I don't think it would be necessary to say that this year has been hard. We've heard it all before and for a long time now. However, despite everything, we can all share personal lessons we have learnt. Here are five things I’ve learnt this year.
This year, my work, like many others has been badly disrupted. Even when I returned to my job as a sports photographer, I only had three shifts before the football season was over, followed by another two months off work. Instead of sitting at home doing nothing, I began to make practical choices for my future, preparing myself for when I could go back to work again. As well as getting involved with unrelated projects to fill my time, I would spend otherwise working.
Make time for fun
It’s so important to make time for some fun. Even if it’s just for thirty minutes a day to sit down and watch something on tv, go out on a Friday night and have a couple of beers with some mates (restriction depending). It’s so important to do something fun because life can be a downer at times.
Trying something new – or going back to something you did before
Despite this potentially be two different points, they can be considered the same thing. This year during the UK November lockdown, I decided to get back into playing finger-style guitar. The last time I played was about eight years ago but was able to pick up a lot of it again. By doing 15 minutes a day, I’ve improved drastically since November 1st, and have enjoyed doing so.
Be more assertive
People everywhere you go and speak to, at work, university, or even at home at times will walk over you. So remember to be assertive, stand your ground on the things that matter, get your message across, and don’t take it when people purposely put you down. Remember you are good at what you do and don’t accept being undermined by anyone.
Don’t be afraid to remove friends from your life
This year has been a hard time for us all. Earlier this year I found myself between a hard place and a rock when I had to remove contact with a former friend after the situation turned toxic. Never put up with bad people in your life. Everyone should have the right to a second chance, but think about how many second chances you’ve given them. If it’s more than just the one second chance, the friendship may not be worth it. You never know if something was the right decision until after it’s been made, and I can confirm it was. Several six months later, I feel happier and lighter knowing that I am no longer in that situation.