What 2020 Taught Us
This article isn't to belittle the tragedies and hardships that came with 2020. But perhaps we should choose to see the good amongst the bad. After all, there is always a silver lining. So, what has 2020 taught us?
Self-care: If 2020 taught us anything at all, it's the value of self-care. For some, that meant putting a full face of makeup on to feel ready for the day ahead. For others, it meant wearing their comfiest loungewear. Whatever your self-care ritual was through 2020, you had one, whether you realised it or not.
100% You: The beauty of lockdown is that there was no pressure. No one expected us to look or act a certain way. We could wake up and be one hundred per cent ourselves. We took off our masks (no pun intended) and were our true selves 24/7.
Be Bold: On that note, we could experiment with our style more. We tried new makeup looks, hairstyles, outfits, and so on. We could be bold and brave without the fear of being judged because no one had to know.
Self-love isn't linear: Whether you live alone or surrounded by housemates or family members, you spent a lot of time with yourself in 2020. Yes, you could let your guard down and be yourselves. But all that time on Zoom meant you saw your face more than ever before. It's easy to nit-pick, we all do it, yet after a while, we started to feel more comfortable in our skin. "Our relationship with our self takes time" .
Walks: It's crazy how even a ten-minute walk can change your mood. Stepping outside for the 30 minutes you were allowed to, was a blissful, stress-free escape. You began to notice nature more and discovered new areas of your town that you never knew existed. Those daily walks were a lifeline for so many people. Who knew a walk could be so lovely?
Mental health matters: We all have mental health, and "this year tested it like no other" . Not being able to see family and friends, or leave home, was strenuous. A lot of us suffered from our mental health. It taught us to talk about our feelings with someone on the other end of the phone. To take a moment to feel that negative feeling, and move past it, rather than bottling it all up and letting it spill over. "Sometimes it takes stillness to realise just how much you've neglected your mental health" .
Try new things: In 2020, there was plenty of blank time to fill. Instead of sitting doing nothing or endlessly scrolling on social media all the time, we became more productive. We baked cakes, cooked new recipes, started to crochet, read more books, painted, exercised more, and so on. We filled our time with fun, new hobbies. Sometimes, we didn't get on with them - I've had a few burnt loaves of homemade bread over the past year, that's for sure. But we kept going and tried something else.
Science is amazing: The determination of scientists across the globe brought us hope when we didn't think there was any. They responded "with unprecedented speed and common purpose; cooperating across national lines to decode the virus and then discover and manufacture vaccines that can prevent the disease" .
People are selfless and brave: "Thousands of people volunteered to take the experimental vaccines"  so that we could have hope. And, 2020 taught us to appreciate "nurses, orderlies, doctors and other health workers... truck drivers, grocery stockers, farmworkers and so many more" . To all front liners, key workers and volunteers, thank you. You are all brave, selfless heroes, and we wouldn't be able to survive without you, covid aside.
Value your neighbours: Even just seeing your neighbour when you took the bins out was delightful. Our communities, be it in person or online, grew stronger and supported one another. We delivered food to vulnerable neighbours, reassured friends through a phone call and even delivered prescriptions for those shielding.
Together, we are strong: The world pulled together in masses in an "outpouring of protest and reflection" to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The world joined forces to fight for what's right; be it equality, climate change, or free school meals.
Interaction is vital: Social distancing and isolating have been awful. Human's are social creatures who crave contact. The silver lining here is that we will now realise just "how lovely it is to interact—the shake hands, to hug, snuggle, and all the other acts of social closeness that make us human." . And, hopefully, we won't take it for granted. All in all, 2020 was trying, scary, painful and often felt like it would never end. But what if that didn't define our year? Hear me out.
Yes, it brought us the Australian Bush Fires, Coronavirus, Brexit, the Beirut explosion, and the death of many. But it also brought us together. We fought for what we believed in, started to cook more, did more of the things we love, grew a greater appreciation for family, friends, work, school, we noticed the beautiful things about our towns when on our daily walks.
Let's rebrand 2020. It was the year we loved just a little harder, learnt more about who we are, realised what truly matters, cared for our planet and its people, and embraced the little things in life. 2020: the year of positive change.
- Main K. 20 Lessons for 2020 [Internet]. Medium. 2019 [cited 2021 Jan 15].
- What 3 women have learnt from 2020 - a year like no other [Internet]. Glamour UK. 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 15].
- https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpostopinions. Opinion | 20 good things that happened in 2020 [Internet]. Washington Post. 2020.
- Walton AG. 5 Important Lessons The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Taught Us So Far [Internet]. Forbes. 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 15].