Looking Back at 2020: How to Use the Past as Motivation
2020 has been difficult for everyone. Covid-19 has touched all corners of the earth, and everyone, to some extent, has felt hardships as a result. Looking to 2021 with positivity and determination for a better year can be challenging, despite good news of vaccines. As a result of isolation, job losses and loneliness, the worsening of mental health across the world has been dubbed ‘an emergency within an emergency’.
So how can you overcome all of this negativity and look at our 2020 experiences as motivation for a better future? Sometimes, looking back on the past can be scary. We don’t want to relive these memories, which can only darken our mood further. However, reflection is a crucial tactic for understanding mental health and preparing for the future. 2021 won’t be sunshine and daisies from the start. While we are looking towards the summer onwards with a positive attitude, we know that getting through winter and spring will be just as hard as the lockdowns we have already faced.
We can look back at 2020 and use these experiences as motivation for powering through tough times and protecting our mental health from issues like depression and loneliness. Please keep reading to learn more on what you can reflect on and how this can be fuel for a better future.
Look at the Hardships
The initial outbreak, March 2020 lockdown, Lockdown 2.0 in November: there are many moments of 2020 we can want to lock away in a box and pretend they didn’t exist. We may have even witnessed loved ones struggle through infection. But what we can’t do is try to forget these experiences ever happened.
Instead, we need to think positively when looking back on these moments of hardship. The most important thing to remember is that you got through them. Your mental health might have taken a few hits as a result, but you’re still out on the other side. As we move into a new year, you can use these experiences as motivation to prepare yourself and your mental health for any hiccups along the road.
Think about how and why you made it through difficult times. Was there a routine you stuck to? People you spoke to? Maybe you have comfort tasks whether that’s cooking, cleaning or watching TV. Once you recognise how you support yourself through hard times, you can start actively implementing these into your life when you feel moments of difficulty coming up.
Remember the Good Times
It doesn’t have to always be about the bad times; there’s much we can learn from the good moments too. 2020 hasn’t all been doom and gloom; the country has come together to celebrate and honour those getting us through Covid-19, families have connected online and shared love across the internet and strangers have made friendships which will last decades past the pandemic.
Even if your happy moments are tiny, they are still significant to your mental health. Sometimes things as little as a weekly relax in the bath or hitting your reading goal can boost our mental health in wonderful ways. Even establishing a routine that gets you out of bed when furloughed and outside for a walk can have a massive impact on our mood.
It’s important to remember that we don’t need to keep busy to be happy, but we don’t want to let ourselves wallow in self-pity either. Look back on your moments of happiness and take mental photographs. When you feel yourself heading down a dark pit, or more moments of isolation or furlough heading your way, you can pull this bank of memories out and use them as inspiration to keep your mood lifted in 2021.
Every person is different, and something which may work for one person may not work for another. While many of us can support our only mental health with tips, tricks and reflection, others will require more outside support. Our mental health is delicate, and if we want to solidify its defences against issues like depression, anxiety and loneliness, then we have to be willing to accept the support when we need it.
Therapy is a great way to gain the support you need and deserve from experts who understand what you are facing. Therapists are sympathetic and empathetic and have the knowledge and experience to listen to you and help you work through your issues. With a compassionate ear, dedication to help and understanding soul, there is nothing quite like a therapist when it comes to fighting personal problems which prevent you from living your life with happiness.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. Reflection is key to working towards a better and brighter future. We shouldn’t fear our mistakes or hardships, but instead, use them as lessons and appreciate the experience they have given us. If you look back and realise therapy can benefit you greatly in 2021, then please get in contact with me today for more information.