Updated: May 28
The year 2020 is a milestone; no one will ever forget. We've gone from living in fright to uncertainty, eventually coming to terms and somewhat accepting the new normal. The extensive scale at which the virus spread over the world took everyone by surprise, and although (partially?) scarred, we've finally made it through the stress-laden year and have also successfully begun anew.
We've learnt a LOT from 2020. From understanding the importance of hygiene to finding fashionable ways of styling masks, amidst all that chaos, there's a lot more you can take away from the intense year we've had, and implement these into your fresh beginning.
Get into the habit of making your own decisions: If there is anything I have learnt from last year, just believe your gut instincts and make your own decisions. You can ask as many people for advice, all the while ignoring the fact that there's this tiny part within you that actually wants the decision to be made for you, But it never works that way. It's never easy to calculate your choices and have an impulse answer ready. But you need to start somewhere. Making your own decisions is a gamble. You either lose all that you've worked for or continue winning. However, even when you lose, there are other ways of growing through that loss.
Ignore…… it's truly bliss: People will always talk, but it lies with you to either accept their opinions or ignore and move on with your day. It is incredibly toxic for your health to surround yourself among people who will drop crude and unhelpful comments. You can't stop people from talking (even though your palms itch to shut them up with a smack🤦🏽♀️), so it would be best to find ways of staying away from such negativity or develop the skill (yes..I do consider 'ignoring' people to be a skill😓) of ignoring unnecessary comments.
Limit social media intake……it helps: Yes, social media has its crazy advantages, but it can be too easy to get enveloped into the craze of knowing what people are doing at all times, continually posting to get the likes and followers and the obsession over an unread message when you see the person is 'active'. With these stress-inducing behaviours, going offline is the perfect solution or at the very least, just switch off your notifications. You'll instantly feel the weight of online activity leave you, and you can finally stop stressing over watching those stories that are bothering you.
Take a break……& Work on yourself: We've come across illustrative quotes on Instagram that share tips on 'looking after mental health'. But how often do we actually switch off and take a break to work on ourselves? If the lockdowns have benefitted us in any way, it's that taking a break from social interactions and excessive workload is required to get a breather and focus on your personal growth.
It's okay to detach from the world outside and utilise that energy to build a better you. Moreover, you don't owe anyone an explanation over your choices or the breaks you've
Keep your plans to yourself……Not everyone thinks the best for you: It's a great feeling to share your ideas, goals or even your accomplishments to the world. It's normal to want to feel validated and acknowledged over your hard work. However, you need to remember that, you're no mind reader. Not everyone will have the same opinion about your endeavours the way you do. It is a competitive world out there, and you will face instances where people will either invalidate your efforts, swoop in and take it away from you. (or they'll just do both💁🏽♀️).
Keep in mind that you don't need that kind of negative energy before you take on a new project. You'll find yourself much happier and at ease when you get on with your work with a mind that does not focus on people's comments and criticism.
Leave the toxic people…….And Invest your time on people who matter: It's not easy to detach from the people you've spent a good chunk of your time with. Everybody wants to have that typical, overly dramatised and glorified friendships; the one whom you're inseparable from since high school.
Yes, most people go over it wrong when moving onto things and people they consider prime, without realising the people they're hurting along the way. While it is the human in you to wallow in sadness, you also need to pick yourself up, dust off the people who've changed their agendas and start focusing on the people who actually matter to you.
Start focusing your energy on those who've stood by you and are still rooting for you and stop pining for people who clearly don't spare another glance at you.
Be vocal……speak up: Diplomacy is excellent and all. It keeps you away from some hassle and helps you uphold some kind of trustworthy reputation. However, there's a limit to holding in your opinions for the sake of your repute only to gossip about the situation. I've lost count on the number of people who share wildly honest views but refuse to speak up to the person who actually needs to hear it!! It's a straight-up cowardly act, and you're neither helping yourself nor the people who are ready to back you up.
It's perfectly fine to be respectful and avoid confrontation if the situation calls for it. But we've reached a stage where being polite or simply quiet for no reason is no longer required. So, go ahead and be blunt, repeat all those questions you never understood the answers to, refute those who try to put you down and more importantly, speak up and defend yourself (because no one is ever going to do it for you).
Check up on people……you don't know who needs it: The entirety of the past year has taken a severe toll on almost everyone's mental health. From being isolated indoors, to dealing with pressures surrounding work, school or even physical or emotional abuse, nothing can ever go wrong by ringing up your close ones to have a chat. Pretty much all of us have a cell phone glued to our hands so, it's really no excuse to not dial a number or type out a quick text. Trust me, a hell lot of people would appreciate the gesture.
Don't settle for less: Everyone of you are worth more than you'll think. Whether it's your friends or significant others, don't let anyone or anything belittle your worth. You're not getting the respect you deserve? Either make them aware of it or, take a stand and cut them off. Even more vital to keep in mind, is that it's essential to get away from the people who don't reciprocate the equal amount of time and energy you invest in them.
You can have an army of friends……But it's family all the way: You can post images of your friends on socials and pair it with cheesy captions. You can even boast about the invites you get from every one of your many friends. But no matter the pedestal you place your friends on, it's always going to be your family that sticks by you. They are the only ones you're going to be able to trust, and no matter what, they are the only ones who'll look out for you. If the epidemic has helped us learn anything, it's to respect the relationship you have with them and never take them for granted.