What 2020 taught me about self-love
January 1, 2021
Two years ago, I wrote a post on what 2018 taught me about confidence, so I thought I would bring back that theme and reflect on what this past year has taught me about self-love.
2020 was the year we were all forced to slow down and spend A LOT of time with ourselves. Here are my biggest lessons that I learned about loving me:
I have to stop beating myself up.
Once my son was born, I quickly realized that I can no longer strive to do it all. I had to let go of who I used to be and learn how to do less, and I had to get comfortable with making a ton of mistakes. Along with that came guilt and being hard on myself.
Luckily, I have a wonderful support system that often reminded me to stop beating myself up. I’m new to the mom life and it’s normal to mess up and not know what I’m doing. Mistakes are going to happen – I will never be perfect! Now I think of those reminders and am much kinder to myself. I feel so much lighter not having to carry the weight of perfectionism around.
I need to give myself grace.
Along with not beating myself up comes giving myself grace. I feel like this was a big theme of 2020 for a lot of people. The pandemic forced us to work from home, and boy were there many days when that did not look pretty!
My son joined countless virtual meetings, work completion looked a bit different, and balancing regular life in the mix wasn’t the easiest either. I constantly told myself, “it is what it is, I’m doing my best, and that’s going to have to be enough”.
I also did a lot of resting and gave myself permission to not feel guilty for having a day of doing nothing. My mental health needed those breaks. This year taught me to break away from our culture of constant work and instead just relax with no judgment.
I have instincts and I need to trust them.
I chopped my hair off in October, but I honestly wanted to back in May. I remember polling my friends to get their thoughts, when deep down I already knew that I wanted a break from my hair. Of course most people voted for me to not cut it, and even when other opportunities showed me how annoyed I was of my hair, I still let people talk me out of it. That is until there was one day that it was so tangled and knotted that I really couldn’t comb through it. I got so frustrated, grabbed scissors and started cutting.
It looked a hot mess of course, but later that week I went to the salon and got it all cut properly. And then I felt FREE! It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I wondered why I had waited so long when I knew months prior that I needed to make this change. That experience reminded me to listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts. I know what’s best for me and I don’t need to get everyone else’s approval.
Even at home, I still need to take care of myself.
There is already a saying about how when you have a kid you tend to let yourself go. That was true in my case, but being in quarantine made it even more real, times 10! I didn’t put much effort into my appearance and I wasn’t keeping up with any kind of beauty routine. Of course, we all get a pass for being in the middle of a pandemic, but towards the end of the year, I really started to see the effects.
I would look in the mirror or take photos and my skin didn’t look healthy, my eyes had dark circles, my hair was unkempt, and I just didn’t look or feel like myself. So I’m in the process now of getting myself back together and bringing some old beauty practices back into the mix. I recently got a pedicure, got my face waxed, got my hair done (all done with safety measures in place), and I feel so refreshed!
I need to maintain boundaries to protect my energy & peace.
Setting up boundaries was an unexpected area for me this past year, but it ended up being a big one. The lack of socialization from quarantine, the stressors of motherhood, and the challenges of working virtually did a number on my mental health. I had many sad moments and many less than peaceful moments where I felt like I was going to snap.
I did the inner work of identifying my triggers, listening to my body, and figuring out what sort of boundary I needed to keep myself sane and at peace. That included things like limiting interactions with people who raise my anxiety, giving myself hard stops with work even if something wasn’t done, and asking for alone time when I really needed it. It made a big difference and I’m glad I’m more comfortable with vocalizing my needs.
I appreciate the lessons that 2020 gave me, as hard as the year was. I am getting better at showing myself the love I need to be my best self.
Now it’s your turn!
Grab a pen and paper and take 30 minutes to write out what this year has taught you. It may help to choose a theme and center your lessons around that. Or just write down whatever comes to mind, even if the lessons are not connected. What’s important is the time to reflect on what you’ve learned.
Comment Below: What is something 2020 taught you about self-love?
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