2021 definitely did not go as I had planned but there were plenty of wins. I bought a house, fell in love and entered the corporate wellness space. Here is what I learnt:
1. You are exactly where you are meant to be
A decade ago, when I lived in London, I pondered that I would love to get into corporate wellness. At the time, I had no idea what that would look like. Fast forward to this year, and my health coaching experience has resulted in me being on the wellness team at 2degrees. If you don’t love your job, reframe your thoughts to; ‘What can I learn from this?’. Everything happens for a reason and you never know when the skills or people you meet will come in handy down the track.
2. Expose yourself to people and experiences you don’t see everyday
By doing this, your mind opens up to what’s possible. This is actually something I’ve known for a long time, but being stuck in lockdown reminded me how much I crave new experiences. It's so easy to get stuck in your bubble doing the same thing everyday, but challenging yourself to find something in common with someone who, on the outside, seems completely different to you - or trying something new - is good for the soul. When I was in London, I volunteered at a social centre for refugees and asylum seekers. I met people who I would never have crossed paths with. I helped a Ghanaian overstayer and her three children move house; and I taught Syrian kids, who had escaped Aleppo, how to do the Haka. Doing things to help those who need it, also helps you to realise how privileged you are.
3. Its ok to take a break
I set high standards for myself and always challenge myself to be learning new things and growing as a person. I’m currently enrolled in a gut health course which I could be doing in my evenings, but I just haven't ‘felt’ like it after busy days. Another coach helped me to reframe this and pointed out that I've had a big year emotionally, so why not start it in 2022 instead of feeling guilty about not doing it? After hearing this, I’ve decided to give myself a mental break for once.
4. I really value my independence
This year I moved in with my partner. This is the first time (at the age of 36) I’ve lived with a romantic partner and I’m not gonna lie - I was terrified of losing my independence. It's really helped to set clear boundaries, schedule alone time and even sleep in separate beds on occasion. I think it's important to not lose sight of ‘me’ now that it's ‘we’.
5. What's the worst that could happen?
This has got me through a lot this year. When I was deciding whether to move in with my partner I asked myself this and then told myself: “if it doesn’t work out, you just move out. You will be fine”. And it's true. I think we worry too much about what could go wrong instead of taking the plunge and giving things a go. You are more capable than you think, so go for it.