5 Lessons from 2020 I'll Bring into 2021

Well, we survived 2020, congrats everyone. Onwards and upwards!

It is actually quite surreal to come up with 2021 resolutions this year considering how unpredictable and uncertain these 12 last months have been. Instead of the classic uber-optimistic "new year new me" feeling with grander than life resolutions, I feel like my resolutions feel tentative, with a bit of doubt on what 2021 has in store for us (hello UK virus!).

These few days, I have reflected on the lessons that I have learned (or was forced to learn) and which ones should be carried forward and built upon. This year, my resolutions are therefore a bit smaller but feel more full of intent and reflect the lessons learned in 2020.

1- It's OK to have unproductive days

There is definitely a cult of "productivity" and as my circle of friends are mostly hustling young professionals, I definitely sense a pressure to be productive at all times. After your work day, you also have to work out, clean the entire apartment, meditate, journal, cook a healthy meal and then read a thought-provoking book.

I personally have found that I can have those types of days, but it will always catch up to me, hence my famous 4-hour naps. Therefore, to be truly productive, it is important to rest and listen to our bodies. It is definitely better to trust your needs then to crash and burn.

Staying inside and tending to your needs is work and it is enough. Putting stress on being extra productive during a stressful time will only make you want to give up. So in 2021, let's remember to be kinder towards ourselves and not freak out about being the most productive person on earth.

2- Everyone has different boundaries and needs

I am a person that needs little "me time" but my boyfriend is the opposite and requires a lot of "me time". I have always known this and have always made it very clear that he can take the time he needs. During the pandemic, it has been a whole other ballgame, since I could not be social (unless it was on those dreaded zoom calls). Still, there is nothing worse than making your partner, roommate or anyone feel like they are trapped. I feel like a lot of couples realized that they had never really discussed their needs and boundaries and suddenly they felt trapped and had trouble communicating them.

It really helps you grow when you acknowledge your needs and limits and apply them in all aspects of your life.

3- Get pampered for yourself

We all had a period of time where we spent days (..weeks?) in loose clothing and didn't care about skincare or makeup anymore. But at some point, you throw some lipstick on and you just sense a difference in your step. You don't need a reason to get dressed up in a bomb outfit or add highlighter. Do it for your own confidence.

4- The fight against systemic racism is not over

This year was a heavy year and did bring up a lot of race issues, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement. Well black lives still matter as well as indigenous, and other people of color. As an Asian-Canadian, this year has been very different, with a lot more overt racist incidents happening all over. These underlying biases just had a vehicule to spread the hate that was already there.

I have made it a point to order from BIPOC-owned restaurants and boutiques, and try to speak up whenever is necessary to stop hateful acts or speeches.

5- We are very resilient and adaptable

I think the most important lesson that I learned in 2020 was that we are surprisingly resilient. There are definitely highs and lows, but I found myself finding new creative outputs, new ways to engage and connect with friends and new ways to appreciate life's little moments.

In 2020, I realized that I really don't need much apart from people I love and doing thinks that spark joy.

I wish everyone a lovely 2021, that makes you grow and learn about yourself!

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