2020 has been a really intense year. There’s so much going on and I know that the news only shared something awful happening around the world. I feel like every time I switched to the news as the months went by, it got worse. It can be easy to get sucked into this hole with mindlessly scrolling through social media and watching everyone’s reactions explode on the Internet. While I like to keep myself informed, it was becoming too much. I switched my focus to other things, not only to distract me but pour that energy into things that would revitalise me. It was about being more intentional about my relationships with friends and family, building mindset and my brand, and learning to take care of myself more. If there is one thing that I hope that you takeaway from this post, I hope that you feel encouraged and inspired to do the same in your life.
During this period, I have been reaching out to my family members and friends more. I’ve moved away from purely texting to doing more video calls, sending more memes, voice notes or sending them videos as a means of communication. It was a great time to solidify and strengthen these relationships and being deliberate in letting them know that I was thinking about them. With the extra time this period has given us, I was able to do longer phone calls. I find that being on the phone with someone makes me focus on doing that task alone instead of being distracted or doing multiple tasks at once.
At home, I was quarantining by myself and having that communication line was really important to me. I feel closer to my family and friends so much more because of this.
My Faith With God
Getting closer to God during this time has helped me remain positive and hopeful for what is to come as everything above my understanding. The first two months of lockdown was toughest time for me and by leaning into my faith more, it gave me an opportunity to get better at saying short prayers throughout the day, having faith sessions during my self-weekend, and most importantly, it gave me a sense of peace and clarity. My worship song for this season is The Blessing by Elevation Worship. Doing a worship and praise session and doing my daily devotionals has been my way of bridging a closer relationship with God.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you are like me, you probably picked up a new habit or tried to establish a morning or evening routine, a skincare of haircare routine, or you wanted to use this time wisely. I have fallen off my newly created habits multiple times and it’s natural because we are human. My new habits have been my skincare and haicare routine. I fell off the consistency train multiple times but I made sure to keep on trying. As we are at home more often and with winter coming, we may see longer periods of being at home -now is the best time to get started. Whether your habit is to workout multiple times a week, read a book a week, waking up earlier in the morning, go for it now. Building up the discipline and committment to create a habit takes time, which is hard. You won’t get it right the first time around or have a blueprint ready overnight. The aim for all habits and routines is to do better than what you did the day before. If you get it wrong once, aim to not get it wrong a second time. It’s similar to starting out a new lifting plan, you aren’t going to get the technique right immediately but after a few weeks of practice, you will figure out a rhythm, get better and start building up the consistency as you stay committed and disciplined.
If lockdown taught me something, it would be putting myself first always. We live in a period where self-care can be seen as selfish to some but that statement “You can’t pour from an empty cup” stands true to this day. I have to remind myself constantly that running out of energy wasn’t doing me any good. For me, my self-care started with treating my skin and hair with respect. As it was very difficult to buy Black hair products locally during lockdown, I sought products from the UK, Germany and France and spent a day every two weeks giving my hair the TLC it needed. With skincare, I created a morning and evening skincare routine that has benefited me to this day. Aside from the pampering, I learnt to focus more on building my mindset and taking care of my mental health. That meant taking more breaks from social media, listening to more podcasts and music that made me feel good, reading to expand my intellectual wealth and doing things that made me feel creative and better about myself. Now that life is slowly transitioning into this new normal, I’ve made creating self-care time as a daily priority.
Early 2020 told me to revisit my goals and vision for this year. I admit that when we first got into lockdown, I felt lost. I didn’t have a clue how I would continue showcasing my content on social media without the gym. After struggling and trying things out for a couple months, I took some time out to reevaluate what I wanted to achieve this year due to the circumstances that we are in and what steps I needed to take to accomplish that. My goal for the year is ‘to elevate’ and how I saw that elevation in January 2020 is completely different to how I see it now in December 2020. I have elevated in ways that I never could have imagined in, both as a person and with my brand. I’ve landed two campaign deals and they have helped reinforce where I see myself going for the next few years. This has taught me that I need to learn to be consistent in creating valuable content if I want to be better at this skill. I’ve had to let go of operating from a place of fear and accepting that I need to be bad at something before I become great at it.
We still have a week and a half left in 2020 and it is more than enough time to get an action plan started. Spend some of these days reflecting on your year and what you learnt during lockdown. How have they changed the way you lived? What habits will you take with you in 2021?