You’ve likely encountered the meme across social media. As it goes, on the list of the unluckiest and more toxic numbers of all time, 2020 is now the worst, or the most, or…..anyway you slice it, you’ll now want to steer clear of 2020, the year of bad Karma.

But maybe it’s not all bad. Maybe 2020 has given us a really important pause for reflection, or a deeper black for us to gauge just how bright things are. And just maybe it has offered us some personal time to improve our health and mental well-being.

UpWest reached out to our community of influencers for some real perspectives. We wanted to share their experiences in hopes it inspires others to stay strong and to find comfort.

How Has 2020 Challenged You?
Sure, 2020 has been challenging, but as Canon Castro put it, “it has also been a year of ample growth and new opportunities.” Canon and his fiancé had to push back their May wedding to later in the year. “It has allowed me to enjoy this slower pace and the small things.”

“One of the craziest years!”, says Chelsea Owens. “I am a planner and I’ve definitely been challenged to be more flexible.” Chelsea had multiple trips and projects canceled and postponed because of the pandemic. “I’ve had to learn to go with the flow more than I was used to.”

And Kimberly Anne’s take will probably sound familiar. “It’s only been six months but I feel like it has been one thing after another.” Kimberly typically focuses on travel related content, but with the pandemic, she’s changed her focus to delivering to her audience wholesome, at-home content. “The reason why I did this is because I wanted to show people that we are not ‘stuck’ at home, but rather safe at home, and we are all in this together.”

What Does Staying Home Look Like for You?
Many of our influencers work from home, so they haven’t necessarily experienced a major change in that regard. But being able to spend even more time in their personal office and sanctuary has been a good thing. “I honestly love working from home, having multiple spaces I can sit and work and be comfortable,” says Chelsea.

“A day at home for me is throwing on loungewear, preferably something comfy from UpWest, doing my morning yoga routine, and working on my blog and my polymer clay earring business, “ added Kimberly. “I like that I have more time each day to teach myself new skills and get in some outdoor activity, which for me is the beach or a long hike.”

“I’ve definitely found better use of my time,” says Canon. “Waking up early to go surfing, getting some business in as well as working on my 1970 Jeep has become my new ideal day.”

What Are You Doing to Practice Mindfulness and Staying Strong?
“Mindfulness is a huge part in staying healthy and happy,” offered Canon. “When I am mindful of how I am feeling and interacting with those closest to me, I notice my overall mood remaining constant.”

Kimberly agreed. “I practice a lot of my mindfulness in the mornings. I take 10-15 minutes of my day focusing on just breathing. For some people it sounds silly. But doing this first think in the morning makes me feel like I control my day.”

One thing was universally agreed upon as having a major positive influence on mindfulness and staying strong, and that was getting outside, as much as possible. “Surfing is an important aspect in my mindfulness habit,” added Canon. “Just being out in the water focusing on the waves, allowing my mind to detach from stress or any negative issues results in a fresh mindset when I exit the water. Sun and salt are the greatest remedy for anything!”

And as Chelsea puts it: “I’m definitely taking time to get fresh air and sunshine which totally helps my mental state.”