Things We Learned During This F’d Up Year

Let’s address the elephant in the room: 2020.

By: rē•spin staff
Things We Learned During This F’d Up Year

The past year has been 12 months of challenges, taking us on a rollercoaster of emotions as we try to cope with what is happening around us. It’s okay to acknowledge that this year was full of hardships and tough emotions to work through. It’s also okay if you didn’t accomplish everything on your to-do list, the same way it’s okay to throw yourself into new projects. Whether you learned a new skill or not, 2020 still taught us lessons across the board that we can take into 2021 and for years to come.

That being said, here are some things we learned during this, for lack of better terms, f’d up year.

Learning patience:

The phrase “patience is a virtue” rang particularly true this year. It can be difficult to adjust, especially after a tumultuous year with enough abrupt stops for a lifetime. This was a difficult year for keeping our frustrations at bay, even when it came to ourselves. Thrust into a new environment and upending our lives for this new normal with no guide wasn’t an ideal situation by any means, only exacerbated by our impatience.

We used to be patient about waiting in lines or for an answer from a colleague. Today, our patience has been taken to a whole new level. This year made us look inward and recognize that we need to be more patient with ourselves and recognize that nothing is normal, that it’s okay to take extra time for ourselves to do something each day or maybe even an extra day.

Maintaining mindfulness every day:

Remaining mindful during the pandemic seemed almost impossible at times as we felt continually detached from previous aspects of our lives, especially our close connections. To be fully present this year, we had to pause and tune into our senses, taking a beat to forget our surroundings while focusing on our more intimate senses.


This year made us realize how many things we take for granted, the small parts of our lives that we didn’t know we could miss. Waking up early to make it to work on time, our morning commutes, sitting down at the coffee shop to enjoy fifteen minutes of peace, getting drinks with friends, talking for hours until you lost track of time, dinner parties, that workout class we debated skipping, first dates, family gatherings. We learned how to acknowledge what we have in an assessment of our life to ground ourselves throughout a turbulent period.

Slowing down and pacing ourselves:

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. We learned that we don’t have to move at a lightning pace anymore. We can take a step back, examine the road we have ahead of us, and tread forward on our adjusted schedules to avoid burnout.

Honoring our feelings:

Our feelings are and have always been, valid. Emotions were at an all-time high this year, pre-occupying our minds as we moved through our day-to-day lives. Honoring your feelings is a gift and is what makes us human. Bottling up your emotions and keeping a straight face does not equate to being tough. This was a traumatic year for a myriad of reasons and suppressing those emotions can put your mind, body, and soul under immense amounts of stress. It’s best to let your emotions happen, keep them in check, and remember to validate yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness you treat others with.

Knowing when to take a break:

Time management became an important fixture in our days in quarantine, stuck at home with no set schedule any longer. We learned how and when to use our off-switch, knowing where we had to draw a line and create boundaries for ourselves. With no time constraints, the days can drag on, draining our energy along the way. It’s okay to disconnect to regain a sense of self and create those boundaries to ensure that your time truly belongs to you.

We are not alone:

While we may be physically more alone than in the past, we are not alone in this world. The pandemic, despite its undeniably toll taking moments, became a uniting factor. Your friends and family are just one text message or phone call away. A digital connection may not be the same as a physical connection, but it’s better than nothing when you’re seeking comfort and conversation with someone else.

Our voices matter:

This year brought a reckoning not only in our country, but globally, and proved once again that our voices matter when we are loud enough. We’ve navigated tough conversations and embraced our passion to drive social change for the greater good. There’s work to be done, but we all have one strength in common to move forward with: our voices.

Focus on positive affirmations and intentions for your life:

We fully embraced creating positive affirmations combined with meaningful intentions to create ourselves a new vision for 2020 and manifest the life we want to live moving forward knowing what we know now. Our “Journal On Joy” was created to amplify joy and encourage everyone to document the good times, especially after this hectic year. Use the free space in your journal to document your thoughts and include anything else that may light you up. Record the memories from the year that make you smile and the moments that warm your heart.



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