from us, it's the perfect time to find joy in the little moments. It can be as simple as sunshine beaming through our windows, the fresh airy breeze on our face as we stroll through the park, listening to the birds chirp in the morning, biting into a fresh, buttery croissant teamed with a cup of coffee. If we can appreciate all the small things close to home, imagine how wonderful travelling will feel once we're able to freely roam around again.
NEVER STOP LEARNING
I'm extremely grateful that the first lockdown pushed me back into writing. Not only do I have my blog (which is literally my baby!) but I also taught myself how to build websites using Wordpress and Wix, completed a bunch of online courses on Digital Marketing, have read about 15 books (so far), created a mini home gym, learned how to make some Vietnamese and Thai dishes... and so much more! Living in an era where learning tools are easily accessible, it'd be crazy not to utilise some of our time being productive and continue expanding our knowledge.
BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT
Setting clear boundaries is key to ensuring relationships are mutually respectful, supportive and caring. It's important to set your limit for acceptable behaviour from those around you. Consider whether someone exerts positive or negative energy, are they a pleasure to be around, or do they take advantage of your good nature? As mentioned earlier, life is short — surrounding yourself with people that don't bring any real value to your life isn't worth it. Of course, when it comes to situations like family or work, it's not as easy to just cut people off, but do your best to minimise the time spent with them. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, then look at adjusting those boundaries to a more secure level.
IT'S FINE TO SWITCH OFF
A change in work routine, being stuck inside a noisy home where you can barely think, working more hours than you desire, forgetting to take breaks from your laptop, along with social media delivering more gloomy news every 30 minutes... it's toooo much! Relaxing and getting some high quality sleep is vital to your health, and helps to avoid burnout. We don't need to be busy all the damn time in order to succeed. There are many things you can do to help you switch off, my personal favourites are: meditation, relaxing on my bed with jazz/classical music playing in the background, and ditching my phone for a couple of hours a day.
I know I steered slightly off topic this week, but I hope you enjoyed this piece nonetheless. With 2021 around the corner, why not have a think about areas in your life that you want to invest more energy into moving forward? What are your key takeaways from the last 12 months? Finally I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year filled with new hope, new joy, and new beginnings. Sending love always! Damsel 💕