We can all agree that the transition of 2020 into 2021 is going to be a big one. We’re ready to farewell what has been a year of disbelief and upheaval, and symbolically the fresh calendar year brings with it a fresh energy of hope. While we’re itching to write off 2020 and get on with “starting over”, there will be a lot of value to be found in reflecting on this monumental year with some kindness, compassion and honesty. The process of self reflection is vital to processing, learning and moving forward with the least amount of negative emotional residue. So how do we reflect on times like these without it all feeling doom and gloom?
Do it with kindness and compassion
First things first – this is not the year to beat yourself up for not getting enough done, or not achieving your yearly goal, or not learning how to make the perfect sourdough like everyone else on Instagram, or for things not going to plan. So much was out of our control this year so we do need to observe ourselves (and others!) with compassion and understanding. If you find it hard to do then perhaps there is a lesson in that for you on the expectations you hold. Remember that reflection is not just on the “things” you did, but on the “way” you lived – your emotional responses, your resilience, your approach to adversity – so be curious and compassionate to what you’ve learned about yourself through the chaos.
Tap into the shared experience
One incredible result of the global events of 2020 has been the expression of our shared humanity through messages, movements, innovations, and art to help us connect despite distance. From long lost friends reconnecting over Zoom, to neighbours singing together across balconies, to worldwide peaceful protests. How did it feel to relate and empathise in a globally shared experience? What did you learn from your fellow humans? What moments moved you and why?
Perspective and gratitude
If you do nothing else to reflect on 2020, at least take a moment for deep gratitude. The restrictions and closures that changed our day-to-day forced us to find simple pleasures, and different ways to look after ourselves. You might like to write a list of “Things to Remember from Isolation” for example; the satisfaction of clean bedsheets, making pancakes for the kids on a weekday, or friendship is only a call away.
Bonus: some example questions to help you reflect
Try writing on these questions or discussing with your loved ones;
What did you learn about yourself this year?
What did this year illuminate in terms of what you truly value?
What did this year show you’ve been complacent with?
How did your priorities change this year?
Where did joy show up for you this year?
What are you proud of yourself for this year?
Reflecting on 2020 — Corporate Health, Workplace Wellness & Wellbeing is written by Amanda McMillan for www.wellineux.com