2020 is coming to a close. It’s been a year everyone will remember. It’s been a year of panic, fear, upheaval, loss and growth. The year was still young when we went into lockdown to stave off the Covid-19 virus, and the lockdowns dragged on, opening up again took time, and since the fall many places have seen a crack down on restrictions and even gone into second lockdowns. We all want to get back to normal. I know, I know, I have talked about this before. But the thing is…we aren’t back to normal yet. We are still wondering, waiting–how much long is this going to on? How much longer until we can gather with family? Until we sit down at a restaurant and enjoy a meal? How many more birthdays and Christmas’ have to be celebrated without family and friends gathered around you?
Like you, I have no answers. But like you, although this year has been hellish in so many ways, there has a been a lot to take from 2020 that is positive.
Lesson One: Family is Everything
We already knew this of course. But being separated for so long has really brought this lesson home for so many of us. We couldn’t go help mom or dad if the need arose. We couldn’t gather for holidays or birthdays. We had to limit contact to Zoom calls or chats on the front lawn socially distanced. Whether we had sad or happy news to share, we couldn’t support each other with a physical touch–no hugs from moms or dads or brothers or sisters. And that was has been hard. Many of us have opened up those circles a bit; but many of us cannot for a variety of reasons. I am grateful for this lesson because my family is very important to me and it’s a lesson I will keep close to my heart. Reach out to your loved ones in any way you can–call, Zoom, send gifts and cards, and let them know you are thinking of them, or that you need their support. Knowing that they are thinking about you can mean a lot when you are feeling anxious or alone.
Lesson Two: Getting Creative
I can’t believe how creative they entire world has gotten. When we couldn’t go shopping, we could do curb side pick up for essential items. Businesses have kept going by having people work from home so now meetings are online, even certain medical appointments we have attended via Zoom or other video conferencing. And while it’s one thing for a business or industry to get creative to keep the economy going, it’s quite another the way individuals have gotten creative. People are “gathering” in safe, distanced way to have a coffee for example in parking lots inside of their cars. People are DIYing ways to drop off gifts for birthdays or holidays, and people have been exploring hobbies more and more. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have a creative capacity that many of us had never tapped into before. We are all artists in some way, we have a talent to share. I encourage us to keep that up once this mess is all over.
Lesson Three: There are Good People In The World
At the same time that this pandemic was really starting to mess with people’s mindsets, huge societal injustices suddenly became emerged in America and it seemed there was a huge divide between neighbours and friends over race, over wearing masks, and I for a while felt the whole world was going mad. But, even while all this was going on, you saw the good in people. In the little acts. People making conscious decisions to buy local. Sharing items through donations. Reaching out to family far away, and it’s reminded me there are good people in the world. The other I decided to get take out, and the owner didn’t charge me. “My treat,” he said. I’m a regular there, and I had recently shared some happy news with him, and it was his way of celebrating with me. I know his business has likely been struggling, and yet, he made this kind gesture.
Lesson Four: Our Health Matters
No really, this true. Our health matters and too many of us take that for granted. We eat too much, we don’t get enough sleep, we skip workouts, or we jump onto every fad diet, eat too little and just generally do things that are not healthy. And we know it’s not healthy, but we do it anyway. I think many of us are really starting to realize that it’s important to take our health seriously. To eat healthy meals–and take the time to make them–to go for walks or hit the yoga mat. We are not to be equipped to fight viruses and disease (Covid or otherwise) if our body isn’t healthy. I’m so glad to see people find ways to work out at home, people who are adopting healthy meals through cooking blogs, or meal delivery like Hello Fresh or Good Food. Our health matters!
Lesson Five: Mental Health Matters
Mental health is always a topic that is overlooked or not taken seriously enough. People find all sorts of reasons to continue to burn themselves out, to justify being up working when they ought be sleeping and to just not practice self care. The biggest reason why is , “I just don’t have time.” But I think that many people have realized that mental health is important. That without proper care and treatment, those with serious mental health conditions can suffer dramatically; just as dramatically as someone with a serious physical health condition. It’s good that people are starting to recognize this as it’s educating them not only those in truly dark and frightening places mentally, but about their own mental health. It’s promising to see people starting to take steps to improve their own mental health through self care and I hope that this continues well into the future.
What positives have you taken away from this crazy year? Share in the comments below.