2020 has been a roller coaster, to say the least. From dealing with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic to the racial and social justice movements to an election that kept many of us wide awake for days, this year has truly been like no other. Despite the many challenges we have all faced, we believe there are some key lessons that have come from this year. After talking to multiple members of our team, we decided to share what we consider to be the O’Connor Professional Group’s key takeaways from 2020:
Mental health is equally as important as physical health.
During the pandemic and the rise of stay-at-home orders, many people took to exercise as a way to spice up their daily routines. Whether it was taking a yoga class from the comfort of their living room or going on a walk to get out of the house, taking care of one’s physical health was key to getting through quarantine. This year, however, showed us that mental health is just as important as physical health. We encourage everyone to check in with themselves from time to time and really assess how they are feeling.
It is okay not to be okay (and admit that you are not okay).
This year has shown us that mental health is no longer taboo. Previously, many of us would have felt ashamed for struggling with anxiety, depression, or battling other mental health issues. Now, however, we all understand that it is okay to not be okay—and admit when those feelings arise so that loved ones can help us or get us the professional support and advice we may sometimes need.
Leaning on your support network and village during times of uncertainty is critical.
Times get hard, especially during periods of isolation. Though many started to experience Zoom fatigue from the constant screen-time and back-to-back calls, leaning on those friends and family during a tough time is critical for mental well-being. As social creatures, humans are not wired for extended periods of isolation, so tapping into your village is important, even if it is done virtually.
Awareness of behavioral issues is not a bad thing.
Many parents were faced with the stress of being full-time employees, teachers, and parents during quarantine. In return, this caused parents to become hyperaware of some of the behavioral issues of their children and other members of their families. These behaviors may come as a shock or surprise, but the bright side is parents are especially able to get or provide crucial support to their loved ones.
Burnout is real.
When the lines of home and work are blurred, it can be difficult to recognize when it is time for a break. Despite lacking that separation of environments, we must all carve out time to unplug, relax and reset. This is a must, in order to avoid burnout.
As we move into a new year and continue facing similar challenges from this year, we now have the knowledge and wisdom to conquer 2021. Though we don’t yet know what the new year will bring, we know that with these key takeaways in mind, we will get through it.