With January 2022 wrapping up (almost!), we feel like it’s a good time to reflect on what 2021 has taught us. Despite all the challenges, there is still a lot that we could learn from 2021. Here are 10 valuable lessons we’ve gathered (and we’ve experienced and re-experienced) throughout 2021:
1. Life is unexpected and uncertain
If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that life is unexpected and uncertain. It doesn’t get any more unexpected than a global pandemic that practically holds all of us ransom, unable to leave our own homes. Our resilience and flexibility have all been tested to the max. We won’t always know what tomorrow will bring, but that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
2. We learned to live with less
If you craved a simpler life, 2021 certainly taught us that it can be done. Learning to live with less and be happy with what we have is obviously the silver lining of this year. This lesson in particular has brought the positive movement for our bodies, family life and humanity.
3. Health is really the new wealth
It is obvious by now that health can’t be taken for granted, because nothing else matters other than having a healthy body. Making simple choices such as what we eat, how much we sleep and exercise, or what we feed our mind with, are all critical building blocks of being healthy and having a resilient immune system.
4. Courage to face ourselves
The pandemic has given us a lot of time to actually spend with ourselves. And with that, we are forced to face ourselves – our behaviour, emotions, triggers, frustrations and problems. Yes, it takes courage to face ourselves and thanks to 2021, we got to learn how to.
5. Be kind. Always.
Almost everyone is going through something they aren’t talking about. May it be grief, loss of freedom, or isolation. Mental health and kindness have been increasingly thrown into the limelight as the pandemic has led to a lot of negative emotions - frustration, depression, fear, anger. Being kind isn’t just a trendy buzzword anymore, it’s now a way of life. We never know when your small act of kindness might help save someone's life.
6. Self-care isn’t selfish.
Being good to ourselves is good for others too. What many people still misperceive as a selfish activity; self-care has, for many of us, become a necessity. 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 ourselves has never been more important, especially if we have a family to look after as well. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup!
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 group is, having someone to turn to and vent your fear, worries and frustrations without 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.
9. A happy home is 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, has been key.
10. At the end of the day, our family will have our back
We will meet a lot of people in our lives, and some will be super interesting, cool, and fun to be around. Of course it's great to have people like that in our life; but when we are facing tough times, that is when we realize who our true family is – biological, adopted, or chosen! Only our family will truly be there for us when we need them the most.
So, that’s our list of lessons we have learnt along the way…we’re so grateful to 2021 for teaching us what’s truly important as we now go forward into 2022!