With a few days left of 2020, we wanted to reflect and share some of the valuable life lessons this year has taught us. From the good, the bad and the ugly the second decade of the millennium started off with positive thoughts and hopeful goals, but quickly took an unexpected twist that kept most of us on our toes. We quickly learned how to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances that come with surviving a global pandemic. However, even though this year was – excuse our French when we say this – pretty shitty, we can’t deny that there have been some positive moments that blossomed out of 2020 as well. Below are some highlights we’ve experienced, and life lessons we’ve learned this year that we couldn’t wait to share with you.
Put yourself first
One of the major life lessons we’ve learned in 2020 was the act of putting yourself first. We know this may sound extremely narcissistic, but it’s not what you think. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you should adapt a sense of entitlement, or the belief that the world should revolve around you. Putting yourself first means that you value your self-worth enough to prioritize yourself rather than other people’s needs and wants. If you’re struggling with wrapping your head around these concepts, don’t fret, we’ve all felt the same way at some point in our lives. We understand that being a people pleaser may seem easier, but we can assure you that putting everyone else’s needs before yours is a recipe for disaster. Eventually you may feel burnt out and even disappointed when your expectations are not being met. Do yourself a favour and try to make a conscious effort to practise these tips for putting yourself first:
- Say no to things that do not serve you
- Make yourself happy, no one else is going to do it for you
- Loosen the reins on your expectations
- Prioritize and focus on your goals
After we were faced with a global pandemic at the start of 2020 followed by mandatory lockdowns across the world the fast pace of life shifted causing us to slow down and dare, we say, stop to smell the roses. Imagine what a sudden life alteration like this can do to an impatient person? Well babes, we are here to tell you from experience that it can cause a slew of emotions ranging from frustration, agitation, and anxiousness.
We know patience is not an easy skill to attain especially when practising patience seems rather obsolete in today’s society. We live in a culture where “instant everything” is praised. From seeking validation through likes on a photo posted to Instagram, or building instant connections through dating apps to only have them end when we want the next ego hit or think that there could be someone better that we can easily match with by swiping right. Thankfully, 2020 forced most of us to practise patience, and ask questions like what can I do to tolerate and deal with challenges in a patient manner. If you want to achieve personal peace and get through whatever else this pandemic decides to toss our way then try implementing some of these tips to help you develop patience:
- Have faith and trust in god’s timing
- Practise breathing techniques
- Go with the flow
- Adapt to the unknown and being uncomfortable in certain situations
Put Family first
You know the saying, it’s the little things in life that matter the most? This one hit home for us during the pandemic. We found ourselves carving out time for family and friends more so than ever before, and we did not hate it. It’s so easy to get caught up in life that we sometimes forget what’s most important, like our family and health. Checking in with loved ones via facetime or merely sending a text in the family group chat helped us get through most of 2020. We were all going through a rough time this year, so sending positive notes was a gentle reminder to show your family and friends that you care even if you couldn’t be with them physically. We’d be lying if we said this is something that will stop for us in 2021- #familyovereverything.
It’s no secret that 2020 was not a year when the planners and perfectionists thrived. Most if not all of our plans disappeared just as quickly as the pandemic arrived and nearly everything on our calendars was swiftly replaced by lengthy spells of quarantine and social distancing protocols. This year, so many of us were forced to learn how to go with the flow, to toss our to-do lists to the side, and to accept that some things are simply out of our control – whether we wanted to or not.
While it’s been tough to accept the reality of 2020 and to surrender to it with grace, it’s truly given us the opportunity to slow down and live in the present moment. Before the pandemic hit the pause button on life, it was so easy to get caught up with trying to plan out every single little detail of the future that we didn’t enjoy what the present had to offer. But in 2021, we’ll be taking advantage of every opportunity to let go of the reigns on the things we can’t control and to live in the moment.
We know the phrase all too well and we definitely say it all too often – “I’ll do it when the time is right”. The truth is that we all have a dream or two that we always seem to have the perfect excuse for continuing to postpone. But, if this year has taught us anything, it’s that roadblocks are bound to come up and that life is far too short to let anything get in the way of making our dreams come true. That’s exactly why we’re adopting a no-excuse mindset for the new year and deciding to finally take action on the things we’ve been putting off, as soon as it’s safe to do so again. The circumstances will likely never be as perfect as we want them to be, but if we continue to procrastinate, chances are they’ll never happen. So go on that girls trip to Paris that you’ve been planning on Pinterest for 5 years now or create the small business that you’ve been too nervous to start, because it’s officially time to begin taking steps towards turning your dreams into a reality. After all, nothing happens if nothing happens!
Count your blessings
We’ve found that one of the keys to staying sane in the midst of all the chaos that ensued in 2020 was to search for the silver linings and to count our blessings each day. As days passed this year, we discovered time and time again that a little gratitude for the little things in life can make a big impact. And if being grateful could get us through a year like this one, it can get us through anything – so it’s safe to say that this lesson is one we’ll be carrying with us for the rest of our lives.
What life lessons will you be taking with you into the new year?
Xo, The Pretty Little Hangers Team