Hidden Gifts of 2020

By Susan Schilke & Samantha Dowse

This year brought a lot of change and unforeseen hardship with a global pandemic. Our plans were shifted by forces outside our control and we had to adapt to a new way of living full of distance.  With light at the end of the tunnel, let’s review some of the many hidden gifts amidst the challenges.

1. Perspective and resiliency. We all got a crash-course in resiliency training and a huge lesson in perspective this year. As our worlds changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined, we adjusted and adapted.  We changed our habits and figured out how to keep our lives and businesses moving forward.  Sure, maybe we ranted occasionally about masks or Zoom, but we moved forward.

Remember in the first few weeks of the pandemic thinking with horror that this could last for six more months? Now, with the positive vaccine news, it seems clear there are only months left – but this time the thought brings gratitude.  This is only going to last six more months, thank God.  That’s resiliency. And on the other side of this, we’ll have a new perspective on some of the basic joys we took for granted before – like parties, weddings, and just dining out with friends.

2. Work-life balance, and a refocus on health & fitness. Though a lot of us didn’t work less, and many of us probably worked more, there was a gift of time.  There was less travel, less traffic, less commuting, fewer weekends filled with social events or school activities.  There was some breathing room created that was a gift not just for family and friends, but for ourselves.

There was also a renewed focus on energy, especially in the peak of the pandemic.  It was critical for our members to take care of themselves first in order to take care of their teams and this focus has remained with regular conversations about mental health and self-care through meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, fitness and healthy food.

The pandemic gave us all a reminder to consider our health habits – the food we fuel our bodies with and the immune-boosting activities that help strengthen it.  Though a stressful time, many of our members continued or found fitness strategies during these odd months. This is a gift that keeps on giving, because fitness improves every other aspect of your life.

3. Better relationships with those who matter most. When our worlds shrank to our homes and then shifted to months of limitations on how we interact with others, we were gifted more time with just those closest to us.  And those relationships flourished.

Many of us have enjoyed extra moments for our immediate families and for relationships outside of the home, the time become more focused and purposeful.  We connected regularly with people and family who live in different cities with FaceTime happy hours and Zoom calls.

This year, in a world full of problems we couldn’t solve, we re-learned into the power of connection.  We watched our members connect with each other and their teams in intimate ways as we all navigated this global crisis together.

As we wrap up 2020, try not to rush out of this remarkable year.  We find there is much to celebrate this holiday season, and even more to look forward to in 2021.  So, embrace the holiday season this year, despite the challenges, and find the joy.  Remember, fear is contagious, but so is positivity, kindness and joy.

Happy Holidays from TeamStrength, where we are extremely grateful for our incredible members and the gifts of encouragement, connection, and invaluable feedback they were able to give each other this year.