IF 2020 TAUGHT US ANYTHING...
by: Ana Martinez-Feliciano
It is an overwhelming time right now, when everything that we once knew as a society is no longer - concerts, ball games, birthday parties, work, school, to just name a few. But we made it to December of 2020!
Get the grapes ‘cause the new year is finally here!
However, we cannot move into a new year, new me mindset without acknowledging everything we experienced in 2020. For many of us, the new normal was everything BUT normal. The misfortunes were painful and included deaths, lost jobs, divorce, grappling with mental health issues, balancing children and work, isolation, being away from loved ones, and what most of us are feeling now - pandemic fatigue.
The definition of human survival changed in 2020. We found new ways to pass the time and make our lives better as we stayed home for extended periods of time with loved ones that we couldn’t get away from, or worse, wanted to be near.
So what did we all collectively learn from this? Read on to see if you agree with us -
1. Self-care is a priority, not a privilege.
With salons and spas shut down, we had to learn a new level of self care! Face masks, DIY mani’s and pedi’s along with other forms of grooming became essential, but they also became fun ways to take care of yourself while at home! We learned that it isn’t selfish to do any of this, but it is absolutely necessary so that we could continue to feel (and look) like ourselves.
2. You don't need to be productive all the time
Being quarantined gave us the opportunity to do a lot of things at home that we may have been neglecting! Like that closet that needed organizing? Check! The door that needed to be painted? Done! But, it also taught us to unplug. To sit. To unwind. To read a book. To call that friend or relative that we hadn’t spoken to in a while. During this time, it is completely okay, to sit and binge watch a show to help take your mind off of the craziness around us. Whether it’s a show, dancing, knitting, running, yoga, or any other hobby, you DO NOT have to be productive all the time! Relax!! Chill, and do nothing.
3. Mindfulness is a superpower
Human beings are incredibly resilient. All it takes is self awareness and mindfulness. (easier said than done, right?) Setting the intention, everyday, day in and day out, to make sure that you are going to have a good day, takes WORK! Our minds and our resilience is a muscle that needs exercise, just like our bodies. Fear and anxiety can certainly get the best of anyone, and there are moments when we may need professional guidance to come out of a dark place. Yet, some people do. This mindfulness and resilience comes from making sure that being present, meditating, journaling, and having a gratitude practice is something that happens every day. Knowing that the universe (or any religious deity for that matter) has your back at all times, can become a daily part of our lives if we set that intention. Carving out a little time each day for creating this type of mindfulness has helped make a lot of us, during this unknown time, super powerful.
4. Alone doesn't mean lonely.
I don’t know about you, but I connected SO MUCH MORE with friends during quarantine than during “regular” life. My friends and I planned all kinds of Zoom parties and get togethers to stay connected. We had a Selena Party together, took an online Make Up Class, we did a Wine Pairing Night, as well as a Spa Party, all via Zoom, across state lines, to stay connected. I would FaceTime my mom about three times a day, something I never did before! Being alone, or quarantined by yourself, does not mean lonely, there are so many ways to stay in touch with friends and family or make new connections, via social media, online groups, and video chats! You are never alone.
With all of that said, take a moment, before the year is over, and pat yourself on the back for making it this far during ALL of this uncertainty. And stop to think about, ”What did 2020 teach me?"