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Hello 2021 – We can only look ahead

2020 has been an extraordinary year in many ways for everyone. The pandemic has affected all of us in unimagined ways, and have exacerbated a lot of deep rooted issues that need to be addressed. Very stressful for everyone on a personal level, for the cities where we live, as well as for the human race as a whole. 

Fortunately, there is a lot for us to be positive about too. The vaccines will hopefully put an end to this episode, and we can gradually go back to our normal lives again. On a personal level, I feel that there are many lessons learned from last year, and we should not miss this opportunity to reflect on them.

Firstly, it boils down to the basics. Stripped of all the nice-to-haves in our lives, we need to ask ourselves: what do we need to survive? You will quickly realise that they will be the very basics. Food, shelter, family, our health. Maybe that should be how we plan our lives on the outset, and start to question all the fringes – do we really need them?

The importance of showing empathy. The pandemic has, more than ever, highlighted the big divide between the well-resourced and those that are struggling. The pathway to recovery will be a long one, and where we can, we should help those in need. Your kind deeds and thoughts can be a lifeline for others.

Mental health has been a neglected aspect of our total health. The amount of stress (Stress Part I) and (Stress Part II).

) that has been brought onto many around me, or that the pandemic gave previous mental issues a further kicker, have been astounding. This is an area where I feel is underserved in Hong Kong. As a society, we need to raise awareness so that the issue can be addressed early before it gets dire and harder to treat.

Maintenance is key! If you have been working hard on keeping your immunity strong, chances are you will not get sick as easily, Covid or otherwise (Prevention is better than cure). I am very pleased to see that over the past year, many people have become a lot more aware of the importance of keeping their immunity strong, by exercising more and eating better. Hopefully everyone can keep this up 2021 and beyond.

Count your blessings. Focus on what you have, rather than what you can’t have. Yes, we miss our holidays and seeing friends and family. Luckily, technology helps us partially mitigate that pain. Despite all that has been going on, we are already very fortunate to have most of the things we need to lead a healthy and (relatively) happy life. 

Let’s look up and look forward, and embrace 2021 with open arms. I promise you it will be better than ever.

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