We thought 2020 was bad, but 2021 decided to take it as a challenge! To say this year hasn’t been easy is an understatement. The second wave of the pandemic really wrecked everybody’s lives. We were all hoping that we could be out and about in 2021, but that didn’t happen. The one good thing though was the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. But, like last year, 2021 taught us a lot. As we reflect on the year gone by, we are reflecting on the past 12 months. Here are seven lessons we learnt in 2021 that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
1. Being selfish is a good thing
Yes, you heard that right. Be selfish. Prioritise yourself. Take care of yourself first. Put your needs first. You can’t add any value to other people’s lives if you can’t add any value to yours. Cancel your plans if you don’t feel like meeting people. Don’t talk to people if you don’t have the energy. Tell people no if you are not in a place to help them out. And, most importantly, don’t feel guilty about choosing yourself over others.
2. Being optimistic is overrated
Yes, it is important to stay positive and look at the bright side of things. But constant optimism also adds unnecessary pressure. You don’t have to say “everything will be alright” or “it happened for the best” all the time. Not every single thing in life has a grand reason. Sometimes, things just happen because they happen. And you don’t have to always look at the “good” that comes out of what happened. Being optimistic is a good thing, but also be realistic. Accept that not everything will go the way you want and don’t be disheartened. Give yourself a little time to wallow in all the things that went wrong. Then get back in action.
3. Be in a relationship with yourself
In this fast-paced world, you often feel the pressure to date and get into a relationship, especially when people around you are busy falling in love, getting married, or trying to get into a relationship. It’s okay if you are single. It’s okay if you are not ready to date. Take this time to find yourself, to love yourself, to learn about yourself. Go on that solo trip, learn that new hobby, cook for yourself, dance by yourself, and fall in love with yourself.
4. Your resilience is your power
You have been hit with so many challenges in these past two years. Yet, you have managed to overcome them all. There may be a few dents, but you are not broken. There may be a few scars, but those are scars that prove you are a tough-ass bitch. You have battled your demons and you stand strong and tall. Don’t you ever forget that!
5. Take a day off
Work is not worship. Be hardworking, but also take a day off when you feel like you need it. Pushing yourself to do your job when you are highly stressed is not going to yield any results. Don’t let yourself come to the stage of burnout. Take a day or two or a week off. You’ll be relaxed, your work will be much better, and your productivity will also increase. Don’t be afraid to tell your boss about taking leave.
6. Be thankful
Don’t forget to thank the universe for all your blessings. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that bring the most joy. Don’t take them for granted. Thank the house worker who makes your tea, thank your mom for switching off the lights in your room, thank your colleague for imparting some words of wisdom. And thank yourself for having the strength to survive and fight through each day.
7. Every day doesn’t have to be big
Sit on your balcony with a warm cup of coffee and feel the wind blow on your face. Cuddle up with a book in the favourite corner of your house. Get together with your family in the evening to play a game of Monopoly. Don’t live in the pursuit of making everything and every day big. These small moments are what you’ll remember when someone asks you, “When did you feel the most peaceful in life?”
What are some lessons you learnt in 2021? Let us know in the comments.
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