Describe 2020 in 3 words
The lost year.
What were your happiest moments?
I did a rundown on my Instagram of my 2020 highlights because despite it being a shit year, there were some good points:
- Releasing my first eBook, Dear Alopecia
- Spending time with my family in the Philippines in Jan
- Moving to my own place
What new skills did you learn?
Does working from home count as one? I previously had only worked from home a couple of times, but now do it full time until we are able to go back into the office (who knows when?) and wow. Seeing as I primarily work with computers anyway, it wasn’t all bad adapting – I just had to get used to seeing my colleagues only through video, having meetings only through video and having to reach out to people via Slack/email because the ability to just get up out of your chair and walk over to them had vanished.
What was your most common state?
I spent the majority of the year not a good state, honestly. Starting from when the first lockdown happened (March) I slowly spiralled into depression – I was super stressed, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and my eczema was the worst it had been in years. Instead of keeping it all to myself like I usually do, I actually reached out for help – I had some free counselling sessions thanks to work, I reached out to my friends (although this took some time on my part even with me knowing that they are there for me when I need them) and I started therapy a few months ago which has been a godsend.
What little things did you most enjoy doing?
I started working from home back in March and have been doing so ever since, so to boost morale at work I started hosting quizzes for my team. Something about creating a quiz became really therapeutic for me and I really enjoyed hosting them. I did various ones from 90s Cartoons to Community to Marvel. Would highly recommend Kahoot if you are looking to do something similar! I also made holiday cards for some people on the team and coming up with the designs and drawing them was a lot of fun.
What qualities/habits did you strengthen?
I followed through with my goal of getting a personal trainer which I set at the end of 2019 and was consistent with sessions until lockdown happened. When the lockdown was lifted, I went straight back into it and even when they closed the gyms, my personal trainer started doing to park sessions and we kept going! It has been a habit I’ve been wanting to keep for ages and I’m super glad I was able to throughout 2020. Also, weight training is actually fun and boxing? Yeah, definitely let some anger out there.
What new things did you discover about yourself?
I am more of a stress head than I realised. When they announced that we weren’t allowed to leave our house except for exercise and everything was going to close down, my mind automatically locked in on itself and said that I wasn’t allowed to leave the house at all. I didn’t leave my house for a week and it did not do any favours for my body at all. Despite this though, I also discovered that I am stronger especially with regards to my mental health because even when I was at my lowest I was still powering through with work and other such things.
What did you do that got you out of your comfort zone?
At work, we have employee resource groups and I became one of the leads for the Ability group which supports physical and mental abilities. We held our first event back in October and I volunteered to speak about my journey with therapy. Public speaking is definitely not my forte and actually freaks me out way more than it should. It was a lot easier because everything was done through Google Hangouts but it still didn’t stop me from mildly sweating. Thankfully I had a lot of support and I prepped for it, and although I only spoke for a few minutes I felt amazing afterwards and it made me want to seek more opportunities to discuss mental health.
Did any negative events happen? How did you overcome them?
Aside from the fact that we were thrown into a global pandemic? COVID-19 definitely took everyone by surprise. I remember being on annual leave and receiving a message that I would be working from home for at 4 – 6 weeks. It got to July and I was like:
I am still getting used to working from home even though it has been nearly a year now but I have to remember that I am lucky to still have my job when so many others lost theirs due to the pandemic. It’s funny though because, despite the pandemic and being told that we weren’t allowed to socialise, my relationships actually became stronger because it made me realise that the closest people to me are there for me and will always be there for me.
What and who are you most thankful for?
I could name a lot of people, honestly. Family, friends and people at work come to mind straight away. My therapist, definitely. My personal trainer for putting up with my shit seeing as I spend most sessions shouting. Mostly I am thankful that I made it through 2020 and we shall see what 2021 brings us!
Happy New Year, everyone! 2020 was something that no-one expected. I remember going into 2020 with so much excitement. My best friend, cousin and I had made vision boards whilst we were still in the Philippines and looking at that board now, I did achieve some of my goals so it wasn’t all bad – but 2020 was going to bring about big changes; I just never expected a global pandemic to happen or my mental health to deteriorate at a rapid pace. But if I’ve taken anything away from 2020 then it is that life is too short. Live for the now because you never know what is going to happen the next day or week or month.