Unpredictable, horrible, strange, surprising, uncertain, depressive – if you ask a stranger on the street probably you will receive these adjectives as a description of the finishing year.
On the other hand there is a possibility that you will receive more positive words like: motivating, happy, thought – provoking , life changing, family relation improver, money saver.
In today’s article I’d like to write about the bright and dark side of the last twelve months focusing on following topics:
- What pandemic time changed in our environment
- What kind of issues people met and which of them are visible which not
- My personal summary of this year – it was the first time when I set new year resolutions (guess how many of them I accomplished)
- My view how next year will look like and what we can do in the upcoming time
A lot of topics to cover so let’s get started!
Disclaimer: in this article, I’m sharing my thoughts about the situation in the country where I’m living – Poland. There is a possibility that in a place where you are located situation is different – you can always share your thoughts in comments.
This popular phrase about situation/thing/person which makes a 180-degree change in life has never been true for many as it is today. Broadly speaking, the majority of the people on earth experience some changes caused by COVID-19. I think that nobody expected that situation will develop so fast for the entire world.
I’m not authorised to write about the pandemic itself. My eyes are on psychological and technological effects which we can observe around us and it’s worth being aware of them.
We are living in a rapidly developing world, especially when it comes to technology. It is hard to be up to date with every new solution in this area. Was also observed in the last years that more people are trying to be more digital and use technology in more life’s areas. Companies are also huge players in this kind of transformation – because a more modern company means more attractive to potential employees.
Finishing year accelerated this process even faster. In order to minimise the risk of infection of employees companies had to adapt to working from home model. To stay in touch and protect the elderly in the family, our parents and grandparents learnt how to use the Internet. Workshops were conducted with online tools. Technology also allowed people to stay in good shape or learn new skills.
We realized that most of the activities can be done online and thanks to that we can save time and money. However, the question is if the virtual version is better than the ‘normal’ one – but I think that everyone has their own opinion about it.
Transformation of relations
During the months where we were obligated to stay at home – because of lockdowns, work from home and in some places obligatory rules to go outside only in special circumstances – we spent more time with our partners and family. I would say that it was a hard test for our relationships.
As a result of it, many people failed. Maybe because they were not prepared. Maybe because the amount of time was overwhelming. Maybe because sometimes it’s hard to get along with the same person without short breaks for work in the office. Maybe because those relations were too weak to survive. Finally, perhaps the reason was that everyday problems were even bigger.
On the other hand, we have those whose relationships became stronger, they have started to better understand them. Also, some people realized that they have to slow down and care more about their family because they can miss a lot. Also, we made a reflection on people with whom we are living and made some decisions, sometimes life-changing.
Daily life transformation
First of all, we have learnt about new habits. We wrote new rules for some aspects of everyday life. Wearing masks, disinfection, distance – these are the most common ones but there were many more.
We had to get used to them. How it went? In my opinion, it wasn’t that hard because some changes simplified our life – like more government matters people can do online or more articles are available in online stores. As time goes by, more or less, we accept “new” life.
Some changes made our life harder. We cannot travel as freely as in previous years. We are obligated to abide by everything the government states – no matter if it was something logical or not. Many people lost their jobs. Access to doctors and hospitals has been limited.
I have also noticed that in some situations the word “pandemic” was overused. By this, I mean that if somewhere was the problem the cause always has been the same – because of the pandemic – no matter if it was true or not. It has become some kind of excuse which made people’s life not that easy as before.
I have a feeling that in the last months we, especially the government, were focused mainly on two fields – the condition of health services and economy. They are the most important part of every country, I’m not denying that, but many problems around them were ignored in my opinion.
Many people lost their jobs – it’s a fact and everyone knows about it. The problem was/is that people don’t know where they should seek help. There wasn’t enough support for them to, for example, change their profession or find a new job. The good thing is that many people, without asking, help others in that.
Large numbers of small businesses were closed – due to restriction but also because government support wasn’t enough for them to survive. I would leave here question mark – whether it was necessary to limit their activities in that scale and reduce their income
People’s mental condition – from my point of view this is the biggest problem of today’s world which should be cared more and more in pandemic time. Depression, anxiety, stress, problems with emotions and other mental disorders have intensified in many people. There are many reasons for that but I would say only one thing – a country’s authority should give people possibilities and places where they can find support. It’s really, really, really important. Without mental health, it’s hard to stay positive in unpredictable times. Also should be built-in social awareness that mental diseases are not a shame – because one of the main reasons why people with mental disorders don’t try to solve their problems is that they are afraid of social exclusion.
Pushing aside other diseases – health authority focused mainly on one problem – coronavirus – but sometimes I think they forgot about other issues which people have with their health. As I mentioned earlier, many planned operations and doctors appointments were cancelled or moved to the far future. People with cancers or other serious illness had to wait longer for help, but it shouldn’t be the case. People sometimes died because they didn’t receive medical help on time. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be a situation when we forget about other diseases because of one main.
Media disinformation – if someone asks me what the best advice I could give in pandemic time I will answer – throw away your tv. It is good to be up to date with the country and world situation but not in that way as I have seen this year. The problem is that information was presented in a very negative way. A number of pessimistic information was overwhelming. I know that the situation was very bad sometimes but many good things happened at the same time but by some reason, negative ones were present in the first place. Maybe because that news is more “clickable” but it didn’t help people and for many, it caused high stress.
The level of hate – it’s connected with the previous point. Due to the fact that we had to stay at home, we were more likely to show our negative emotions on the Internet because we didn’t have other ways to deal with them. Of course, there were other solutions but the Internet is the easiest one. Easiest doesn’t mean the best because it was/is a source of hate. There are individuals who take really serious negative thoughts from others (also if they are not true).
This year was very important and meaningful for me. I go through many changes. Like many people, most of the time I had to work from home, and also I had a huge amount of additional free time.
I experienced various emotions, from sadness through frustration to the place where I adapted to a new environment. Despite some sad events, I’m sure that it was the best year of my life. Why? There is a number of things to mention.
New year resolutions – I had 7 main plans for 2020, 5 of which I accomplished so I think that this is quite a good result.
New hobbies – I spent additional time trying new things – a few of them I do regularly till now.
Useful habits – I built a learning habit (which means scheduling everyday time for learning) that keeps me on track when I would like to gain new skills. Thanks to a regular money-saving habit I have started building my financial security.
Finding a direction – I think that thanks to additional free time I had a moment to reflect on my career path and I have more certainty about what I would like to do in the future.
Blog – The website which you are reading right now is also a result of this year. I’m very proud of it and I think that pandemic time also makes me sure that having my own blog is very important in my profession.
Review relations – 2020 allowed me to reflect on all my relations with others and care more about the closest people to my heart. I also removed from my environment people and things that acted badly on me.
Knowledge about myself – I have also gained much new information about myself, my body, and my emotions. In general, I started taking more care of myself.
More books – in the past I had many excuses to not read books. But it was all about building a habit to read a few pages of a book every day. Currently, my daily minimum is 15 pages and this year was the best when it comes to the number of books read. You can read 2020 book recommendations here.
Exploring Poland – Because international travels were unavailable it was a great opportunity to explore my country. I can truly say that it is beautiful! I have learned that interesting places can be found very close and there is no need to go abroad.
Vision for 2021
I am optimistic about next year. In my opinion, the situation will be more and more stable – due to vaccines and lessons which we learned from last year. People accepted how the current world looks like and they will keep trying to adapt instead of fight.
From my perspective, it’s really important in 2021 to support others. To offer help if they would like to change their professional field or if they need psychological help. The huge player here is of course the government. I wish they would start making decisions that are people-friendly and which are as realistic as possible.
What can we do? First of all, work on the things over which we have control. Ignore everything that is out of our scope and what cannot be changed because it will cause unnecessary negative emotions. Develop skills by using available technology. Find new hobbies. Looking for new opportunities. Finally, improve our relations and try to better understand each other.
What was the year for you? Share your stories in the comments!
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