It's only a few days to the end of the year, and every December I like to take a moment to do some reflection. This year has been a particularly tough year for ALL OF US- the pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we are as a human species and how one virus can disrupt the whole fucking world. The stresses and anxieties we faced as human beings have been unimaginable- illness, isolation, death, fear, homeschooling, travel ban, job loss, businesses closing.
On the other end, good things have also occurred. Fewer carbon footprints from air travel, new business models, reinvention, further education, personal development, healthy lifestyle changes, focus on mental health, learning new technologies, mastering cooking skills and building stronger local community.
In many ways, the pandemic has been a big RESET button for us to rethink, reimagine and reinvent the ways we have been living. It was an opportunity for us to let go of certain habits, adopt new practices, force us to adapt, be creative and accept new ways of living- mask-wearing, hand sanitising, social distancing, working and learning online.
Personally, I was able to relaunch my coaching practice to focus on supporting mothers to prioritize their needs. I was able to enrol in a Neuro-Linguistic Programming course, and will soon be certified. I'm very grateful to have my husband working from home so I could have time to do work that energises me- being creative, helping and supporting others to thrive. I also had a chance to strengthen my yoga and meditation practice this year.
This year has also forced me to look at my own self-care. I realised the following:
Self-care is not something you add to your to-do list. It's something you do before your to-do list.
Self-care is beyond physical- It's not the occasional face mask or massage. It's also emotional, mental and spiritual.
Self-care is permission to be kind on yourself and your wellbeing.
Self-care is not selfish. It is an act of self-love. Do I love myself enough to look after my temple before others? Nourish my body, my mind and my soul.
Self-care is the little actions you take to make you feel good.
Self-care is like the foundations of a house. It helps you stay grounded and stable. Without a good foundation, you will more likely burn out, be unhappy and go into a negative space.
Other lessons I learned this year:
Practising patience: Whatever you want to manifest will arrive eventually. Maybe not in the time frame that you planned, but it will come. Don't lose hope, keep the faith! :)
Letting go; resistance is futile. Sometimes it's not required to keep pushing and striving at all cost and neglect things that are truly important in life- like your health, your mental health, your family, your kids and your community.
Be kind and gentle first to yourself before others.
To practice compassion with others, you first have to be compassionate to yourself. Speak to yourself in a kind way, don't put yourself down.
Discover self-love, which is different from self-admiration.
Self- love is not narcissistic. It is an appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual growth. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your wellbeing to please others. It is a constant work-in-progress.
Everyone is doing their best from their reality and limited resources. Nothing is black and white, and there are many shades of grey. No one is right or wrong, just different.
Have a child-like curiosity to play and discover new things. Experience full belly laughs! And remember to dance like no one is watching.
Make time to reflect, grab a coffee and write in your journal. Here are some questions for you to help you get started:
1. What are your learnings this year?
2. What would you like to keep doing i.e.
3. What brings you more joy?
4. What would you like to change?
5. What are your goals for each area- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual?
6. How would you feel if you achieve those goals?
If 2020 has left you depleted and out of energy, carve out time to look at your self-care routine next year!
Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year!