First published: December 2020
2020 has been a rollercoaster. A global pandemic. Multiple national lockdowns. Broken traditions. As we head into a new year with the hope of a vaccine that should start letting us live more normal lives again, here are five resolutions to take with you.
1. To make the most of time with family
With different counties descending into different tiers throughout the United Kingdom, things may not return to complete normality for some time to come. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that time with loved ones should never be taken for granted. Make the most of every text, phone call, coffee date and face-to-face meeting with all your loved ones.
2. To make the most of every bad situation
Whilst the hope of a vaccine sounds promising, things are uncertain and it may be a little while before there’s a notable return to the way things once were. But as we’ve learnt in 2020, we’re flexible and we adapt. Promise yourself to embrace changes and approach things rationally and as positively as you possibly can.
3. To try new things
If you can’t do the things you normally do for the time being, focus on trying new things. Use the time to enhance your skills or try a new hobby. You may even end up enjoying it and making new friends.
4. To stop giving yourself a hard time
The abrupt halt to most of our normal routines meant that the things we’d normally do to stay healthy, or to help ourselves develop professionally went out of the window. Whether this has been heading to the gym, attending training courses etc. Help yourself realise that this situation is beyond anyone’s control and you can only do what you can do, with the resources you have.
5. To go after what you want
Dreams and ambitions can be put to one side amid normal life. If there’s something you’ve been dreaming of doing for a long time, whether it be planning to travel the world, or re-train for your dream career, make a promise to yourself to start getting plans in motion. Even if you can’t do anything straight away due to covid restrictions, the planning is usually the difficult and time consuming part. So start getting ideas in place and putting plans together for when things return to a reality that is slightly more familiar.
5 ways to look at 2020 in a positive light
For many of us, 2020 was extremely different to our normal day to day lives. But it also let us really appreciate the things we value in life. Rather than writing the whole year off, here are a few ways you could start to look at 2020 in a positive light.
1) Many of us spoke to our friends more
After you leave school or university and each member of your friendship group moves to a different city for their degree or a new job; it can be difficult to nail down one weekend where everyone can come together to catch up. With the reliance on technology over lockdown, adult use of video call was up by 70%! Meaning so many of us made the effort to catch up with our friends and family. Something that may not have happened (at least as much) during a normal, busy year.
2) We made new traditions
Whether it was realising that family bonding could still happen even if you live miles away, or making an effort to get out for a walk and some fresh air each day, new traditions were made throughout 2020. Some that may even stay with us as we move into 2021.
3) It made us appreciate the simple things
With so many restrictions in place, events like big nights out, parties and lavish holidays were mostly put on hold this year. But we’ve adapted. Many of us turned to digital video calls and game nights to socialise instead. Plus, many of us have learnt to make the best of what we have. In fact, pitchup.com (a camping website) have already seen a 500% increase in bookings for summer 2021. More people are taking the opportunity to get away for a few days in the UK (when we can), allowing us to experience parts of our own country that we may not have done before.
4) We focused on our mental health
Life can be so busy sometimes that it can be easy to forget to prioritise mental health. With so many changes to normal life, 2020 forced many of us to make our mental health a priority. Speaking with friends, getting fresh air, going for a walk; these were all things we did to help us cope.
Lockdown also brought out the best in a few different brands, as many organisations switched their focus to customer wellbeing. Headspace offered a completely free annual subscription to their mindfulness app for those who were furloughed or unemployed. And Endsleigh partnered with Totum and NUS to provide support for students navigating the new student life.
5) We were there for others
We didn’t just focus on our own mental health, but our loved ones’ too. Being there for others in their time of need has been really important this year. Whether it’s being there for someone who lives alone, or supporting someone who may be struggling with the change to their normal routine, the support we’ve been able to give others has really cemented friendships all around the world.
If you take anything away from this article, we hope it’s that despite a challenging year, just being where you are now is an achievement in itself. Whilst what 2021 will entail is uncertain, we have every faith that you’ll adapt and get through it if you face it with as much of a positive attitude as you can.