How To Effectively Move On From The Pain Of 2020, According To Wellness Experts
8 wellness experts, life coaches, and mystics offer must-read advice for anyone who needs to exorcise 2020
2020, as tough as it may seem, came with its own unique set of lessons. While it was a year that is pretty much comparable to none thus far, it also forced us all to slow down, reset, rest, and find our place in the world. Missing the hustle and bustle of a 'normal' life may come sometimes, but looking back at the past year, a lot would agree that it wasn't entirely bad. For this, we give thanks for the lessons and the blessings that came with 2020, and move on from its heaviness.
We sure cannot discount the fact that the loss, the hardships, the challenge after challenge that 2020 brought into our lives was too much to bear at certain points. There were times when we wanted to give up and raise the white flag after being beaten constantly. But now, here at the end of the line, it is with much relief that we are able to close the year still standing, still fighting, ready to take on a brand new 365 days!
How then can we fully move on from the pain and difficulty of 2020? We asked wellness experts and astrology experts about how to 'exorcise 2020'—how to let go, move on, and make the most of the experiences we've had, no matter how traumatic they can be. Read on, and be enlightened!
Lia Bernardo (@liabernardo), The Happiness Doctor
"My advice is for people to create a story around how they got through these very trying times rather than focusing on how difficult it was. Because yes, it was difficult, even painful, especially around emotions, and I seriously doubt that anyone was spared. We have all gone through minor or major emotional upheavals but we also made it through. Focus on the how you made it through. This way you become the hero of your own story and you re-code or re-frame the traumatic past into a story of transcendence and you emerge as the hero of your own story. In doing so, you will also start perceiving 2020 as a year of blessings because in spite of the difficulties you were able to grow and learn from it. You transform your experience into personal growth and create a perspective that supports you.
What I am doing for myself moving forward into 2021 is to allow the Divine to surprise me. It's a nicer and more supportive way to frame that I am not in control by saying that I'm looking forward to my surprises. 2020 taught me not to be so attached to my goals, my plans, the outcome of my life. 2021 will just be oh thank you, for these little gifts I receive everyday that still put a smile on my face."
Sara Black (@seethelight.bethelight), Meditation and Radiant Energy Coach
"First, practice silence so you can listen to your heart. Only in real silence can you identify with clarity what the baggage is. Once you are crystal clear, it's much easier to let it go."
I am holding my annual New Year Retreat as a community offering to help others flow through. I cant share what I'm not able to embody. So by helping others, I actually also strengthen my own resolve to create the 2021 that I desire. Click here for details on how to register and join.
Saps Uttam, (@innerglowbysaps), Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Inner Child Therapist and Integrative Nutritionist
"My advice is to understand that things happen to us. Good things and bad things and that is a part of life. However, when we focus on the bad we will attract a lot of negativity in our lives. Yes, 2020 was indeed a difficult year for the vast majority but, if we practice small steps in gratitude then we automatically shift our consciousness to an abundant mentality as opposed to that of scarcity. I am one person that believes that there is a lesson to be learnt in everything that we do.
What did 2020 teach you about yourself? What is it that you need it learn about yourself? Strength, weakness? Take this opportunity to learn and to grow. The only thing constant in this world is change. We are now seeing that people don’t want to change and that’s where we get stuck.
Next, think good thoughts about yourself and others. Think and trust that everything will be okay. Feel your emotions, don’t sweep anything under the rug. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that is coming up and let it go. You are not your emotions. However, your emotions come to show you where or what you still need to work on. Choose to honor yourself and your time as that is one commodity we cannot get back."
(Con't. Saps Uttam)
"Since we are at the tail end of 2020, I have asked my clients these questions and I asked them to journal:
1. What did 2020 teach you about yourself?
2. How have you grown? Compare 2019 to the present, both big and small growth.
3. How did you cope with the stress this year?
4. Pinpoint the stressors in your life.
5. How will you take care of yourself moving forward into 2021?
6. What small thing can I do to change my life?
7. What is the one thing you want to leave behind in 2020 and why?"
Kimi Lu, (@kimilulifecoach), Life Coach
You may have heard of stories of people pursuing new businesses, courses or hobbies during the lockdown–and might find yourself comparing yourself to them and even feeling guilty that you weren’t productive or motivated enough like them. If this is true for you, take it as an opportunity to show yourself more compassion and forgiveness. You can start with Ho’oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian practice that involves saying these 4 phrases over and over: I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. Repeat these 10 times whenever you feel a twinge of regret, pessimism and resentment. You can also do a burning ritual: write down all the things that weighed you down this year on a piece of paper and burn it inside a fireproof container. Just remember to take precautions if you’ll do this.
Aside from the practices I mentioned, I keep a gratitude practice and also do journaling. Writing down things that I’m grateful for every day, even if there were a lot of uncertainties and unexpected changes, help me see the good in every situation, even if a situation seems not so good at first. It’s important to acknowledge the good even when the times feel chaotic and the future looks murky. Another practice I do every year-end is setting my intention for the following year and writing it down as if it has happened already."
Download Kimi's intention worksheet here. An intention is an expression of the things that are most important to you–and serves as a powerful guide in making decisions, big or small. Doing these practices helps me integrate the lessons that 2020 offered with the intention I have for 2021. You can even join my free session happening on January 2! Sign up here.
Kathi Rañeses, (@coachinghappiness.ph), Wellbeing Coach
"First, identify what triggers you so you can let it go. We have all been going through our own personal battles this year, so different things trigger different people. Mine was people complaining about working from home when this all started and how they hated it. From someone who has been happily working out of her home for over a decade, I took offense to people not liking it as much as I did, until I realized that having a setup to work from home versus having to work out of your home during a pandemic are two different set ups entirely.
Next, change your perspective. Yes, this year has been challenging, to say the least, but it's the challenges that set us up to grow, flourish, and thrive. While we may dread it now, 2020 has taught us some valuable lessons that we may have never learned otherwise, so it's important to change your perspective and take any crisis that comes your way and turn it into an opportunity Third, let go of control. A lot of the time we become increasingly frustrated over things that are simply out of our control—natural disasters, the state of our politics, the rising number of case counts in our areas, etc. While it's important to acknowledge that the situation isn't the most ideal, understand that it is simply out of your control and there is nothing you can do. What you can change is whatever is in your control, be it being better prepared for the next super typhoon or volcanic eruption, registering to vote for the next election, or being responsible and sheltering in place.
Next up is to forgive yourself. Sometimes, all we really need is a good, healing cry. Set aside a time to light a candle, sit with your thoughts, and give those feelings of loss and sorrow that's been making your heart ache a sound. Give yourself the grace to mourn over a job lost, a loved one who has passed, or opportunities missed because the entire world got upended with COVID-19. It could come out as quiet sobbing or a gut wrenching wail, but let it out, so you can allow the healing process to begin, forgive yourself, and you can start 2021 with a lighter heart.
Lastly, get a clean bill of health. Out of all the years in our lifetime, this is probably the most significant one in terms of health. Leave the health scares behind you by scheduling a medical check up and getting your baseline for where you are in terms of your health and wellness and begin to put things in place so you are constantly improving in that department instead of constantly worrying about the next virus that will come along. I work with the fantastic functional medicine practitioners at Centro Holistico, and usually pay them a visit every month for IV nutrient treatments to boost my immunity and colon cleanses to make sure my gut is healthy and happy.
Monica Lopez Gamboa, (@monchthemystic), Astrologer/Yoga Teacher/Drama Therapist
"Undergo your own personal therapy to help process all that has happened. 2020 has brought to the surface deep-seated issues in our lives as well as unexpected events and losses. You don’t need to be “mentally ill” or “sick” to be going to therapy. I started my own therapy last September 2019 with a music therapist just having moved to New York City, and have been seeing her throughout the pandemic. It has been a tremendous help and support system in getting me through the anxieties of the lockdown, flying back to the Philippines and re-adjusting to this new normal.
Therapy is a space to process what you have gone through and what you are going through with a trained professional who is unbiased and wants nothing more than for you to succeed. As an astrologer, I find solace in knowing myself through the map of my birth chart and leading others to find their own way. As a drama therapist, I find my own psychotherapy supportive in helping me through my own work and in being a support to others. I have found that astrology and therapy do support each other—as I have further explored themes in my birth chart with my own therapist and continue to do so.
Discovering the creative arts therapy—music, art, and drama therapy have definitely made it less intimidating for me to get started. I’d say, explore what style of therapy fits you. Therapy is like dating—you may need to search around before finding the right fit. Getting clear on what my themes are for 2021 based on my birth chart, meditating on it, and visualizing it are what I have been doing for the year ahead."
Krish Rai, (@astral.crystals), Certified Tarot & Akashic Soul Reader/Usui & Karuna Ki Reiki Master Teacher/Seraphim Blueprint & Reiki-Powered Crystals
"To be able to move on from all the baggage of this year, I recommend that people should first and foremost, strengthen their faith in God (for other spiritual beliefs, I'll use the term "Our Creator" to make it all-inclusive for all religion), because when you have faith in a Higher Being, it helps in grounding you, connecting you to the Source of Life, and aligning you to your Divine purpose.
Second, do inner work. It's a spiritual practice that allows you to dive deep into getting to know your inner self better—to explore and/or hone your talents and skills; to understand the reasons behind your behavior, attitude, and response; to heal your wounds, emotional baggage, traumas; and to transform your shadows (the qualities that you dislike about yourself) into light (the more empowered self).
Some of the things that you may try are:
1. Praying in your daily life, being grateful for all blessings big or small
2. Cleaning and de-cluttering your home/work space from all the things that you no longer need
3. Energetically cleansing your place by smudging sage or using incense
4. Lighting a candle to honor God and/or your ancestors or spirit guides (follow which practice feels spiritually comfortable for you)
5. Donating to those in need to balance good karma
6. Spread good and uplifting energy in your environment as much as you could
7. Practice mindfulness in your daily life
8. Use a salt bath every time you get home to cleanse the negative energies that got attached to you from the outside environment.
For a few years now, I have been focusing on diving deeper into Higher Learnings and Spirituality. I have been taking more advanced classes in astrology, quantumology, other modalities of energy healing, and shamanic practices to hone my current skills even better in order to help in enlightening more people. I believe that learning never stops, and as a Reiki Master Teacher, I also aim to be mindful of my energy and what I do in my everyday life as a tarot consultant, as an energy healer, and as a wife and mom. Praying and working with the angels is what I do to make sure that my family and our home is shielded from negativity, that no matter what happens, we will not be shaken but will remain strong."
Mawi de Ocampo, (@livemindfullyph), Yu Hezu Bamboo Wand & Momentism Teacher
"Ironically what has helped me the most to let go was to simply embrace it all and be thankful for it all—for all the adversity and all the lessons learned as well. I truly believe it is from the innermost depths of darkness that we gather our courage, draw our strength, and at last, discover our light. I’ve never had such a challenging year and yet I have never felt so much growth and expansion towards my divine purpose and soul mission. It has been an incredible and worthwhile inner journey. So my top advice is, keep doing the inner work, keep developing your inner strength and foundation, and keep honoring your authentic self."
Happy new year everyone!
Lead photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash