multicolored wall in shallow focus photography

4 Simple routines I adopted in 2020 to reduce anxiety and increase positivity 🧘💪🏼😇

Before diving in 2021, I wanted to reflect on the past year. Like I said, 2020 was crazy, but we thrived. Crisis presented a bunch of new opportunities. I want to share how being thoughtful about 4 habits I became contributors to my sanity and satisfaction of life.

1. I won back my time, mind & body.

gray pedestrian lane

With everything around overwhelming us, time and headspace became more constrained than ever. I gradually made 5 simple changes to my day, starting with a digital detox. These include writing weekly priorities, replacing breakfast, checking messages less often, (less Netflix) more podcasts, and ending the day with an activity. All of which reduced anxiety and gave something to look forward to everyday. The headspace allowed leading and caring better — both at work and home. And without the time, none of the below would’ve been possible.

2. I gave back through mentoring.

Having done some informal mentoring in 2019, the Mentoring Club, and later, the Vodafone Institute’s female social entrepreneurship accelerator F-Lane, provided the platform and structure to mentor as a routine. The overall experience from 30 sessions was highly enriching and immensely contributed to sharpening my core leadership skills. For that, and the joy of giving back to community, I will certainly continue to mentor in 2021

I’m really happy I could give back

3. I learned & practiced a lot.

2020 started off with the most awesome personal trip with work colleagues — yes, read that again. — to ski for the first time ever. What you see below is the result of 2 hours of training, 2 days of (almost non-stop) practice and endless encouragement from fantastic companions.

That’s me on the 3rd day of skiing in my entire life. Thanks Geoff for capturing this.

That was of course before spending rest of the year indoors. I decided on strengthening my discovery & innovation skills, and completed 2 enlightening & collaborative courses from Ideo: Insights for Innovation and Human-centered service design, over 10 weeks. It enabled a big mindset shift and to see user feedback in a new light, allowing better experimentation to maximize learning. I also self-studied the Monetisation & Pricing and Product Strategy courses from Reforge, greatly useful for 2021 strategy & planning.

Amidst the lock-down, I started learning to skateboard and play the piano — but these have spilled-over into 2021.

4. We improved the quality of our family time.

Family is extremely important to me. And 2020 presented an opportunity to spend more time together. But that also required planning things to manage kids at home, and to compensate for lockdown mood. We relied even more on our shared family calendar. We setup new routines for relaxing and bonding. Without it, my son might’ve not fallen in love with his bike – the way he did.

Overall, I wouldn’t want to go back to 2020, but I’m grateful for everything it gave me ☺️. Also remember, that one doesn’t end up with that kind of skiing 👆🏼 without this kind of falling 👇🏼, on the kiddie slope.

Thanks to another amazing photographer, Vikte