Everyone breathed a long sigh of relief as 2020 finally came to an end, and what a year it’s been! From political and economical changes to a pandemic, there’s no doubt that 2020 has been tough on the entire world. At least that’s how most people view it, however, like everything in life, there’s always a good side. If you’re one of those people who always tell others to “look at the bright side”, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. There was a lot to learn from this past year that you may not have realized, but we’re here to help you see the positives that came out of 2020.
One of the biggest lessons learned in 2020 is just how valuable our wellbeing is. Since many of us are used to being in good health, we often take it for granted. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, it taught us to appreciate our health more and take better care of it. The pandemic also brought with it a better understanding and practising of hygiene. Not only that, but people are now more aware of their lifestyle choices, making better decisions regarding their diet and fitness to boost their immunity and stay healthy.
2020 witnessed businesses making a complete shift to working from home to ensure the safety of their employees. Before, employers and managers alike barely made it through online meetings with constant “can you see me”, “can you hear me”, and “please mute your phones and microphones”. Now, this year taught us that even the biggest companies can be operated smoothly from home with the same productivity and success rate as operating from the office, if not better. It promoted a culture of trust between employees and employers as well as internally between departments and teams.
With COVID-19 lockdown implemented in almost every country, it may have been easy to feel completely isolated from the world without social media. In fact, the internet as a whole proved to be a life necessity during this period, just like food and water. Social media not only provided us with updates regarding the pandemic but also kept people close together, even if it’s just through a screen. As lockdown prolonged, people needed to feel a sense of solidarity and human connection and social media was the conduit that helped The simple sharing of funny videos and memes offered consolation for people, reminding them they are not alone. It led to a new-found appreciation for social media and technology in general but still with considerable caution since it’s never wise to believe everything we see there.
2020 has shown us just how hectic our lives were pre-pandemic. When countries went into lockdown, and jobs and education became remote, people were finally able to take a breath. It showed us just how important it is to take time to rewind and re-connect with ourselves and those around us. Everyone was always on the go, barely having time to spend with their families and friends. This year has given us one of the greatest and valuable gifts ever; time. Whether it was time spent learning a new skill, reading that list of books you’ve had for years, virtually reconnecting with old friends, or just relaxing with loved ones, it was time that was much needed after the craziness of our lives pre-COVID.
Another lesson learned from this year is that our mental health is one of the key factors that equip us with dealing with whatever life throws at us. This time was especially difficult for those dealing with mental health problems like anxiety, OCD, and depression. The events of the year allowed mental health organizations to shine a light on these issues and offer guidance to get through difficult times. This year has also taught us the importance of reaching out and asking for help when we need it and to talk openly about our struggles.
We all went through 2020 with its ups and downs together, and there’s nothing like a collective human experience to teach us the most important lessons of all; we are each others’ only constant. Everything we’ve known our entire lives could change overnight, and among all that uncertainty, human connection is so important. This year taught us how important it is to maintain relationships with family and friends more than it is to maintain a job or an education. They could become the only certainty and source of comfort as we’ve already seen this year. That’s why it’s important to remember to always be kind to others and appreciate those who love you.
As the new year opens its doors, each one of us needs to look around and appreciate every single thing and person they have in their life, no matter how small it may seem. Genuine gratitude should be the major take-home message from this eventful year. It should also be accompanied by a humbling attitude since 2020 showed us that ultimately, we should have an open mind and an open heart.