Take these lessons into 2021.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

2020 hit differently in a way that was truly unique. The buzzword of the year has to be unprecedented, as in, we used the word an unprecedented amount over the last 12 months. But with all the time spent indoors, there was ample opportunity for introspection and reflection. These are some of my insights from the year of COVID.

Security is an illusion.

2020 showed how exposed and vulnerable we are as humans. It didn’t take much to tip the balance between order and chaos. Our routines were interrupted and for a time the only constant was confusion. Many people lost their jobs and…

When we miss this, we keep missing it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

How often do we make lists of everything we want to achieve and then have those things not materialize? Instead of looking at what we could have done better we simply push it all onto the following year and the cycle begins again. 2017 becomes 2018, then 2019, then 2020. Year on year the goals stay the same, bar a few changes. Very occasionally, we actually manage to tick off a few low-ticket items, and the rest, the big ones, continue to stay out of our reach.

Unfortunately for us, writing things down doesn’t necessarily guarantee achievement. We’ve done step…

And I don’t know how to figure it out

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“Just heading out to get some tomato sauce.”

“But we’ve got some. Check the back of the cupboards.”

“Nope. Looked already,” I say pulling the collar of my coat down, “I won’t be long.”

I head out to the car, open the door and drop into the driver’s seat with a sigh. I’m sitting awkwardly because of the object in my left back pocket, so I tilt to the right and pull the glass jar free.

I look at the label, Best Italian Tomato Sauce, and throw it onto the seat next to me before driving out of the driveway…

Let’s be honest, only rich people can afford to throw things out

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What is minimalism?

Minimalism, as described by Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist, means “owning fewer possessions” and living with just the things that you need.

A while ago, I read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I subsequently threw nearly all my belongings away. Like Marie instructed, I pulled items close to my chest, and if they didn’t spark joy, I arranged them all together and put them into bin bags.

It seemed that a lot of things I owned didn’t spark joy, and so by the end, I had a lot of bin bags.

The initial feeling was…

Obviously there are spoilers

Courtesy of Marvel and Disney

I recently watched Avengers: Infinity War after seeing it the first time round in a dimly lit theatre at Manchester Printworks. I wanted to watch it again, this time, at my own pace hopefully catching all the nuggets I’d missed the first time. I also wanted to know if it was as good as I remembered it or had I just been riding the wave of anticipation and heightened expectation.

Before I discuss some of the heartfelt moments of the penultimate film in the Avengers series, there are two caveats. The first, which should really go without saying but this…

Moving overseas during a national lockdown

A picture of a road in Lagos, Nigeria
A picture of a road in Lagos, Nigeria
Photo by Temitayo Aina on Unsplash

It was the moment I stepped off the airplane that the thought suddenly occurred to me, I had no clue what I was doing. One moment I was in cool, conditioned air, and the next, I was walking into a blanket of humidity, a tell-tale sign that I was now on new terrain. I struggled to breathe under the sticky heat, my movement felt heavier and within minutes my face was covered in a film of perspiration. We’d arrived.

For weeks before this, I was anxious wondering whether this would even happen. Rising COVID cases and a climbing death toll…

I achieved none of my goals. Past Me would probably hate Future Me

Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on Unsplash

In April, I wrote a letter to my future self. I used a site called Future Me which allows you to write an email to your future self. You can choose whatever date or however long, I chose the 31st December.

I retrieved the email from my junk folder this morning and read it blurry-eyed whilst I laid in bed. It was more like a letter and so hopelessly optimistic it made me want to pat Past-Me on the back and say “oh sweetie” in that really condescending way people do. I wrote that email 3 weeks into the national…

It’s a different type of heartbreak

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

When we talk about heartbreak, we’re almost always thinking of romantic love. We think of the chaos that ensues. The crying, the harsh words spoken, the emotional toll it takes on the body. Even in movies, it’s all roller-coaster highs followed by devastating lows. We never really talk about the quiet heartbreak that comes with a friendship ending.

When I think of friendships that end, I think of grief. The grief that comes in waves of nostalgia and sadness.

I look back to some of my previous friendships and try to remember the very last time I’d met the other…

Bring back simpler times

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I miss that feeling of walking into a coffee shop and soaking in the warm aroma of hot caffeinated drinks. The jovial music playing in the background, half annoying, half pleasant, and all the overpriced cake slices staring up at me from the food stands.

I miss eyeing up the cute barista and fluttering my stubby eyelashes at them as they hand over my oat milk latte along with that frothy heart design thing they make with the milk.

Thankfully, I was able to turn things around

burnout symptoms, a man’s silhouette in front of a fire
burnout symptoms, a man’s silhouette in front of a fire
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

What is burnout?

The World Health Organisation describes burnout symptoms as (1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; (2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and (3) reduced professional efficacy.

It’s been a few years since I left my medical post in the NHS. I never truly appreciated at the time why I had to leave so desperately or articulate why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I just knew that my work seemed to be the cause of my unhappiness.

I remember that it was towards the beginning of my…

Zed Bee

I’m a former doctor turned writer/content creator. I write topics on self-help, lifestyle, and the weird and wonderful. My website: https://www.mindthemedic.com

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