At the start of 2020, you probably thought it was going to be a good year, right? New decade, new me. Yet here we are, still living through a pandemic, stuck in our homes – feeling unmotivated, unaccomplished, and dealing with uncertainty. Coming to terms with reality and accepting the new normal hasn’t been an easy feat for any of us. Although some days may seem normal, what we’re going through right now is still so far from it.
But we shouldn’t spend the holidays beating ourselves up over unprecedented situations – we’re only human! We can still continue our year-end gratitude, even though it’ll look different, and reflect on ways to be thankful. Our priorities have shifted, so focus on the silver linings and show yourself the kindness you deserve – celebrate the fact that you’ve survived the madness of it all!
Here are 6 things to be thankful for in 2020:
- Family, friends and partners
Even if you weren’t living alone, the lockdown was a lonely time, but it helped us realized the importance of our relationships. Celebrate the people you surrounded yourself with, physically or virtually, and provided you with emotional and social support.
- Food, shelter and basic necessities
We all know the struggles many are facing during a time like this. Appreciate and acknowledge what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t as not everyone has had the privilege of mere basic necessities.
- Acts of kindness
As devastating as this year has been, kindness has still existed everywhere – which is something worth celebrating! The stronger-than-ever community spirit has seen people all over the world helping each other out from raising funds for groceries and surgeries to donating masks, gloves and hand sanitisers.
With movement restrictions and social distancing measures, we often overlook how technology has provided us with the convenience of connecting with one another, as well as the entertainment, recipes and workout routines that kept us busy and got us through being stuck at home.
Find gratitude towards the hobbies, old and new, that you indulged in as a healthy distraction. These allowed us to enjoy ourselves, and even made us feel just the slightest bit better amidst the cancelled plans and uncertainty.
- Making it to the end of each day
Some days are much harder to go through, while some days seems like a breeze. Practice self-compassion and give yourself credit for making it to the end of each day! It’s okay if all you did some days was survive.
This list acts as a mere reminder of the things we can still celebrate this year-end, but it doesn’t mean you should minimize your own suffering and compare what you have with everyone else. Whatever you may be feeling at this point of time is valid – yet, practicing gratitude is a great way to focus on the things we so often overlook. It also helps us feel more at peace with our lives and improves our mental state.
We hope you can find gratitude in your days and celebrate them!
Journaling will always be therapeutic, even as a thirteen-year-old writing “dear diary” followed by a fairly rude rant about how your parents won’t let you get a tattoo. It provides a safe space (lock included) for you to share your experiences and sit in the therapist’s chair as you reread your thoughts and feelings.
If 2020 has left you feeling overwhelmed – stressed from working at home, anxious about social distancing and saddened by the world news, journaling is a good place to let it all out Here’s how you can start:
- Download A Journal App
If you’re still not sold on writing things down – type it out. Since we’re always on our phones, self-care has become digital with mindful apps to make better use of your screen time. For beginners, we recommend downloading the journal apps Reflectly or Daylio. These make journaling super easy by asking you questions about your day, even encouraging you to use emojis – think of it as a judgement-free Facebook status.
- Follow Journal Prompts
Don’t know what to write? There are plenty of journal prompts available online to get the ball rolling. Usually in the form of questions, these short statements are set to inspire self-reflection. Here are a few to help you explore your definition of “self-love”:
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
You can also sign up for our Self Care Club to receive weekly journal prompts!
- Practice Gratitude
For a more positive mindset, use your journal to list down what you’re grateful for. Do this daily and you’ll notice a shift in your perspective as you start seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. Not only will you experience less negative emotions, but by counting your blessings – you’ll become more satisfied with life too. Happy mind, happy life.
- Participate In Journal Challenges
Turn journaling into a habit by participating in journal challenges. These span from a week to a month with a list of helpful writing prompts for you to follow. Learn more about journaling from YouTuber, Lavendaire, and spread out her 30 prompts for self-discovery throughout the month:
By focusing on yourself for at least five minutes a day, you’ll be able to find solitude and clarity in the midst of a chaotic year. Writing down your emotions will make it easier for you to understand them and pinpoint the problem – allowing you to come up with healthier coping skills and better solutions. We should all strive to be more self-aware and accepting of ourselves, so pick up a pen and start journaling!