What 2020 Has Taught Me…

Appreciate the little things in life.

I decided to change up this week’s blog post and talk to you guys about this crazy year.

2020 took quite an interesting turn at the beginning of March that none of us would have thought about one year ago today…COVID-19. COVID-19 brought along many changes and quite fast. As many countries were announcing new restrictions, part of trying to reduce the numbers of COVID-19 infections forced many people to make changes to their daily routines. From long lockdowns, to wearing masks, to social distancing, we were adapting to live a different life for sometime, that affected many people.

New realities were formed such as working from home, home-schooling, shortage of employment and lack of physical contact with family, friends and many more. It has been hard for people to get used to, even 9 months into this pandemic.

At the beginning of the first lockdown back in March, it was a different reality for many, being stuck in the house, not being able to go out, and the only escape was really going to the grocery store with your parents or taking long drives to the middle of nowhere. A couple weeks before the lockdown, I was roaming the streets of Paris with my best friends and it is crazy to think that just a couple weeks after we got back from the trip, everything would be shutdown and we would be entering a new world that was new for many people. We started to see sunshine, when a couple months after during the summer months, we got back some normalcy with going to restaurants, being able to travel within Canada and restrictions being lifted to see our loved ones. Now we see ourselves months later right back at full circle, in lockdown again!

With seasonal depression hanging in the air and the feelings that the lockdown brings along, this matter puts a huge amount of stress on a lot of people. 2020 has taught me a lot about myself and about others and helped me discover many things! On a positive note, I am here to remind you that there are many ways to make the most of this lockdown and take care of our mental health during these hard times.

Here are some tips that have helped me during lockdown:

  1. Explore new hobbies and catch up on old ones

I have rediscovered many old hobbies of mine during quarantine! From singing, drawing, writing and reading, I have accomplished quite a bit! There are so many hobbies you can discover during these times at home…do what makes you happy and what brings you joy! Don’t be afraid to broadcast your hobbies to the world, you never know what will come of it! Another hobby a lot of people have taken up is baking! This is one thing I did frequently during the last lockdown and I cannot wait to get back to doing it during this one as well!! From delicious sweets found on TikTok and healthy recipes, almost everyone I know has taken up baking during lockdown!

2. Keep in touch with friends and family

Even though it is hard, make the most of this situation with your friends and family!! It is really important to stay connected during these times. During the last lockdown, every week on Thursday’s, my friends and I would get together on a ZOOM call and play games, drink and it would usually end in deep talks. That is one thing I am grateful for due to the lockdown. My friends and I grew closer in a way where I don’t think we would have outside of this situation. We all laughed over who’s drawing was the funniest during the virtual game Scribble, laughed while playing Cards Against Humanity and bonded over who was most likely to do the craziest thing. Those weekly talks made lockdown and quarantine much better and brought us closer than ever! Another social platform that I started using again was HouseParty. My older cousins and I would jump on a huge video call and play all sorts of games the app offered! These are just many ways you and your friends and family can stay connected! It is highly important to support others and also receive support for yourself!

3. Take some time for yourself

Downtime is highly important. My definition of downtime is binging as many Netflix shows as I can. My newfound obsessions include, Dawson’s Creek, The Affair, Grey’s Anatomy (my best friend and I might’ve watched this show one too many times during lockdown), Schitts Creek, Modern Family and many many more!! Other than binging many Netflix shows during the lockdown, it is really important to take this time and reflect on yourself. That is truly one of the main things I’ve learned this year!! Focusing on yourself, taking time to do what makes you happy and making changes for your own good brings out a different person you did not think you had in you! If you know me, putting yourself is something I strongly standby and I couldn’t have figured that out if it weren’t for some my best friends helping me realize that! Another important thing to remember is that if you have amazing friends like I do, they will help you realize your growth and be there to support you no matter what.

4. Exercise!

Exercise plays an important role when dealing with stress. Whether it is taking a walk outside or working out in the basement with some Youtube videos, anything will help!! Moving your body gets the boost of endorphins you need, which lifts your mood and makes you feel calm. Create a routined schedule that helps you fit everything you want to do during the day! Plan around what you want to be doing! Setting a routine will help with stress and calm your nerves.

These are just few of many ways you can stay positive and keep a calm mind during our second lockdown!! 2020 brought on a lot of chaos but I have learned a lot about myself throughout these lockdown periods. You don’t realize how little you may know about yourself or how little you focus on yourself when you do not take the time to care for yourself and what is best for you. Through these hard times, it may be difficult to think happy thought about the future. Stay positive and soon this will all be over! Look for the positives and ask yourself:

What can you be grateful for? Is this my time to work on my happiness?

I want all you guys to do something for me. Take a notebook and create a bucket-list of all the things you want to do and places you want to go around the world but cannot due to lockdown restrictions. Once things have returned to normal, take that list with you and work your way down that list!!

Remember this will not last forever, take this one day and a time, and enjoy the simple things in life. The smallest gestures can mean the world to yourself and someone who needs you.