• Akosua Acheampong

The decade that is 2020…..so far

If ever a season in life felt like Armageddon, 2020 so far is it. Where does one even begin? December 31st 2019 was filled with so much hope, lots of New Year goals, resolutions (which I hate) and excitement. For many, it represented an opportunity to start again, to put plans into motion, to finally get off our arses and get things done. Even though the difference between 2019 and 2020 is just a day, psychologically leaving a year behind can be an exhilarating feeling that fills one with hopeful expectation. And then screeching halt. Let us take a big fat pause.


As the BBC news often describes it, we are living in “unprecedented times”, the first of its kind in our generation and every media outlet will reiterate to drum into our heads, how uncertain these times truly are. And rightly so, when was the last time in recent memory where entire nations, economies, businesses and general ways of living have come to a near enough complete halt as a result of a virus that seems to have the world’s most brilliant scientists and researchers mind boggled? I admit, rewinding back to about 3 months ago when the sniff of COVID-19 was in the air, I didn’t take it all that seriously. I threw around phrases like “ah, it’s probably not as bad as the flu which kills more people every year anyway”, “ah, it’s a media hype and it’ll die in before we know it”. I certainly did not think it would be right on our doorsteps in just a few short weeks, turning lives upside down and in some ways, the right way up at the same time. Let me explain.


I remember the day when the email from our company CEO dropped into my inbox stating that all employees were to work from home for the foreseeable future, following governmental advice. That is when it truly hit home that everyday life was about to change. I believe most things in life come as a double-edged sword; it can cut both negatively and positively depending on the lens you assess them through.


The busyness of life, balancing the demands of work, family, friends – aspects of which I sometimes feel I am failing in, can be all too consuming. Often, we need to stop and just “be”. Your “be” may be getting stuck into a good book and getting lost in an alternative life for a couple of hours, for others it may be the ability to lock yourself in a room completely uninterrupted and having that 3 hour nap (whether deserved or otherwise). Whatever your “be” is, this season of lockdown can present opportunities to capitalise on the additional time we have been afforded.

Whether you are working from home, furloughed or have your days at your complete disposal, here are some ways to keep inspired during this season of self-isolation:

Learning new skills

Cue the eye roll. I am rolling my eyes at myself as I type this, but we cannot escape the truth, self-improvement is a continuous journey. It can be boring yes but when was the last time you had the chance to sign up for that free course that will help boost your career potential, or increase your knowledge in your chosen field of interest? Now’s a good a time as any if you do have those mind numbing slow hours on your hands.

Exercise

I am speaking to myself here. I usually cannot run 50meters without feeling like I am having a heart attack with serious chest palpitations. So, in this season, I’m realising that I need to get my 31-year-old self together and start prioritising my health. To further commit, I spent my hard earned £24 cash on a couple of funky Fabletics workout outfits as motivation. If I am going to exercise, I may as well look good doing it.

REST

That’s right…. I mean unless you have been in a state of rest all this while, in which case, refer to point number 1&2 above. But if like me, you are usually in a deficit in your sleep bank, then now’s the perfect time to catch up on some much-needed R&R.

Call (or WhatsApp) that long-lost friend...

whose number has slipped to near enough the bottom of your last dialled list. This is the season to reconnect, not with just any Tom, D**k, or Harry. I still believe some relationships deserve to be buried and allowed to die if toxic. I am talking about those you’ve simply lost touch with and with no real cause. You never know how they may be coping (or not).

Just sort your life out mate

Life admin, gardening, clean the cobwebs from outside your windows (I need to pencil this in), paint that dusty cupboard. All those boring bits of work we put off, yes, do that.


All in all, we are living in strange times. Challenging? Absolutely. Ideal? Not. For many, it is a heart-breaking season where loved ones are succumbing to the effects of the virus, job security is threatened, and the future is very much a smog of uncertainty. While we wait to see what lays on the other side of this madness, as much as possible, let us try and find that little glimmer of hope and light.


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