Carrying Lessons Forward from 2020 into the New Year and Beyond.

This year has well and truly prevented countless things from coming to fruition that would have otherwise made our lives better in one way or another. We have endured so much together on a global and national scale and also as individuals. For as much as we would have hoped to see the end of the terrible news stories, the restrictions and all the extremely challenging situations we are in there isn’t really the fresh clean slate or blank page to begin 2021 with. This may come across a little doom and gloom (please trust me on where I am going with this!), but I do not believe that it is appropriate to dismiss what we have been through as we enter into a new year, even though we could all do with a huge break away from it all. So with that in mind, I will not be setting ‘new years resolutions’, but instead I will reflecting on the lessons that I have learned from the last twelve months and how they can help me going forward.

Through great adversity comes some of the most remarkable lessons that encourage you to grow and transform, which in turn can influence how you view and respond to your past, present and future. This is not to say that you ought to be completely changed for the better, in fact, I do not expect that for most of us for a while because we are still experiencing complex emotional and behavioural responses towards all that has happened. What I mean to say is that from what you experience in life, whether it be a highlight or a hinderance, can teach you something of value about yourself and/or for yourself. There will be many time points that have happened throughout this year alone that you can pinpoint as markers for what made your 2020 what it was. I encourage you to write them down somewhere and reflect on what those experiences, feelings and emotions have taught you and how you can use that knowledge going forward to help you through whatever the future holds.

Personally, I will be taking a multitude of lessons away from this year, some of which I have learnt before but not necessarily used to support myself, and some that are brand new and completely life-altering. There are many global events that have made a significant impact on my life though they require a whole other essay entirely to discuss. So, I thought I would share with you the lessons that I will be carrying with me from what 2020 brought for me personally. Please note that these lessons are unique to me, which is why I do not feel that I should delve too deeply into them, though it may be helpful for you to read mine in order to help guide your own in some way.

Family is everything. Family is those people who fill your life with unconditional love, care and support no matter what. Be with them as much as you can, show them how much you love them and tell them just how much they mean to you as often as you can.

Not everything is within your control, but you do have the ultimate power over how you think and respond. Somethings happen that completely destroy your spirit and make you feel as though there is no hope for any future happiness. But no matter how dark the night, there will always be light again.

Being a perfectionist is both a blessing and a curse, there is a balance to be found somewhere once you accept that certain aspects of life are not entirely within your control. You do not have to have everything “all together”, to be the absolute best at all you do, and to have done certain things by a certain age. This is YOUR life, you are on YOUR OWN journey. Be patient and let yourself be.

When there is chaos all around you, sometimes it the best thing you can do is to look inward and focus on your own little world. Life can become very overwhelming and circumstances happen that change the course of society, which can impact your values, opinions and behaviours. When these events happen, it’s time to check in with yourself and listen to what YOU believe in and welcome in new perspectives.

It is okay to relapse, recovery is never meant to be linear. Be compassionate and gentle with yourself, you deserve to respect your body and mind even when things are incredibly challenging.

Do not let anything or anyone prevent you from taking care of your health and wellbeing. Your body is beautiful and remarkable for what is does for you each and every day. Your body has saved your life even when you didn’t want to live in it, that’s how much it cares for you. It is time you do the same for your body.

Do more of what makes you feel happy and healthy in your body, mind and soul. You are here to live your best life, whatever that means to you. No one else knows you better than you know yourself, and so only you can know what is in your best interests. So move your body how you want to move your body, nourish it how you wish to nourish it and live a life full of all that brings you joy.

You are far more capable of achieving your ambitions that you give yourself credit for. You are amazing for overcoming all that you have to be where you are today and to have accomplished so many incredible things along the way. Always have faith in yourself.

I hope that by sharing these lessons that you feel encouraged to jot down your own somewhere, that you can look at when you need a gentle reminder of what you have overcome so far and of how deserving you are to care for yourself in the way that is best for your own wellbeing.

2020 has been an unforgettable year and one that we all hope never to be repeated. I am truly hoping for a brighter year ahead of us in 2021, and wishing you the warmest hugs and best wishes for you to journey forward looking after yourself through acts and thoughts of self-compassion and love.

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