There aren’t many people going to look back at 2020 and think it was a walk in the park. Even for those that didn’t get sick, the pandemic certainly rocked people on their feet: emotionally, professionally, mentally and in every other area of how we live our lives.
Usually, at the holiday season we think about what we “want for Christmas” or ask children what “Santa will bring them”. We’ve done it for generations. This year, the mood was understandably a little more somber. The experiences we have been through in 2020, along with some of the changes in tradition that had to happen (“virtual” dinner parties, Zoom gift exchanges), all came together to create a unique holiday season.
So, how do we take what we learned and create something positive within ourselves? How can 2020 help shape a better self image for us, a stronger mental core, and a focus on what is really important? Here are a few things that I have personally learned this year:
It isn’t what we have, but what we value that is of true worth.
I learned this year that I really value the time with my family. We were separated for much of the year, and we had to rely on new ways of feeling close. My son was abroad at a Japanese university, and with the pandemic, it was some cause for concern. I had to learn to breathe through it, and develop more trust in him as an adult. This lesson was invaluable to me. And it allowed him freedom for greater maturity which would not have happened without being isolated in a foreign country.
Self care is an expression of self love, and necessary for us as humans.
I have always been good with self care, but I was very aware this year, when I was unable to go get a facial, or a pedicure, or a massage, just how important self care was! Whether you learned to do your own nails, realized you were still beautiful without acrylic nails, or had a relative keep up your root color for you, this was a year where we had to choose to take care of ourselves. Some of you learned how to make time to do a facial mask on the weekend. I had lots of requests and questions from customers about how to take our Reveal Exfoliating Foam facial wash and mix it with clay to create a quick, easy mask for the weekends.
We realized that we all handle stress and isolation differently.
This year shed a brighter light on a worsening, darker problem: the impact of isolation on mental health, particularly those already living with clinical depression or otherwise dealing with potentially suicidal thoughts. We learned that people really need other people.
It made me take the time to really smile with my eyes at the cashier at the market (since they couldn’t see my smile), and to thank her for showing up to work. I made a point of making a list of those that I knew that were friends of my mom’s (extended “aunties”), that were alone, and I communicated more often with them. I made sure I sent Christmas cards by “snail mail” this year, so that people had something to open. Perhaps you found yourself getting depressed, or snapping at people, or even isolating yourself further. If you did, I hope someone was around you to poke you with a phone call or a text, to make sure you knew you were loved. We need other people, more than I ever realized.
We learned a deeper message of gratitude.
The pandemic made me think of the people who were on the front lines—not just the doctors and nurses, but the people that had to enter people’s homes and fix broken freezers or refrigerators as part of their job, or the small business owners who fought tooth and nail with the banks and got payroll protection for their employees, so that they didn’t have to lay anyone off during the year.
My heart still goes out to any of those small businesses that ended up having to close their doors. I am grateful for the extra donations of clothing and food that every day people found, and donated to homeless shelters and the needy. No matter where you looked about this year, you saw people rising up and helping lift others. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from the wonderful Fred “Mr.” Rogers who said,
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. ' "
No matter how your 2020 went, I hope that you found some joy and found space for gratitude and personal growth.
2021 is a New Year! This year, let us all move forward with an attitude of seeing things like a child seeing them for the first time. Instead of moving through the crowds aimlessly at the store, look up, make eye contact, and try to be kind to others. Make that time for self care even more important by ditching the toxins in your skin care and beauty products, and trying something that is organic and better for your skin. Clear out expired beauty products from your bathroom, paring what you use down to a simple and effective routine. All of this will make you feel better, and appreciate what you do have.
We wish for you, a wonderful, safe and precious new year. From our family business to your family, Happy New Year! Happy New You!
Bye for now!
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