2020. Where to begin?
2020 has changed lives forever. I feel that I have learned a lot of lessons this year, especially personal ones about myself.
In this post, I’m going to share with you my top takeaways from the year in bite-size chunks. I’ll try to keep it as light-hearted as I can while still being genuine. So here we go, my thoughts right out of my journal.
1. Prioritize caring for yourself.
I have learned over the past few years of my life that I put a lot of worth into the way others feel about me. If I think I’m doing what people want and that people like me, I tend to feel better about myself. Though it’s a good thing to care for others, I need to shift my perspective from pleasing others. I want to prioritize caring for myself and then also caring for others.
2. Stay present.
I am the type of person whose mind is always jumping on to the next thing. I’m worried about what I need to plan for the next month while at the same time, I’m not truly remaining present in my day-to-day life. It is great to plan and set goals, but I want to practice mindfulness and make sure I am staying grounded daily.
3. This phrase sums a lot up: “Don’t break your back for people who wouldn’t even bend for you.”
I wrote that saying down in my journal and I think it is a great way to describe a big lesson that I’ve learned this year. My tendency in the past has been to put so much effort into making relationships with other people work, almost to a fault. Sometimes people change from the time you met them, and sometimes you change. Some people are just not meant to be in your life forever. And I’ve been slowly learning to accept this in a way to bring growth, without trying to have a negative outlook on life.
4. Self care is not selfish.
Taking care of yourself does not mean you are selfish. Putting yourself first when necessary does not mean you aren’t caring for others well. I was always taught to take care of others and to do what I can to help people. But I’ve been learning during the past few years that if I also do not do what I can to take care of myself and protect my own peace, I will have no energy left to care for others well.
5. Mental health is just as important as physical health (and maybe more important)
This year showed me more clearly that I have always struggled with my own mental health to some extent. During any normal year, I have had coping mechanisms that worked for me and kept me functioning as I needed to. One of the main coping mechanisms I fell back on was keeping myself busy with my schedule. And 2020 crashed that coping mechanism right to the ground. Without anything else to focus on, I had to really face my mental health directly this year. In 2021, this is something I will continue to work on improving.
6. Take more pictures just for fun and document your experiences and feelings.
As someone who has put a lot of work into curating an aesthetic and learning how to edit photos, I often find myself only taking photos when I know they will look great. I want to have memories of all the moments, not just the perfect ones. I began to journal more this year just to write down my thoughts and that is a habit I want to carry on into the next year as well!
7. Move your body if you can because it feels good. Eat yummy food. Your life is more than just trying to lose weight.
With all the talk of New Year’s resolutions, I think that a lot of damaging thoughts about body image can come to light. Maintaining health and practicing good habits are great things. But when these come at the sake of damaging your relationship with your body it can become dangerous. I want to prioritize listening to my body and loving myself well.
8. Keep doing things you love, simply because you love them.
This last one is a big one: Not everything has to be a side hustle! Do things simply because you enjoy doing them. Go journal, paint, take some photos, read, and get into films or documentaries. If an opportunity presents itself, that’s great. But I’ve learned that should should have some hobbies that you enjoy doing just for yourself!
Cheers to a new year and the restoration to come!