As I prepare to move into 2021, I have been reflecting back on 2020 – we'll remember this year for many reasons; some good, some bad, and just some plain old weird. I mean, who would have thought I would go into the bank wearing a mask and ask for money!
It's certainly been a year like no other in my lifetime. 2020 has been a year of restrictions, isolation and loss. It was also a time to re-think how we did things and moved towards the internet and technology to keep us going. It's also made us appreciate the little things and cherish the quality time spent with family and friends.
Listening to a podcast from the Wellness Entrepreneur, Kirsty Kianifard, about the challenges and lessons from this year made me think. When future generations asked what I did in 2020, how will I answer? How will we all answer?
So, as I reflect, here are some of my realisations.
While planning our trip to Australia at the beginning of the year, I was worried about how a month away from the business would affect my clients. My regular clients look forward to their treatments, and many need pain relief from reflexology and massage to get through work and other commitments. Back then, who knew I would be closed for half of the year!
Coming home and having to shut the business for an unknown period was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Fear, doubt, anxiety and stress all ruled, and realising I am not alone was key in helping me stay positive. The Association of Reflexologists stepped up and provided a mountain of support. It was no longer a case of 'I' am going through this, but 'we' are going to get through this - together.
So as a wellbeing business, I had to re-think. People still need wellbeing tools to cope with the stress, anxiety, loneliness and uncertainty. Other companies were pivoting to be online, so I sat and meditated on how I could still serve my clients and help them without my business's physical aspect. How could I help and support people in a safe way online?
I found an inner resilience - a lesson that will stay with me into the future. Closing for the second time was somehow easier, as I realised I had done this before and had been ok. I know this realisation will support me my entire life – any future events you or I find challenging, we know we will be able to face them because we have faced tough times and kept going.
Diversity is also the key to survival, and I'm so glad I had my Neal's Yard business to rely on. Many people have discovered that wellness is much more than a physical thing – it's mental and spiritual too. I have seen clients who struggle to access simple services like a diabetes check and understand the impact of a reduced mental health service in this time of isolation.
Wellness businesses have space, knowledge, and tools to help change people's lives, offer a place of safety and a place to heal. To have this taken away feels like a lifeline has been switched off. To lose control of how you earn your income, or the freedom of time and travel so many of us entrepreneurs' and small business owners' value doesn't feel right.
I have used the time to do extra training, and one course has forced me to sit and evaluate the business on a deeply profound level – why am I doing this? What am I passionate about? What difference do I want to make? My beliefs and commitment to healing and personal growth in my work and personal life give me the knowledge to help more clients like you, both in-person and online. I'm passionate about the body-mind connection, and natural aspects of wellness that I know can help so many of you, and so this is my mission statement for 2021:
"A Body & Mind therapist who loves helping women to relax and find healthy ways to balance their body and mind. It's time to rediscover the best version of you with quick, simple solutions that naturally fit into your life to improve your health and wellness so you can feel the best version of yourself."
With this in mind, I will create my goals and intentions for next year, and I hope I inspire you to consider your health and wellness goals for the new year too.
I hope that each of us is much braver after what we've been through this year. That we no longer let all the little things that we all worry about keep us trapped, stuck and small. That we don't let fear keep us stuck in the wrong job, relationship, or country too long, and instead we go after opportunities, listen to the inner niggles, say yes, and follow our passion or purpose.
All the way through, I have found comfort in the purpose of helping my clients, of knowing the Universe has a plan and letting go of the things I can't control.
And as if by magic, yesterday was the Cancer Full moon, and this moon is helping us close off 2020. All full moons are a time of closure and completion, but this watery full moon will help you process the year gone by, release the lessons, and leave behind anything you don't want to carry into the New Year with you.
Your way forward into this new year will be lit by the heartfelt guidance of this nurturing, intuitive, loyal and supportive full moon. I urge you to take some time to reflect on what 2020 has meant for you, what you have learned, and how you have grown. You don't have to go deep into it, but use your journal to see if 2020 has bought any positive changes that you might want to continue into 2021 and beyond. I'd love to hear your realisations and lessons.
Boost Your Happiness and Wellbeing
Your plans for New Year's 2021 are going to be a lot different than what they used to be — you may be trading in a New Year's Eve Party for more time on the sofa in front of a Netflix boxset — and your resolutions may look different, too. It's still a tradition to decide on a few New Year's resolutions, and this year, a renewed focus on your health may be top of your mind.
This year, fill your resolution list with easy, good-for-you goals. Try a simple lifestyle tweak each day, and you'll not only jumpstart a healthier body and mind — you'll feel fantastic and so psyched to make 2021 a much better year than ever before. There are tips out there that will calm you down and ease your stress, help your skin glow, and organise the crazy in your life.
This year, it's time to put you and your happiness first.
Happy people thrive. They're more creative and productive, earn more money, have more friends, stay healthier and even outlive their grumpier peers. As we head into the new year, and you think about your resolutions and health goals – is happiness one of them?
New Year is the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. It's a new adventure, a new beginning, a fresh canvas to paint your life on.
Make the coming year your best one yet with intentional new year's resolutions that are guaranteed to boost your happiness and wellbeing.
Thank you for your constant support this past year. Here's to another amazing year, and may it be blessed with health, wealth, and happiness.
Happy New Year.