As I sit here writing this post, I think about how incredibly redundant it seems. I mean, we’re almost midway through June and the year has been hardly spectacular. However, as the thought enters my mind, I’m also reminded of the old saying “It’s only a bad day, not a bad life”. Before you say it, yes, it’s been more than a bad day, it’s been a bad few months, but it’s up to us to dictate what the remainder of the year brings. Whilst I understand that it would seem totally reasonable to completely trash the year that was 2020, and writing it off completely, I want you to think differently. You see, 2020 still has so much to offer us, if only we let it.
In such uncertain times, and with so much negativity preceding us, it is up to us as individuals to seek out the things that make us happy again. It is so easy to sit in front of the television and fixate on all that is negative in the world, but instead, I implore each of you to take the road less travelled (thank you Robert Frost). Start thinking about the good in the world, about what makes you smile, and in turn, the ways that we can support each other into a more positive life. Where is that you find your innermost peace? What is it that you love to do more than anything in the world? Where is your happy place? Change starts with the man – or woman – in the mirror (bless you Michael Jackson), and it is our responsibility as individuals to be the change we want to see in the world.
So, what exactly should we be doing more of in 2020? Personally, I think we need to find more time for;
Yeah, I see you over there snickering and rolling your eyes, but have you tried meditation yourself? I was a cynic until I tried it. Back in 2019 I was having so much trouble sleeping, that I’d say I was on the verge of becoming an insomniac. I spent countless hours tossing and turning, begging my body to shut down and turn off for the night. It wasn’t until I tried meditating, that I actually experienced the magic of it. I went from struggling to sleep, to struggling to stay awake. There are so many wonderful apps out there to try, such as Headspace, Smiling Mind and Calm. You could even browse the different play lists on Spotify that are specific to meditation. Not sure you’d enjoy full blown meditation? You could look to try the different sounds of meditation. I’ve found a few play lists on Spotify that I enjoy, my favourites being sounds of the rainforest or ocean. Meditation is a world of endless possibility.
Now I’m no expert, and I am the last one that should be telling people to get out and exercise, but we really need to. Not only is it good for your overall wellbeing, it’s also great for clearing the mind. I’ve never been one to exercise, in fact, I can’t stand it. The idea of getting hot and sweaty, and the discomfort of having to feel hot and sweaty just isn’t my thing. That said, it’s gotta be done. The rare few times I have exercised regularly (I can count them on two hands), I cannot describe to you how good it felt. I felt proud of myself for having done it, I felt clearer mentally and emotionally, and those frequent headaches I experience dissipated significantly during that time. What I’ve learnt of late is that exercise doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive, it doesn’t even have to be intense, it just has to get us moving. Want an intense work out? Go for a run or do a High Intensity (HIT) work out. Can’t be bothered? Go for a walk. We gotta get moving people!
3. Self Love
It’s cliche to say, but if we don’t love ourselves, who is going to love us? As a woman who wears a size 22, I know better than anyone how difficult it can be to love yourself. A simple look in the mirror can make you sick to your stomach. As if to distract yourself, you turn to social media so that you can mind numbingly scroll through your various platforms, not having to think about how awful you feel. It’s not long before you start comparing yourself to the ‘Insta Models’. You start a mental list of what makes them ‘better than you’, and yet again, you’re sickened. Not by what you see, but by the comparison that you aren’t what you see. You’re not the skinny, blue eyed, blonde haired influencer you desperately love so much. You’re the polar opposite. On the flip side, you feel grossly inadequate because you are the skinny, blue eyed, blonde girl. You see yourself as inferior to the curvy girls because you lack the ‘hour glass’ figure they hold. The grass is always greener, right? Wrong! We are all beautiful, and we all need to try harder to embrace that. Everyone has their own insecurities and flaws, and you are inferior to nobody. Your beauty is that you are uniquely you, and you are enough.
4. Doing things we love
Whether it’s blogging, painting, watching Netflix, Saturday brunch with your besties, or spending time with your family, do it unapologetically. I am the worst person in the world when it comes to making time for things I love. All too often I hear myself saying “Oh, spend more time with that person”, “make this a regular thing” or “I really need to do nothing”, yet, when it comes down to it I never follow through. As someone who is a self confessed stress head, I really need to practice what I preach and take a dose of my own medicine. I am far too guilty of having so much free time available, but never using it my advantage. Too many times I’ve sat on the couch procrastinating about all the things I could be doing with my time (enjoyable things), and end up doing absolutely none of them. Make the time people, life is way too short.
People might say that this is easier said than done, but it’s really not. We all have our own stories to tell and battles to face. Just because we don’t present with a warning label, doesn’t mean we aren’t dealing with something. We are all so incredibly quick to judge others, when we ourselves aren’t perfect. If someone says or does something you enjoy, tell them. If someone is having a bad day, or you can see that they are struggling in any way, reach out and ask if they’re okay. You don’t need to know someone to be kind to them. Kindness is as contagious as a smile.
I know that a lot of this is easier said than done, but if we each start welcoming and nurturing the idea of positivity in our lives, and continue to support one another in doing so, collectively we can make an immeasurable change.
What do you think we should be doing more of in 2020??