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This year has been one for the books, unfortunately it’s not one for the good books. Coronavirus has taken over our lives, literally, and it felt as if the plague was revisiting our world with disease, death, mass hysteria, a blistering summer, and swarms of cicadas and murder hornets taking over our skies. No one could have ever imagined this; we were all excited to be entering into our own “roaring twenties”, however this was not on our agendas in terms of celebrating and ringing in the new year. We are leaving this year exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally but we are strong and must go on. As we go into the new year, it’s important to take everything that we have learned and apply it to our future. Below are my biggest lessons that I have learned this past year and will take into next year. This is my year in review.
Never Take Anything for Granted
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that life is too short and we need to appreciate more of what we have. This does not just refer to our own personal belongings, it also includes family, friends, a roof over our heads, the sky, oceans, the sun, wild life, nature, and so much more. There is so much that life has to offer and unfortunately a lot of us take these things for granted since they’re a part of our everyday lives. The next time you’re feeling stressed out, upset, or angry, take a moment to go outside on a walk, take in nature, and think about all that you’re grateful for, because we might wake up one day and no longer have those blessings.
Life is too short, and that has never felt more real than this past year. People all over the world have lost loved ones, both young and old, to this disease and we can’t help but think to ourselves “if only I had one more moment with my loved one”. Depression rates have skyrocketed since the beginning of quarantine: “I wish I went on that vacation when I had the chance”. As the Roman poet Horace once said, “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the Day”. Even before we’re out of quarantine (which we’re unsure when that will be at this point), try to take each day as if it’s your last. Call your family members or best friends, go on a nice walk, sign up for that online class you’ve been thinking about, or watch that tv show you’ve been meaning to watch. Once quarantine is over and the disease is essentially eradicated, plan that family vacation, have a staycation in a neighboring community and explore other parts of your city or town, try out the new restaurants to help support local business, do whatever makes you happy in life because it is a wonderful life.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
This ties in with enjoying life for it’s a key part in how to enjoy it-making sure to not stress over the small things. Life hands us many obstacles and throws a lot of rocks in our road, however when you’re on your bike or in your car we don’t break down or stop dead due to a rock, we pass it and move on. This can be applied to life as well, I’ll give you an example that happened to me recently: my husband and I found a single flea on our dog’s belly. I’m quite the clean freak and started to panic-washing everything in sight, throwing baking soda everywhere, applying more flea treatment on Harper, and ordering flea bombs. I started to get so incredibly stressed out, and then I remembered I wanted to go on a run, however I needed to stay at home and take care of the flea problem. I started to get so stressed out and mad that I couldn’t run because of this problem, and it started to ruin the rest of my evening. In reality, I could have gone for a short run as Harper’s bedding and blankets were in the washer and dryer, but I (like a car) broke down and panicked. Fleas are common when you have pets, fortunately we have only encountered fleas once (and it was before we had Harper-that story is for another time), and while they are a pain to get rid of, we can’t let them ruin our day. Life is too short to get stressed out over small things like fleas, work, traffic, etc. Instead of focusing on the negatives in life, we need to focus on the positives.
Take Time for Yourself
We all need a moment to ourselves, whether it be to collect our thoughts or to help de-stress, it’s something that everyone needs and deserves. This year was one big mound of stress that stemmed from several different sources: Covid-19, quarantine, loss of employment, decrease in pay due to Covid, everyday stress from your job, etc. In all of this stress, we often forgot to take a moment and take time for ourselves. Whether it be a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine and a magazine, a long, peaceful walk through the woods with your family, or a relaxing yoga session, be sure to take a moment from life and take a break for yourself.
Stress and depression skyrocketed in 2020 due to Covid-19 and there was never a time in our lifetime where we needed human contact and interaction more. Thankfully, both my husband and I were at home even after the quarantine was lifted, however there were days where I would feel bummed out because I couldn’t go visit some good friends of mine who lived in a separate state. During quarantine, I did reach out to people, however it was not as often as I would have liked. With the new year approaching, we should all make an effort to reach out to others as often as we can. Not only would it be helping you, it could also help or save another person who may be experiencing high rates of depression and/or anxiety. In addition, we may never know when we’ll hear from that person next, so it’s important to keep your loved ones in your life.
Overall, we have a lot of healing and work to do in 2021. We’ve gone through hell this past year and it really tested and pushed us to our limits, but we’re still here. We came out of it, and I believe we came out stronger than ever. We still have a ways to go before a vaccine is approved and this virus is eradicated, but I see a ray of hope in the years to come. I see us not sweating about the small things in life, I see more people out enjoying life, I see more family and friend reunions and catch ups, I see a lot of family vacations. I believe it will take some time, even after the virus is eradicated, for us to heal. I don’t believe things will go back to “normal”, things will be different but just as we did for everything else, we will manage. We will get through this. This too shall pass. What lessons have you learned from this and what will you be taking with you into 2021?
About the Author
My name is Aislinn and I’m a 26 year old woman married to a military veteran (who I’ve been married to for almost two years), guardian to an incredibly goofy rescue pup named Harper, and a lifestyle/health/wellness blogger. I first started blogging at the beginning of Covid back in March (for us Americans), as I’m sure a lot of you fellow bloggers have, so that I could start utilizing my degree. I graduated from an accredited school West Chester University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health: Health Promotion and a Minor in Nutritional Studies. Unfortunately, since I graduated I haven’t had much luck finding a career with my degree other than receptionist and telephone work. Health and nutrition have always been a big part of my life and I’ve always been passionate about helping others, so then there came Peace, Love, Harmony. This blog was designed to be a safe space for all people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders to come together, meet and make new friends, and discuss different topics relating to health and lifestyle. Whether it be a fun topic such as a recipe post (which I post once per month at the beginning of every month), or a more serious topic such as disordered eating and what may trigger it, it’s a place where you are free to speak and meet other people who understand what you are going through. I hope you enjoyed my Year In Review and hope to see you around my blog. As always, peace and love to you all.
- Blog: Peace Love Harmony
- Instagram: @aislinn_elvia
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Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes says
Thanks for sharing, these are good things to remember this year 🙂
Ming Qian says
Hey Aislinn, I love how deeply you have reflected on 2020, and you are right that this year has been a difficult one. Nevertheless, there is much to learn not to take for granted. It is important to take stock of the past year and know what we ought to do moving forward, and I believe you have reflected very well on all of that! Happy new year to you and your loved ones! 🙂
I'm All Booked Up YA says
Great advice. It’s so important to take time for yourself/focus on mental health. That’s been a big lesson in 2020.
Taking time for yourself is so important, especially after the year we have had! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk