Wow, what a crazy year 2020 has been!
If you told me last December what would happen this year, I might not have believed you.
A pandemic? Mandated quarantine? Business shutdowns?
I would have sooner believed you were describing the plot of an upcoming sci-fi movie about the end of the world!
But, all of this has happened.
2020 presented new challenges and many of us felt like we were barely staying afloat with all the sudden changes. A CDC report showed that the number of adults who reported experiencing anxiety or depression (31%) had tripled since last year. Things weren’t looking so good for us.
Yet, we prevailed.
We’ve made it to the end of 2020. And looking back at all that has happened, I see golden nuggets of wisdom worth harvesting.We’ve made it to the end of 2020. And looking back at all that has happened, I see golden nuggets of wisdom worth harvesting. Click To Tweet
Wisdom that teaches us how to live a more meaningful life rich in love and compassion. Lessons that remind us of the importance of self-love and self-care. And trials that encourage making YOU and YOUR well-being a top priority.
Here are some lessons we can glean from 2020…
5 Life Lessons from 2020 on Self-Love, Self-Care, and Self-Compassion
#1 Socializing with your loved ones this year needed a little creativity
Fitting socialization into your life during quarantine has been tricky.
Non-essential businesses were closed. You couldn’t meet up with friends. No large crowds. Stay 6 feet apart. And no hugging…
Human connection is built into our DNA. And that’s why I encourage physical distancing. Not social distancing. Because support systems — surrounding yourself with people who love and uplift you — is also a way to express love to yourself.
But what can you do when there’s a stay-at-home order in effect?
You get creative. You can’t meet up with friends for coffee, however you can schedule a video call and spend more time with family at home. I had virtual dates with my girlfriends, complete with appetizers and bubbly!
How about you? How did you get creative with keeping your relationships strong? Share it in the comments below!
#2 This year, it sometimes felt like everything was taking a wrong turn. Don’t let your thoughts hold your back too.
Your mind is more powerful than you think.
Ever hear about self-fulfilling prophecies?
It happens when reality unfolds the way you predict it will. For example, if you believe you will nail that Zoom presentation for work, you are more likely to succeed.
However, if you think you’re unworthy of love, you might engage in self-sabotaging behavior, like substance abuse and social withdrawal.
There is a powerful connection between your mind and body. Your thoughts will often influence how you behave.
And so, if you struggle with self-limiting phrases, like…
- I’m unworthy of love. Nobody, not even myself, can love me.
- I’ll never have balance in life.
- Nobody will ever want to help me. They’ll always say no.
. . . Then it’s time to reverse that script in your head.
Using tips like creating a list of your strengths and positive visualization — vividly imagine yourself going through the motions it takes to succeed — can help you feel empowered again. More importantly, telling yourself that you are worthy of love is one of the most important steps to loving yourself.
You are never a victim of your circumstances.
You will always be at power to change what you can and create a better self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself.
#3 Put your phone down already! (Obsessing over the media isn’t doing you any good)
It was challenging to break away from the media this year. We were so plugged in, anxiously anticipating the next COVID-19 development. Then there were months of social unrest following the racial injustices committed against our black communities.
But there’s also a cost to scrolling through the latest headlines:
If this is the case for you, it may be time to unplug.
While helping others is important, advocating for YOUR well-being is also essential.
My favorite ways to unplug?
Go on a digital detox, and unless it’s for work, no screen time. Return to nature. Spend time with my family at home. And shift my focus to loving and empowering myself through regular self-care.
#4 This year demanded so much from you. Did you remember to fill your cup?
Raise your hand if you felt pulled in every direction this year.
As a high-performing woman, you want to be everything to everyone — a perfect mother, career woman, wife, community leader, and more.
As a recovering perfectionist, I get it.
But after spending years feeling burned out and coping with fibromyalgia, I realize the best thing I can do is be the most loving caregiver to me.
You might think that’s selfish or uncaring.
But here’s the thing.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
When you start, your cup is brimming with vitality and inspiration. But each time you give away your time and energy, your cup slowly empties.
Eventually, there’s nothing left to give.
Self-compassion helps keep your cup filled through self-care. By empowering yourself — giving YOU the resources to feel more energy, clarity, and inspiration — you create more opportunities to give to others.
Always fill your cup first.
#5 Self-care is essential but there’s more to it than #selfcaresunday
Self-care isn’t always what you see or read about on social media.
Scented bubble baths. Spa days. Treating yourself to online shopping sprees.
These things sound nice and feel good, yet that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily self-care.
Self-care is doing what is necessary for your long-term well-being, which can be different for each woman. If you’re struggling financially, for example, then treating yourself to a shopping spree is self-sabotage, not self-care.
See, the reality about self-care is that it’s sometimes hard. Self-care won’t always feel good.
Sometimes tough love is the best form of love you can give yourself.
Getting up early to maintain my morning ritual of exercise, journaling and prayer can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world — especially when my cozy bed calls for me.
But I promise you… Stick it out, practice self-care regularly, and you will reap the benefits for years to come.
What Lessons From 2020 Did You Learn?
2020 has changed my life, but it has also taught me much.
By loving myself, I can become a more powerful woman who can better support others.
What about you?
What is one lesson 2020 has taught you? Let me know in the comments below.
To help you put these life lessons on self-care and self-love into action, I offer you a free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!