2020 is finally over. We look forward to 2021. But just because it has ended does not mean that its effects have disappeared. 2020 was a challenging year for our physical and mental health all around the world. We had to go into quarantine because of the pandemic, and doing so changed not only how we work but also how we live.
While some of these changes were negative, they taught us a lot. If you want to find a silver lining in the challenges of 2020, keep reading. Below, we tell you what we’ve learned over the past year and how we can use them to improve our quality of life in the new year.
Video Games Are More Important Than We Think
We suppose everyone agrees that our time at home was extremely boring in 2020. Even though we were working from home, we had more free time than ever before. “Netflix and chill” temporarily provided a solution, but after a while, it got boring too. Video games have, therefore, become extremely important to all of us: 2020 could be the year with the most games played worldwide. People started to use online platforms like Steam, Epic Games, and Origin more often, and all of these platforms have reached record user numbers.
Everyone played a different game. We tried our luck at over a hundred slot machines and had fun without any risk since we played for free. (We liked Lucky 7 slots the most.) MMO and MMORPG games also entertained us for a long time, as these games are team-based and offered a social experience. In 2020, we all realized that video games are more important than we thought, and found out that there are alternatives other than TV to have fun.
We will continue to do this in 2021. We are in the group that says I want to play free slots, so we will focus on slot demos. But we also know that we have a myriad of options. Online gaming platforms offer literally thousands of games, each appealing to a different type of player. You can be sure to find a game for you and play it on desktop PCs or mobile devices.
Working at Home Is Not a “Phase”
Almost everyone in the world started working from home in 2020 due to the COVID-19 surprise of mother nature. Some of us saw this as an opportunity to spend more time with the family, while some of us enjoyed the freedom of working from home. However, everyone agreed that when the pandemic was over, normal working would be restored. The problem is that working from home may not be a temporary option. Many employers have enjoyed the benefits of this new way of working and are not considering a change after the epidemic is over.
Working from home is not a new experience. According to data from the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.7 million people were already working this way before the epidemic. (This corresponds to 3.4% of the workforce in the United States.) When the pandemic started, 88% of businesses worldwide switched to work from home, so you can be sure that these numbers are much higher nowadays. It seems that both employees and employers are satisfied with this new way of working because:
|Reason 1. Efficiency||77% of those who work from home say they are more efficient this way|
|Reason 2. Concentration||75% of those who work from home say there are fewer things to distract them|
|Reason 3. Less turnover||Companies that prefer remote working have 25% less employee turnover rate|
In short, 2020 may have forced us all to work from home, but in 2021, we can start doing it voluntarily. Employees get rid of many workplace-related problems, while employers can reduce costs and increase productivity. It’s a win-win scenario. Therefore, we suggest you plan as if you will continue to work from home in the new year.
We Need More Financial Planning
The 2020 year taught us there is no “right time” to make a financial plan. Many of us thought it would be enough to create a monthly budget, and we always delayed saving for this reason. However, during the epidemic, we realized that a regular budget was sufficient only for the usual life. People who were not able to work from home faced many financial difficulties. COVID-19 has affected the whole world and caused numerous economic collapses.
Tourism, hospitality, and food industries have been the most affected, but we can say that unemployment rates have skyrocketed in almost every sector. Those who suffered the most were those who did not save and did not have a financial plan for difficult times. 2020 showed us that we need to approach our budget differently. COVID-19 taught life is not always perfect, and we cannot rely on anyone else – even our governments. When planning your monthly budget in 2021, we recommend that you set aside money to save. In general, continue doing this until you have enough money to manage for at least three months.
The longer you extend this period, the better. Creating an emergency fund will protect you from life’s unexpected surprises. The economy will recover sooner or later, as this has happened throughout history. Even after each global crisis, the economic markets have become stronger, so the economic difficulties will not last forever. However, you must have an emergency fund that you can use while waiting for it to end. Otherwise, the next surprise of Mother Nature may cause you to go bankrupt.
We Need to Embrace Healthy Lifestyles
The problems created by COVID-19 for public health are obvious, but it also caused personal health issues.
- Fewer sports activities. Staying at home made us move a lot less, and many of us have become malnourished due to junk food.
- Pessimistic mood. The psychology caused by the quarantine also made us enter a pessimistic mood. All of these have led to an increase in cardiovascular disease in particular and negatively impacted the health of everyone around the world.
- More bad habits. During the epidemic, most of us did not (or could not) switch to a healthy lifestyle for various reasons. We continued our old bad habits.
However, if we continue with this, it is obvious that we will face serious health problems, so the first thing we should do in 2021 is to do more sports and transition to a healthy lifestyle. This should be one of your New Year’s resolutions: eat healthy, exercise, and try to keep your spirits high. In general, you can start by exercising for 30 to 60 minutes each day. You don’t need any equipment, and you don’t need to have a trainer. You can simply do yoga or watch home gym videos online. Likewise, working from home can cause you to confuse workplace issues with home issues after a while. Separate your work duties and family duties so that this does not affect your psychology.