Let’s face it, 2020 was not a good year. COVID-19 has killed more than 66,000 people in the UK and created job losses of 1.69 million. 11,000 shops have been forced to close, and 6 million small businesses are in a financially precarious situation. Furthermore, approximately 14% of British children – 1.7 million in total – have faced such persistent hunger during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, for the average Joe, whose life has been unaffected in the above ways, and who are not in a precariously financial position, 2020 has been the year of repetitive eating in, running out of DIY, boredom, and Zoom call fatigue.
And in part because of Brexit, 2021 is set to get worse before it gets better.
But what has 2020 taught us and what can we take away from it?
2020 was all about the year of the unexpected. Perhaps you were planning on finding a new career path, but have decided now is not the time to jump ship, or perhaps you thought your children would finally be out of the house, only to turn around and find all three, as grown-ups, having returned.
The ability to confront these changes and the uncertainty in your future is important, and remembering what you achieved this year can help you get through future difficult situations, empowering you to grow in your self belief and even improve your life along the way.
For all of us who’ve had to turn to remote working, we’ve quickly learnt how to communicate with team members virtually, work from home in a new home-office set up that’s not quite big enough and perhaps look after children on top of all this.
You may have tried some approaches to get through your day, which may have failed, (that’s everyone who tried to cram a full school day and full work day into 8 hours will absolutely no success) whilst others you may have found worked like a charm. You’ve then stuck to those approaches and streamlined your ‘new normal’ life.
Post-COVID19, with many industries collapsing, and others having to pivot their services, the ability to adapt is a great skill to bring to the workplace.
Motivation and independent working
I’ll be the first to admit that moving from one side of the room (bed) to the other (desk) and back is not the most inspiring environment to be living and working in. But so far we’ve got through it, and we can for even longer.
You are still getting up every day, making sure you are at your desk, coffee in hand at 9am and getting those projects done, are you not? Well congratulations!
How much we can do without
If you are like me, holidays are all there is to live for. And by February 2021 it will have been a whole year since I’ve been abroad.
But this year has taught me that I can do without the things I love, however much I’m pining for them, and I’m sure there’s something you feel the same way about too, whether it’s the latest fashion, nights out or fancy dinners.
And the return, when it comes, will be that much more precious.
The small things matter
As much as we’ve missed the big things - weddings, holidays, festivals - the ability to see friends and family on occasion, have people round for BBQs in the summer, see new babies come into the world, are all that matter.
2020 has taught us to cherish the small things that we have been able to do at times, and hopefully be less blasé about them in the future.
Most of us used to have very little time for boredom, but there’s only so much sourdough you can make, boxsets you can watch and grass that needs cut.
Luckily, boredom is a great way of turning your attention inwards to help you think about and define what you want from your life, asking yourself why you are doing the things you do and what enjoyment you get from them.
If you’ve used 2020 wisely, you might just have found a new skill, hobby or direction in life that’s making you tick and feel more alive.
A new skill, hobby or direction in life
Whether it’s carpentry, coding or crocheting, having something to focus on, develop your skills and make personal breakthroughs is so good for the soul!
Let’s look forward next year!
With 25 million set to receive the UK vaccination by Spring 2021, we can start to look forward to the new normal, and use what we’ve learnt from our COVID year.
Here’s to 2021 - a year of growth and positivity - and getting back on track!
Image Credit: Amy Shamblen, Unsplash License.