I’m wondering how you’re all feeling about 2020. What helped you get through the last year, did you thrive or feel like you merely survived? Here are a few of my thoughts on reframing a difficult year along with some personal positives from 2020…
I’m not going to bleat on about what a tough year 2020 was, we all know it was the absolute worst and whilst it might feel that we can look back and only see negatives, I think it’s important to pick through the year to find some positive highlights to focus on.
It’s OK if you don’t really feel like you’ve achieved anything. It’s OK to feel frustrated with plans that had to be scrapped or put on hold. It’s OK to feel like you still don’t feel like your normal self and are worried about what the future will bring.
It’s important that you allow yourself space and permission to recognise and reflect on however you are feeling. It’s also important though to put those feelings into perspective by focusing on some of the things that were good about the year.
Perhaps you got to work from home and spend more time with the family? Perhaps you started a new business after losing your job? Maybe you planted crops in your garden, perhaps for the first time? Maybe you took up a new hobby or volunteered? No matter how small, when you look back at this year, I’m hoping most of us will still be able to find some positives to pull from the carnage of 2020.
I don’t know what’s helped you get through the last year, whether you’ve managed to thrive or just merely survive, but I thought it would be nice to reflect on the year that has passed and to share some of the things that not only I’m proud of, but that helped me through the year.
I’d really love to know what coping mechanisms you used, so please leave a comment below or join in the conversation on social media.
You can read about my gratitude journal experiment here, but I found that increased awareness of all the many things I have to be grateful for, was instrumental in helping me get through 2020.
Meditation helped me retain some balance when I was feeling really low, bored and scared. It helped to calm me in moments of panic and fear when my anxiety was spiking. It helped lift me up out of the clutches of depression and it helped to refocus my energy and thoughts when I felt bored, restless and unstimulated.
I now meditate every single day and it’s a bigger part of my life than it ever has been.
Although 2020 wasn’t a year for grand adventures and many of us found our plans curtailed, I discovered open water swimming and it was very much a lifeline for me at a time when my gym was closed, and not regularly being able to swim was providing detrimental to both my mental and physical health.
I had to overcome many fears to do it, but I haven’t looked back since! If you’d have told me 6 months ago I’d be swimming outside in December I simply wouldn’t have believed it.
Although not purely altruistic as random acts of kindness have been shown to boost the mood of not only the recipient but the person responsible for the kindness, I did a few little things throughout the year to help boost the morale of family, friends and complete strangers.
One of the things I did, was crochet just over 100 rainbows of hope, many of which I attached positive affirmations and messages to and left hidden around the town I live in for people to find.
Stuck indoors with our usual routines out of the window and dealing with the fear and uncertainty that the global pandemic caused, many of us found that our resolve to eat healthily slipped for a wee while.
Like many, I gained a bit of extra weight during lockdown, but instead of berating myself, I decided to be kind, and figured if eating a bit more than usual helped me deal with what was going on in the world, so be it.
I was also prepared to face the consequences head-on and after a few months turned things around. I got back to my pre-Covid weight and am still on a journey towards improving things further.
On Christmas Eve I smashed a swimming personal best and have also reintroduced yoga into my life helping me to feel happier and healthier.
During the first lockdown we started going out for walks after work every day just to get out of the house. We camped in the garden (several times!) and explored the local area like never before.
We got to learn more about where we live and saw more of it than we’d done in a full 10 years of living here!
I love the lull between Christmas and new year as it gives me time to reflect and to set intentions for the coming year. Whether you make New Year’s Resolutions every year, or like me, you prefer to set smaller goals and intentions for the year ahead, I wish you love and peace.
All that remains to say is happy new year to you and thank you, as always, for supporting the blog by visiting it and interacting with me on social media.
I hope that 2021 will be your time to shine and that it brings with it less hardship, uncertainty and heartbreak than 2020 did.