20 Lessons I Learned in 2020

Hey y’all!

We’ve finally made it! This post is officially my last of 2020. It’s certainly been one hell of a year. It’s been emotional, scary, stressful, and even boring –but to be fair, there is more to be learned from the hard times than there is from the good.

It’s kind of hard reflecting back on this year — it was a really rough one for me, personally. I lost a couple of people who were very important to me, graduated at a time that the job market is at it’s worst, and put up with many difficult situations at my job, with my roommates, and friends whom I had to let go of and leave in the past. That being said, it wasn’t all bad — I graduated university, got to go to Mexico back in February before COVID lockdowns, made some new friends, rediscovered some old hobbies and got some much-needed time off.

And at the end of of the day, this year may have had some ups and (plenty of) downs, I did learn some important lessons that I’d like to share. My hope is that, at the very least I can save someone out therefrom learning these lessons the hard way by sharing them with you now

  1. Take time to appreciate what you have.
  2. Tell your friends and family how much you love them, honestly and often.
  3. Nothing is certain. Planning is important — but you can’t anticipate everything.
  4. Practice compassion. Everyone has something difficult happening in their lives — big or small. Be kind.
  5. It’s okay to take breaks. Burn out is real, and just because you don’t feel like you’ve worked hard enough to earn it doesn’t mean you don’t need it.
  6. Set goals — but don’t get too down on yourself if they don’t work out. It’s important to keep moving forwards. If you miss the mark on a goal, set some new ones!
  7. Take time to discover what it is that makes you happy.
  8. Stop comparing yourself to others. Nothing you see on social media is real — so don’t get down on yourself because your life doesn’t look like other’s Instagram posts. Odds are, their lives don’t either.
  9. Prioritize your mental health.
  10. Try not to worry about what others expect of you. It’s tough to break expectations at first, but you’ll be happier for it in the long run.
  11. Sometimes it isn’t about you. This applies to so many things — from taking a step back when someone’s in a rough place and needs your support, to following COVID lockdown protocols.
  12. Actions speak louder than words. Telling others how much you care about them is important, but you need to show it, too.
  13. Self-improvement comes from the little things. Working out regularly. Eating healthy. Staying organized. Being productive. Taking breaks and practicing self-care. It all adds up.
  14. Spend time on your hobbies. It’s hard sometimes — there are only so many hours in a day. But try to take time to rediscover things you love — such as writing, reading, drawing, or music — whatever makes your heart happy.
  15. Nothing is forever. Appreciate the things and people you have in life while you can. But alternatively — a bad situation is only temporary.
  16. Be kind to others.
  17. A positive mindset influences everything. Going into a situation with a positive mindset will alter the experience as a whole, as well as the results.
  18. It’s okay to say no. Standing up for yourself can be hard, but boundaries are important.
  19. Don’t worry about what others think of you. There’s always going to be someone who may judge or try to tear you down. Do what you love, regardless.
  20. Always remember to love yourself first. Growth is always uncomfortable. It’s okay — be patient with yourself. You’re getting there. And you’re doing better than you think you are.

Happy New Years, everyone, and here’s to better vibes in 2021! It’s been a tough year but we’ve made it through. Let’s not forget to bring all the lessons we learned this year into the new year, to help improve ourselves, our communities and our world.

Personally, my goals for the new year are to keep my expectations small. I’m setting a couple big goals for the year at large, but I think this next year I’m going to try taking it month by month so I can manage my goals and expectations a little better. (Besides, I’d rather be pleasantly surprised by completely smashing my goals rather than feeling a little down if I don’t manage to achieve them).

Sending you all so much love — I hope that all of you have a better year ahead of you in 2021 than you had in 2020. I’m curious — are you guys still setting goals for the next year? If so, how have they changed from the goals you set for 2020? If you feel like sharing, drop a comment below — I’d love to hear how 2020 has changed your perspective!

Here’s to better days!

Xo,

Meredith

HOW TO: Have The Perfect Self-Love Valentine’s Day!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

It’s officially the first Sunday of February and you all know what that means — Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For some, this is met with excitement, but for others this holiday just leads to a lot of dread. Those of us who are single (and yes, I can definitely relate) often end up feeling lonely around this time of year — when really, being single is something I personally think should be celebrated! (In the wise words of Cher — a man is a luxury, not a necessity).

Over the years, I’ve really come to dislike negative attitudes that persist around February and being single. I really do grow tired of hearing complaints and the term “Singles Awareness Day” — when really, there’s nothing wrong with being single. While I’ll admit, I used to be a little bitter about it, I’ve recently realized just how important being single is to me right now — I have gone through so much growth and so many changes lately, I wouldn’t want anyone else defining my life right now or limiting my options of what comes next. This isn’t to say that I never want to be in a relationship, but this current time in my life is rather crazy, revolutionary and just straight up busy — and I’m hoping to come out the other side as the best possible version of myself. Then — and only then — will I really feel ready to settle down.

But for those of us focusing on ourselves right now — that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on feeling the love this February! And besides — who better to plan out and execute your perfect Valentine’s Day other than yourself, right? So whether you’re single and loving it, a little bitter about your relationship status, or fresh out of a relationship and unsure what comes next, I’ve got plenty of ideas for how you can treat yourself this 14th and have your best Self-Love Valentine’s Day yet!

Plan An All-Out Spa Day

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

The winter months are a busy and often stressful time for all of us — I’m sure I’m not the only one who starts to feel a little burnt out whenever February rolls around. Take this Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a day off! Plan yourself out a full spa day, complete with a massage, a facial, a mani-pedi, or whatever else your heart desires. Not only is this a fantastic way to treat yourself, it really helps your to focus on yourself and your needs for a day. Plus, you get to come back to work on Monday feeling refreshed — you’ll be glowing from the inside out!

Have A Night Out At Your Fave Restaurant

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

This Valentine’s Day, why not take yourself out on a date? After all, no one knows your perfect date better than yourself! Book a reso at your fave restaurant, buy tickets to that movie you’ve been dying to see, take yourself on a little shopping spree or go visit the local art gallery or park! If you decide to take yourself out to dinner, order your favourite meal and a nice drink or two — treat yourself! After all, it’s Valentine’s Day, and you deserve it.

Plan The Perfect Self-Care Night

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

If going out to dinner by yourself isn’t really your thing, take a night in to yourself! Take the time to plan out your perfect self care night — whatever that means for you. Buy a single use face mask, a bottle of wine (sparkling even — go all out!), and plan an activity that you know you’ll love. If you need more ideas, check out my post on how to plan your perfect self-care night for more ways to make it the perfect night for yourself!

Have A Girls Night In

Have a couple friends who are also single this February? Plan a night in together! Buy a couple bottles of wine, a pizza, plan a charcuterie board and a movie — or anything else you guys love to do! You can even plan a group self-care night, complete with some all-natural Lush face masks to share, some candles and a little treat like group hand massages. No matter what you guys end up planning, it’ll be a great way to show your love for each other and have a great night in this Valentine’s Day.

Go On A Wild Night Out

Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

For those of you looking to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a night out — you’re in luck! Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, making it the perfect night to go all-our for a night out on the town with your friends. Grab all your closest single friends and take a night to celebrate yourself, being single and figuring out who you are and what you want your life to be! (Or if you’re a little bitter about being single, go ahead and drink to that as well — I won’t judge!). It is a Friday after all, so hit that bar or club you’ve been dying to try and go all out!

Happy February everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week! No matter what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have an amazing time — whether it’s a date night out with your SO, your friends, or a night in by yourself! Drop a comment below if you already have something fun planned — I’d love to hear it! And just remember, in the wise words of Ru Paul, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else” — can I get an Amen?

Much love,

Meredith