Uncertainty and unpredictability have been the flavours of the year, but instead of just focusing on the negative, we’re focusing on the positives and the silver linings of what the year brought us.
Here’s what 2021 has taught us:
1. A happy home is so important
We’ve never been forced to spend as much time at home as we’ve had to because of the pandemic.
Safe to say, it’s taught us that whatever is going on outside, having a home that is your safe respite is really important.
And with all the WFH and HBL stints that we’ve had to go through this year, having a home where everyone can work their schedules together and still be happy, was a tall order to achieve for most of us. So make sure your home is as happy and comfortable as can be.
2. Self-care isn’t selfish
Being good to yourself is good for others too because you simply can’t help others if you aren’t running at your best. What was once considered a selfish activity, self-care has become an important buzzword.
It could be something as small as taking a nature walk for 30 minutes in the morning, or having a cup of coffee with a book in hand rather than looking at a device.
Whatever it is, looking after yourself has never been more important, especially if you have a family to look after as well.
3. Be kind. Always
Almost everyone is going through something they aren’t talking about. Some are grieving the loss of a loved one; some might be severely feeling the loss of freedom that comes with normal life; while some might be greatly feeling isolated with travel restrictions still in place.
Mental health and kindness have been increasingly thrown into the limelight as the pandemic has led to a lot of frustration, fear, depression and anger, and you just never know what someone is going through.
Being kind isn’t just a trending buzzword anymore. It’s actually become a way of life now. Be grateful for what you’re blessed with, and then do your bit to bring a smile to someone else’s face and to help them in whatever way you can.
You never know when your small act of kindness might have helped save someone’s life.
4. We learned to live life one day at time
Remember the days when life was one continuous rat race? The sudden slowdowns forced us to focus on what really mattered — protecting ourselves and our loved ones, staying healthy and boosting immunity.
Though it’s taken some getting used to, life with restrictions has really taught us to appreciate the value of living at a slower pace, as we were forced to adapt to constantly changing regulations at the whim of the pandemic, adhere to new normals, and simply learn to live in the moment rather than make grand plans for the future.
5. We learned to live with less
And staying on the topic of living one day at a time, if you craved a simpler life, 2021 certainly taught us how to live one.
Normally hectic and busy schedules quickly gave way to having to make time for simpler activities such as more quality family time together, more sleep, exercise, healthy eating and better mental health.
Learning to live with less, and being happier with less, has certainly got to be a silver lining of this year gone by, because this lesson in particular will continue the positive change movement for our bodies, family life and humanity for the future.
6. Health is really the new wealth
It should be obvious by now that health can’t be taken for granted, because without good health, nothing else matters.
With the virus wreaking havoc across all age groups, we finally learnt the importance of being healthy and having a healthy body, albeit the hard way.
Making simple daily choices such as what we eat, how much we sleep, how much exercise we do, or what we feed our minds, are all critical building blocks of being healthy and having a resilient immune system.
7. We learned the value of our support group
Having a supportive, closely-knit support group has become synonymous with surviving the pandemic, for mental and emotional health.
However small (or large) your trusted tribe of confidantes may be, having someone to turn to and vent your worries, fears and frustrations too without needing being judged is huge!
8. Value what you have
The ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic this year has made us learn to appreciate and cherish everything and everyone that we have in our lives. It’s not just our loved ones, family and friends that we should be grateful for.
Rather it’s the small things that we took for granted till now, such as healthcare and frontline workers, or having the ability to smell and taste, something that many people infected with Covid lost.
It’s time we appreciate everything we have in our lives and to be grateful for what we have.
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.