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Courage to Thrive through the Home Stretch of 2020: Tips that Empower!

2020 Can Take a Hike!

So here we are, going into the home stretch of 2020. To say this year has been hard or unique would be an understatement. It’s been surreal, it’s been heartbreaking, it’s been horrific. It has also been freeing, enlightening, even a blessing – depending on who you ask. Whatever it was for you, it took courage and resilience to make it this far.

It may feel like the end of the year snuck up on us. At the same time, it feels like it was another decade ago since we went to those New Years Eve parties and made our 2020 Vision Boards. The longest 9 months ever. Terrifying and hopeful, we have gotten through it so far and we will get to the end.

For some of us, not much changed for the day to day. We went to work online instead of having to commute to an office and going to the grocery store is a bit more complicated. For others, our lives were flipped on edge, tousled around, and dropped back down with a wheel missing.  Maybe by now you’ve settled into the temporary “normal”, or maybe not. 

Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom

But even if we are “ok” now with the holding pattern on autopilot, the rest of the year is still pretty uncertain – much like the last 9 months have been.  None of us made the choices that altered the terrain on which we must navigate, but we are all here on this journey regardless. The coming months hold uncertainties – with a still hovering pandemic, children adjusting to very different conditions at school or schooling at home, an economy trying to recover, and an election year to boot. Here’s some tips for this coming school year just in case you need them.

I have three words tattooed on my inner foot – to remind me always to walk in serenity, courage, and wisdom. Knowing what I CAN change, and what I CANNOT.  What I have control of in my life, and what is beyond my scope. The courage to drive on, no matter what. Alcoholics Anonymous may not be for everyone, but their basic tenets are universally helpful in life. We are not in this alone, and we can only control our immediate environment.

So going into the home stretch of 2020, here are some things we CAN do to reduce some stress, empower yourself, and keep that courage going to make the very best of the end of this crazy unprecedented year:

Make a big deal out of little things!

We may have missed A LOT this year, so many big events had to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. I myself had bought the first concert tickets in years to see BUSH in August only for it to be cancelled due to Covid. Weddings were re-scheduled, sports seasons cancelled. Even the Olympics had to be pushed aside. Things we took for granted like a simple birthday party even. So for us adults, and especially the kiddos, this year probably doesn’t have a whole lot of highlights to think back on. 

We have a few months left to make some lasting and positive memories for 2020.  Make a special dessert or dinner and get dressed up to sit at home with the family just because. Make a date night to go drive thru Taco Bell and sit in a parking lot talking about your dreams for next year. Start a new tradition for obscure holidays that don’t revolve around going out in public or spending money.

Start a New Self-Care Practice That Brings You JOY

What’s that one thing you have been meaning to implement on a regular basis just for you? Mine is a morning routine – something I have halfheartedly tried to start more than once. Maybe you want to spend more time enjoying your favorite genre of books, or learn to decorate cakes. Self care means so many things, but the basic idea is that it brings you JOY.  Make it a priority now, when you have less social engagements to decide on and have more time on your hands. Use this time to find a way to enrich your soul and refill your inner cup. 

25 Easy Self Care Activities:

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Create something: paint, write, bake
  3. Listen to music
  4. Play with pets
  5. Learn a new hobby
  6. Talk with a friend
  7. Read
  8. Watch a movie (think Hallmark Channel, not Lifetime)
  9. Start a gratitude list
  10. Take a warm quiet bath
  11. Ask for a hug
  12. Journal
  13. Sit in the sun
  14. Do yoga
  15. Visualize your happy place
  16. Grow a plant
  17. Listen to a podcast or Ted Talk
  18. Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot cocoa
  19. Pamper yourself with a new lotion or oil
  20. Watch puppies or kitten play on YouTube
  21. Make a vision board
  22. Write a bucket list
  23. Make a date with a friend or partner
  24. Send a letter to a loved one
  25. Diffuse essential oils or light a candle

Keep Negativity at Bay

No one needs more negativity in their life, NO ONE! In the current social climate we find ourselves in, it seems negativity abounds everywhere. So seek out the places full of light and love. Limit social media and news, focus more on positive outlets even if it’s simply photos of puppies or silly 80’s sit-coms. 

Take a step out of our comfort zones to connect and encourage each other during these hard times. It may take more courage than we are used to, to have those hard conversations, but they are worth it. Come to the table in love and grace, not anger or misunderstanding.

Every. Single. Day. Remind yourself what is good in your life, what you are grateful for, where your dreams are taking you. Don’t give in to the dark, focus on the light. Easier said that done, I know. But it CAN be done.

7 Types of Negativity to Watch Out For:

  1. Perfectionism
  2. Judgement of yourself and others
  3. Self-Doubt
  4. Assuming the worst
  5. Worry
  6. Complaining
  7. Trying to control everything

Get your Financial House in Order

Take this down time to check your credit, review your retirement accounts, create a new budget. Maybe your income or living arrangements have changed during this whirlwind of a year. Now is a great time to look over 2020 and what your real expenses and needs are versus wants and habits. 

I know I have spent way less on going out to eat and coffee this year simply because it wasn’t an option for so many months. When we started to open back up, it was no longer a normal part of my routine. I cancelled memberships I realized I wasn’t using, even before the lock downs. We saved money even with only one of us working during the worst of the pandemic. 

This past month my environment changed again – moving to not only a different state but a whole different lifestyle. From city folk to county bumpkin – my financial plan looks much different than it did 6 months ago. Even if nothing changed financially for you, it’s still a good time to review and prepare your plan for 2021. Looking at your finances can actually make you feel better about your situation too!

8 Steps to Take to Get Your Finances Straight:

  1. Find out where you stand
  2. Deal with your debt
  3. Make sure your bank accounts help SAVE you money, not cost you
  4. Open a High Interest Savings account
  5. Check the fees on your current accounts
  6. Review your expenses and cash flow and cut unnecessary bills
  7. See if you are paying too much for insurance (life, health, auto, renter’s, etc.)
  8. Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck on day to day expenses

Finally, Take a Deep Breath, and Rest Your Soul

It’s been a very different and scary year for about 6 Billion people on this planet. The world is tired. We are all stressed. We are all uncertain. It’s heavy, but this too shall pass. 

Rest in knowing you are a warrior, you are surviving one of the worst challenges many of us has been through in this lifetime. 

But we are made not only to survive, but to THRIVE. 

So dig in deep, feed that beautiful soul of yours, and keep calm and carry on!

Jeanne Hutchinson

Jeanne moved to Loveland in 5th grade from Michigan and graduated from Loveland High before joining the ARMY as a medic. Colorado has always been “home”, so she was excited to return in 2016 after almost 20 years as a nomad. After the military she was blessed with a job that allowed her to travel the world - seeing 26 countries in just a few years. Having that world perspective really solidified for her how blessed we are and to always strive to see the positive aspects not just of life, but also in the hearts of everyone around us. Equipped with not only the gritty real life experiences of the military, she is has a degree in Psychology and is a Certified Financial Educator who has worked in corporate as well as entrepreneurial roles. We are all connected and deserving of love and success. Jeanne has made it part of her mission in life to spread joy, help others navigate the challenges of life, and edify other women to believe in themselves and create the life they dream of.

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