It goes without saying that 2020 was a uniquely challenging year for families across Canada. Many individuals dealt with unexpected income loss due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some faced other personal and professional challenges, and we all dealt with restrictions that caused us to rethink how we work, socialize and spend quality time with our loved ones. Fortunately, recent innovations in medical science indicate that there’s an end in sight, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about 2021. As we wrap up an unforgettable year, let’s take a moment to focus on gratitude — an important quality that can help us focus on the positive and enrich our lives.
As Harvard Medical School noted in a recent publication, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Knowing this, it may help to acknowledge the negative aspects of the past year while also recognizing the positives we’ve gained. This reframing strategy can help us make the most of life’s challenges and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
What we gained in 2020
Over the past ten months, communities have come together in unprecedented ways. Canadians have supported each other by helping friends and neighbours with everything from groceries and childcare to emotional support. They’ve organized food drives, lifted each other’s spirits and made a point to support the local economy by shopping at small businesses. When someone needed help, others were there to answer the call. It was (and continues to be) genuinely heartwarming.
This was the year we learned how strong, innovative and adaptable we all can be. From getting “Zoom drinks” with friends and celebrating personal events online to arranging birthday parades by car, we made the best of every situation and found new ways to connect. Grandparents mastered FaceTime and Google Meet, parents and students alike adapted to a virtual world, and small businesses pivoted in response to a changing consumer landscape. It wasn’t easy, but it was impressive, to say the least.
In 2020, we gained even more appreciation for our frontline workers, particularly the doctors, nurses and other care staff working through a pandemic. We stayed home, carried hand sanitizer and wore masks as a way to protect ourselves and others, and as a sign of respect to those who are working hard to keep us healthy and safe. We also saw incredible breakthroughs in medical science that will both protect our health and inspire us for years to come.
Finally, we got creative! So many Canadians picked up a new hobby or made art during the pandemic. Many families found joy in slowing down, whether they enjoyed reading a book, knitting a sweater, doing a puzzle or playing a boardgame together. While we all want the pandemic to be over as soon as possible, it would be great to see these habits stick around.
What we learned in 2020
When we experience hardship, there are often lessons learned, and this past year was no exception. Some key financial lessons to take away from 2020 are the importance of emergency savings, the value of being able to pivot or get into the gig economy, how to save money and utilize a budget, and the benefit of having access to credit. For many families, the coming year will be about rebuilding. This isn’t always easy, but as you rebuild, know that you’re doing it from a place of increased knowledge and strengthening your financial position for the future.
Practicing gratitude in a challenging year
The challenges of 2020 aren’t over yet, but it may feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that’s a really good thing. If you want to bring more gratitude into your life, consider implementing a daily routine that deliberately focuses on the positive. Try meditating, keeping a gratitude journal, writing thank you notes to people who have helped or inspired you, or adding a “what I’m grateful for” element to conversation during family dinner. There is no right or wrong way to practice gratitude — find what works for your family and enjoy the benefits!
If you’re dealing with financial stress, we are here to help
This year was difficult and if you’re under financial stress, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, you can now get approved for a personal loan in minutes with low credit or no credit history. An application takes minutes and won’t affect your credit score. We know that each of our customers’ situations is unique, and we are committed to working with you to help you find a solution that will best fit your needs. Please contact your easyfinancial branch or easyhome store, or give us a call at 1-888-502-3279 to learn more. We are here to help.