This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you! Read the Disclaimer for more info.
2020 has been a wild, roller-coaster of a year of emotions, one that has taught us so many different kinds of life lessons. I don’t want to focus too much on the negatives, you all know them. But there are some things that I’ve learned over the course of this year and I hope that by me going over these life lessons, you might be able to relate to or recognize them in your own life.
The goal of this article is to recognize some of these life lessons and apply them going to 2021, or to give you a whole new perspective and some ideas to experiment and work on yourself.
So, here are the 10 life lessons I learned in 2020.
p.s sharing is caring
1. Take Nothing For Granted.
Nothing is guaranteed in life. I know many of you have listened to this before and I’m guilty of not following this advice to heart, but 2020 has come and slapped us really hard on the face. Our physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, jobs, and the list goes on. I think that before this year, many of us took many of these things for granted.
But the first lesson this year has taught us is nothing is guaranteed, even waking up in the morning. So, with that realization, stop and ask yourself:
What do you take for granted?
Once you’ve become aware of those things, you start to appreciate them more, to value them more and you are more grateful about the things you took for granted.
So, don’t take good things for granted.
Related Post: A Different Way To Achieve Your Goals This Year
2. Your life can be better or worse depending on what you consume.
This year I learned that what I consume greatly impacts my day-to-day life. And I used the word “consume” and not “eat” because it is much more than eating. It’s what we eat, drink, the news, the conversations you have with our friends and family, the social media.
Food: The coronavirus situation has made ordering take away food a lot more convenient and appealing than ever before. I recently realized that, although I have saved money by me not going out to clubs, movies, restaurants, etc. I’ve spent a lot of money on take-away food. I’ll admit I’m ordering on a regular basis because when we meet up with friends, it’s something we do.
And when I took a look at my diet, I just felt like absolute trash. Processed foods are making me feel nauseous, I feel like I have no energy whatsoever and I feel unmotivated and not productive at all.
This is something that I look forward to fix in the coming year.
News: Also, earlier this year, when the Covid-19 outbreak started, I became a news addict. I would spend hours upon hours every day looking and searching and staying up-to-date with all the covid news. I treated it like education and I thought that it was a good thing to be informed.
I think the fact that 2020 has been so rough, me consuming this huge amount of media news skyrocketed my social anxiety and anxiety in general, with all of the home isolations and the fear of Covid. Once I realized that it was hurting my mental health, I made some adjustments, and one of those was to reduce the amount of news I consumed. The other one was to be in touch with my friends.
Related Post: How To Reduce Anxiety In Your Life – Science-Based
3. The more you do a certain thing, the more you want to do it.
Am I a creature of habits, or have you find out to be true in your own life? The more I meditate, the more often I’ll have the desire to meditate, however, if I haven’t meditated in a month or so, I feel like it’s gonna be very hard for me to have the desire to meditate. This applies to everything in life that can be turned into a habit. The more I workout, the more I want to workout.
The one thing I struggle the most and I look forward to try and fix is: What if I need to take a break?
You’ve probably experienced this. You’ve been doing something consistently for a while and you want to take a break, you just need some mental space. This is totally fine and a healthy thing to do. But, for me, that mental space often lasts way too long.
4. routines are necessary.
Having a routine is severely underrated. I’ve come to this realization just a few days ago of writing this article. I never realized just how much I needed a routine until my overall physical and mental health took a nosedive.
I believe in habits and routines. From personal experience, I’m way more productive and motivated to do certain tasks when I follow a routine or a To-Do list. As much as I love freedom and being able to do whatever you want, whenever you feel like it, this doesn’t work out for me.
This year we had a lot of time on our hands. We didn’t have to physically go to work or to school/uni, and we worked/ studied from home. I found myself skipping a lot of classes and not meeting deadline projects because I didn’t change my daily routine. Days were passing by where I didn’t achieve anything. I thought that I was just existing. Then, Mental Style Project was created.
Recently, I’ve made some adjustments to my morning routine and I feel way more energized. And I believe that by having a routine I’m going to combat the: “way too long of a break” I mentioned above.
Related Post: 7 Everyday Habits That Are Ruining Your Life
5. People Are Complicated.
If it’s anything this year has taught me is that people are complicated and everybody is dealing with their own problems, although many of these people don’t know how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. You probably thought someone who is the perfect fit on these criteria, maybe it’s you.
Long story short, we can’t make other people change, we can’t fix them, we can’t force them to change into a person we would like. There are only two things we can do. The first one is to give them our honest advice and opinion, then it’s up to them if they follow it through. The second one is to control our reactions towards them because sometimes they just won’t listen to you.
Only other people can change themselves if they want to. Accordingly, the only people WE can change or fix, are ourselves, so start by doing that.
6. call your loved ones.
Another life lesson I’ve learned this year is calling your friends and family often. We’re living in a pandemic and there’s have been so much tragedy and trauma around the world and remembering the people in your life who keep you going forward, these are the people who you need to stay in touch with. Life is too short and just like with the 1st lesson, take nothing for granted.
Advice: Take pictures with your loved ones. Pictures are living memories that you can relate to whenever you go through them. But don’t be the guy or girl, who’s always on their phone and is taking pictures of every single moment.
7. Don’t be afraid of letting go of toxic friendships.
The people around you really do affect you more than you think and you shouldn’t be afraid of separating yourself and spending time alone. 2020 has been the year of drama and betrayal in terms of friendships.
Just because you know someone for a long period of time, or you’ve been friends for a couple of years, doesn’t mean that you need or have to be friends with them. Take a step back, cut them loose, and prioritize your mental health first.
If you are around people that make you feel guilty for being you or loving the things you love, then those are NOT your people.
Emphasize more on how they treat you and less on how much you like them.-Uknown.
Related Post: 12 Signs Of A Toxic Friend That You Absolutely Ignore
Related Post: How To Get Rid Of Toxic Friends
8. Value The Little Things.
We tend to get caught up in the big things in life.
“Who’s the President?” “How’s the economy doing?” “What is going on around the world?”
Those big things tend to eat a lot of our attention, focus, and emotional energy. When we focus too much on these things, we lose perspective on all the incredible little things that are happening in our day-to-day lives. If we stay focused and appreciate the little things, the little victories, they can add up to something big, and when that happens, I’m pretty confident you’ll appreciate it more.
From my point of view, I don’t need to go to luxury restaurants, or to spend a huge amount of money to feel good inside. 2020 and home isolation taught me that. The only two things that matter are to have a group of friends that are there for you, and your family to be healthy.
What I once thought was important, I now realize is secondary.
Recognizing small moments is what creates memories. Appreciate them while they’re happening.
9. Patience Is powerful.
You’ve probably heard the adage: “Good things take time” and I’m here to tell you that there is a truth to that. We live in a materialistic world, where everything we want is at our fingertips, where we are obsessed with more, easier, better, faster things. But we forget that, if it’s fast and easy, then probably it isn’t so worth it after all.
There is something in the hard work and the time it takes for us to achieve these goals that make it more valuable. Being patient is a skill and this year has taught me that. Eventually, you’ll get where you want, if you put in the effort required.
10. Simplify your digital life.
This year has been a steady progression towards simplifying my digital life, removing unnecessary distractions, and using that time to do things that make me happy. I’m actively trying to live a more minimalist, less cluttered life.
I’ve turned off most of my notifications on my phone. I found out that whenever a new notification popped up, I found myself using my phone for 20-30 minutes to even an hour at a time. Multiple times a day. Think of all that lost time.
The first thing for me was to disable the notifications on Instagram and using its built-in feature to alert me whenever I exceeded the 1-hour mark. After a few weeks went by, I figured that I was using less and less Instagram and I didn’t care to post or to share a story.
The other big thing for me was disabling the notifications on YouTube. This was a recent one, I did it maybe 2 or 3 months ago. I had many sleepless nights binge-watching weird YouTube videos or trying to study and get bombarded by 10 notifications of newly uploaded videos.
With 2021 just around the corner, these were the 10 life lessons I learned in 2020. What are your life lessons? Let me know down in the comments!