2020 has been a year that has pushed us outside our comfort zones. Everything we thought we knew about ourselves and our place in our wider communities requires reevaluation. Looking at this big picture can seem overwhelming, but if we look at our lives one component at a time, we can use these interesting times to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. We can all come out of 2020 living our best lives.


One area where many of us have seen a shift is in our financial lives. Many of us have seen a decrease in income, either because individuals are working fewer hours, or because they've been fired. If this is the situation you find yourself, start with an honest look at where you stand. This breaks down into expenses such as rent, food, and electricity, recurring payments such as personal installment loans, credit card debt or student loans, and income. 2020 is the time to look at what expenses to cut or minimize, what alternative payment plans are available, and new ways to creatively bring in income. While looking at your finances might seem stressful, being aware of exactly where you stand and having a clear plan to get where you need to be can be very calming.


Another area many of us have seen from a different angle as we work from home is our physical environment. It's given us time to discover which items in our environment are valuable to us and what is more clutter, which ends up stressing us out. There are many ways to look at the stuff in your home in new ways, such as the Konmari method, which focuses on what items bring you joy and which items to discard. Other organizational methods highlight the need for a spot for every item. No matter what system works for you, tending to your physical space can help bring you a sense of calm. Also, if we do an inventory, we might discover new forms of income, such as selling unneeded items or finding new ways to turn a hobby into a career. As others have stated,  a clean outer world can lead to a clean and calm inner world.


How are you doing right now? No pause a moment, how are you doing right now? 2020 has been quite a year so far, and many of us are feeling a wide range of emotions right now. What we are feeling also changes moment by moment, day by day. We see some emotions as positive such as having joy or being energized, others as negative such as wanting to give up or anxiety, but we are all feeling something. But many of us would struggle to articulate what those feelings are. The first step in putting our emotional life in order is to be self-aware about what we are feeling. Once we know how we feel, we can find healthy ways to respond. If you are feeling alone, host a virtual happy hour with friends. If you are anxious, consider making a list of what you can change or what steps you can take. If you are feeling energized right now, how can you use that energy to help someone you know who is struggling.

If we take the time to self reflect on where we stand financially, physically, and emotionally we will find many areas of personal growth. While 2020 may feel out of our control, in reality, we have a lot of control over our day to day actions and interactions. Being aware of what we can and can not change will set us up to come out of 2020, feeling our very best.

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