10 Key Takeaways from 2020

James Colquhoun JAMES COLQUHOUN

If we look around at a tough situation hard enough, there’s almost always a lesson to be learned. It’s not to discredit the issues at hand, or the many many hardships that the world has had to face this year, but to reflect on the tough and trying times that 2020 has brought - and the incredible teachings it has had to offer. Education in the health and wellness space will always be my mission, no matter what part of the Food Matters journey we’re going on together, so looking for lessons is at the core of everything I do. I truly believe that this year has been monumental in so many ways, if not at least for all the teachings that have been thrown upon us. So if you’re struggling to see the silver linings in it all, these are my top 10 key takeaways from 2020.

1. Got To Study More Online During Quarantine Periods (& More Efficiently)

Our days spent indoors weren’t always lost in vain. In fact, many of us used quarantine (including myself) to take the chance to deepen our knowledge, to finally begin studying again, and to take advantage of the endless opportunities for education. As mainstream education providers suddenly had to scramble to pull their degrees online, we saw those who had long been existing in the online education space (alongside newcomers with an understanding of the future) thriving at a time when many other businesses have been forced to close their doors.

2. Saw The Importance of Building Immunity Naturally as a Key Defence in Staying Healthy

This year has shifted the world’s attention to a mindset that prioritizes health like we never could have expected. However, so many are still approaching it in a preventative way - and if there’s one thing we have learned in 2020, it is that building natural resilience and immunity is a non-negotiable when it comes to looking after health. Because if our bodies are in a fit, healthy state, illness will find it difficult to manifest.

3. The Power of Thinking Locally and Building Resilient Communities

Like no other before, in 2020 we have had to shift our focus to those closest to us. We’ve noticed a shift in people switching to supporting local farmers, local villages, and those in their close-knit communities to ensure we are all thriving and that no one gets left behind. In our village in Vanuatu, for instance, people are coming together and supporting each other through this hardship - and really coming back to those core values in society, and we’ve seen the community thriving as a result. In America, we've watched one of the biggest Civil Rights Movements unfold, amid pain, hurting, and decades of injustice. There's still so much work to be done to make the world a better place for all those facing injustice, but I'm confident that 2020 is just the beginning of what's to come.

4. How Our Addiction To Traveling Has A Deep Connection to Climate Change

How many times this year have you ever wanted to just hop on a plane and get away from it all? Personally, I’ve lost count, but it’s ingrained in our way of being. Unlike generations before us, travel has become a mainstay in daily life - whether it’s halfway across the world or to the campground down the road, we all have adventurous spirits and when the world goes into lockdown, they’re unable to be fulfilled. But with a significant break in airline travel, coupled with many businesses having to shut down and people staying at home, we’ve seen this have endless positive changes for the planet. Within weeks, people were able to see to the bottom of the Venice canals for the first time in decades (not to mention the animals thriving in there), people in India were able to see the Himalayas free of pollution for the first time ever, and we might finally be on track as a global population to combat climate change. It’s not great that it’s taken a pandemic to get us here, but it’s a silver lining.

5. Homeschooling Is Okay & Offers Many Opportunities

As institutions, restaurants, and public places essentially had to shut their doors, so too did our schools. Homeschooling isn’t a new idea in our household, in fact, Laurentine has been homeschooling Hugo for many years - but we have been subject to some funny looks for it in the past. However, what we have found over the years as parents is that we often know our children better than anyone, and we can provide them with the education that is best suited to them - which is so often limited in the mainstream education system. So many life skills are missed in favor of a rigorous curriculum, and oftentimes only one kind of learner is catered for. There’s definitely a place for schooling institutions in society, but this year at the very least has made homeschooling a much more acceptable practice - and people are finally beginning to see why we love it so much.

6. Detoxing Is One Of The Best Ways To Support Your Body

One thing we have come to understand is how a lot of illnesses manifest in the body; through excess toxicity and nutrient deficiency. And the best way we know how to support this is by aiding our body’s natural detoxification pathways. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that surrounds detoxification and what it actually means, so to help clear it up I created this detox masterclass as my gift to you. It’s entirely free, so you can put aside some time and listen when you’re ready to make a change!

7. Having An Online Component To Your Business Is Critical

Since our inception, we have been intrigued (and often experimental) about the wonders that the internet is able to offer - especially in the business sphere. Something that has become obvious throughout these months of uncertainty is that businesses can no longer afford not to be in the online space; whether it’s offering food or grocery delivery, having an online store, or even simply engaging with your community on social media, it’s no longer enough just to open your business with a physical presence - that’s one thing the pandemic has made clear, we need to be getting creative with how we use online space.

8. Growing Your Own Food Is An Essential Human Act

With travel limited and certainty around access to foods becoming more unclear, being able to provide our bodies with nourishment is crucial to our survival. This year, people have been able to go back to their roots, and so many started with growing their own foods at home. It’s hugely beneficial for so many reasons, even right down to the therapeutic aspects of gardening, alongside the environmental benefits of using the soil in the way that it is meant to be. Home gardening doesn’t always have to be strictly for people with large amounts of land, there are ways to do it in your innercity apartment too.

9. Moving Your Body In Fun & Fresh Ways Is Crucial For Good Health

This year, it’s really been stressed to us how important it is to look after your health holistically - and that includes moving your body daily. In fact, for many of us who have been in stricter lockdowns, daily movement is a breath of fresh air - it’s what keeps us going through the harder times. It doesn’t always have to be a rigorous home workout or a 10km run, it can be as simple as going for a 20-minute walk around the block, or doing one of these free 10-minute yoga flows at home. And to top it all off, how good do endorphins make you feel?

10. Mental Health Is Paramount To Holistic Wellbeing

It’s something we’ve known for a while, and we’ve all experienced at least once in our lives - but 2020 has truly shown us how looking after our mental health is a key pillar of health. When we’re unhappy, stressed out, anxious, depressed, or lonely, our physical health begins to crumble too. This year has been a lot to process, and more so than usual, we’ve been turning to tools like meditation, mindfulness, and even cooking healthy nutritious meals to truly nourish our minds, bodies, and souls.


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