What to bring with you into 2021

Is there a soul in the world that can say 2020 didn’t have a profound effect on them? Well, maybe the infamously dangerous Sentinelese tribe who were already world leaders in social distancing. Which in fact, is a very clever choice from them seeing as their neighbouring tribes were wiped out by illnesses they had no immunity to. This year has highlighted that perhaps we had been taking our own freedom for granted and that we too would gain something from using our privileges with a little more caution. As funny as the anecdotes are of 'I'm not adding 2020 onto my age' and discounting or writing the year off, life is way too precious. Not only this but for a lot of us, 2020 was an entirely formative year. 

Coronavirus was not the only challenge we faced. Personally I do not know anyone who did not face additional personal challenges last year and this was greater worsened by the fact that friends and family who normally show up for us were going through their own struggles making it harder to lean on them. On a wider scale, we were confronted with the stark reality of injustice in our world. The racism that still plagued our society, the huge gap in opportunity, highlighted by vaccine access and the circumstances people found themselves in during 2020, the natural disasters, the explosion in Lebanon and the fervent and ongoing anti-Semitism. Whether you want to blame it on astrology and the fact so many planet cycles were coming to an end, 2020 seemed like one big cleansing catastrophe we all endured. We can only be hopeful for 2021 and I think we have plenty to be hopeful for, we managed to turn around a vaccine in the fastest time ever, in fact the record was broken by years and we have more than one effective and safe vaccine and we can all carry our many lessons with us into 2021. Here are the main ones I learned. 

1. The world stood still and so did we 

I have always been the type of person who needs to have the TV on in the background whilst on the phone whilst cooking dinner. I have always taken on more projects than any one human can manage, I think I was actually afraid of silence and stillness. I downloaded Headspace and loved the concept of meditation but I never ever took the time. Until this year. This year we have had to create our own routines from zero structure and wow did I learn to slow down and to let go. I hope that this is something that I always carry with me and continue with in 2021 and beyond. 

Top tip: download the App Insight Timer. I love anything with Melissa Ambrosini and David Ji- his voice is silky smooth! 

2. A return to natural instinct 

We are currently experiencing a bit of a housing boom with property prices up 3.7%. Why? Well largely, according to The Independent, due to people vacating cities for the country. In fact, this year more than ever people have found respite in nature whilst nature has had a respite from us. Air quality has improved and pollution rates in some parts have fallen due to less human activity and movement restrictions. Being cooped up, seems to have given us a much stronger appreciation for the outdoors and animals. Whether that be getting a pet or really enjoying your walks and staring out the window at trees losing and gaining their leaves as the seasons change. Slowing down gave us a moment to really appreciate the beauty outdoors. 

Top tip: try 'grounding' as often as you can: this is the simple process of putting your bare feet in the ground or grass and basking in sunlight (it's there amongst the clouds). The perfect way to reconnect with nature and yourself. 

3. Taking off our blinders 

It is hard to put into words just how much of a wake-up call this time has been. There seem to have been many shifts across the world and deep-rooted problems in society have had the spotlight fall on them. This year has highlighted to every one the things that are important and given us a little more perspective. The world has started to slowly open its eyes to greater problems of racism particularly brought to the forefront by the unlawful death of George Floyd and the expansive movement of Black Lives Matter. Crayola in 2020 finally launched skin coloured crayons for the diverse world that we are and many other companies are forced to finally review their outdated policies and work culture. With issues such as sustainability, supporting small businesses and standing up for injustice at the forefront of a lot of people's minds, I hope that we can continue to read and educate ourselves and be open to progressive change beyond 2020. We definitely still have a lot more work to do. 

Top tip: read, read, read. Try Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (2017), Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch (2018), Invisible Women, Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss and We are the Weather, Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, Jonathan Safran Foer.

4. The will to be well 

Is it really any wonder that during a worldwide pandemic the health and wellness industry has really taken off? I hosted a One Day Virtual Retreat back in May 2020 for charity and it went incredibly well. Shameless plug- I will be doing another one this year, follow @onedayvirtualretreat for updates. Having a little more time to ourselves, for a lot of us has meant indulging in more self care and whether it be dry body brushing, sound baths or taking supplements I am totally here for it and long may it continue. 

Top tip: take up a new form of exercise, it has been made so easy to do now virtually. I am absolutely obsessed with Maia Pilates (maiawellco.com) her demeanor is so calming and the workouts are bloody hard but not too harsh on your body. 

5. The attitude of Gratitude 

I have touched on this above but easily one of my favourite things that's arisen from this year is pure wholesome gratitude. We have learned to be grateful for the important things: our ability to breathe, our family, nature, a hug, having a drink with friends, celebrations, laughing, our health and that of our loved ones and just generally life and lifestyle as we once knew it. I don't know if I ever again will stick my fingers in a bowling ball and then eat nachos and not wash my hands but I do know that I will enjoy every single second of socialising or making memories that I do for the rest of my life in a different way to before. 

Top tip: call your grandparents, your parents, your friends and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.

All images taken from Pinterest

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