This year, I need only one resolution and that is, not to forget what I have learned in this extraordinary year of 2020. I want to treasure what I have found and never to forget what it was that kept me sane, happy and well in this most difficult of years.
While 2020 has tested every one of us, it has also led us to realise what is most important and of greatest value to our health, happiness and joy.
So before making any wild resolutions of giving up alcohol,or running marathons as you feel ‘guilt tripped’ by the inevitable, but vital Christmas indulgence, you might, like me,sit back, reflect and think about what has really helped us through this year, and resolve never to forget it.
I know that I certainly won’t!
Work and being productive :Dull as it may seem, I have always loved my work as a psychotherapist, but this year it was more meaningful than ever before. Not only could I help others with their life problems but in doing so it meant that I had appointments and commitments most days. In the 2020 of endless disconnect,this meant that I had an automatic structure to my days. So while helping others, I could see how lucky I was to be busy, occupied, productive and engaged.
Lesson : Keep structure and productivity, through work or project.
The joy of moving. In lockdown one, I focused on writing and as a result, neglected quite a bit of exercise and movement. Although I had done yoga it just didn’t seem to be enough for me as someone who’s used to vigorous exercise. For lockdown two I focused on staying moving, even when my beloved tennis was off. I cycled or walked every day and forced myself to sit less, do jobs, dance, stretch, yoga, anything- the difference to me was stark. I felt 70% better overall, not only in my physical self but I could see the mood lift effect.
Lesson: Keep moving.
Time: Lockdown gave us a new perspective on time and how we spend it.
Suddenly there was time to do so many things that we’d been squeezing into our schedules – instead of the commute, we could take a walk or have breakfast with partners or kids. Now we had real choices. We had to set our own priority list for how we used every moment of those 24 hour days. Putting what we want to do to the top of the list is not something that happens often, but lockdown gave us a sense of how much we could get done, if we gave the time to the right things.
Lesson: Choose how you spend your time and remember how long a day is when it is cleared of needless busyness or distraction.
It’s not all about family, it’s also all about friendships. Lockdowns showed us who we worried about – a family member, vulnerable or ill. But for me it revealed something new about friends and the love that holds us together without a bind of any kind.
Because friendships are borne out of pure liking and enjoyment of time spent together, it struck me that they took on a new level of delight when we met in lockdown. Giddy picnics in the park, sneaky mulled wines or proseccos – teenage really, but without the cans.Together for fun, without any duty or history seemed somehow a purer love in lockdown.
Lesson: Never forget your friends-The love in friendships is freely given,bound only by the craic we have together.
Bye bye 2020! Can’t wait to see the back of you!
Happy New Year everyone!