There’s no doubt it’s been a crazy year. But while 2020 brought a lot of setbacks, there are some changes we made as a society that would be great to keep aiming for. Here are some silver linings that have arisen over the past year.
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Last year was a big one for the homeless pet population in our country, thanks to the hard work of animal welfare advocates and homebound families who opened their hearts to new family members.
1 – A spike in adoption numbers
Beginning in March 2020, around the time lockdowns were enforced across the U.S., the demand for adoptable pets increased nearly 30% from what it had been at the beginning of the month. And fortunately, increased adoption applications at shelters and other animal rescue organizations continued throughout the year. As a bonus, shelter intake numbers are down, meaning fewer animals have been surrendered over the last several months than in prior years.
2 – New adoption spokesdogs
Animal rescue advocates are hopeful that the increased interest in adoption will continue in 2021 and beyond, thanks in part to a new furry face in the White House: Major, the Bidens’ rescued German shepherd. Major (along with his older brother Champ) is reminding the public what a joy it is to have a pet in your life, especially if you’ve saved their life by making them a part of your family.
The pandemic has certainly changed the way we work. Nearly every industry was turned on its head in 2020. But despite the disruptions, some changes have worked out surprisingly well.
3 – Working remotely
The massive shift to remote work at the start of the pandemic left a lot of businesses uneasy. Months later, it’s a clear success. Not only are executives happy with the results, but 72% of employees want to keep working from home long-term. Why? On top of the obvious perks like working in your PJs, remote work means less time commuting and more to spend with family.
4 – Starting businesses
Not everyone was lucky enough to keep their jobs through the pandemic. To make ends meet, some people have taken matters into their own hands by starting businesses.
Starting a business may not sound like something you can do on the fly, but it’s surprisingly simple to set up a business as an LLC or sole proprietor once you’ve formulated a business plan. With a few simple forms and the help of a formation service like Zenbizness, you can have your business ready to go, and you can formalize everything online.
We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. While that certainly comes with its share of cabin fever, being cooped up isn’t all bad.
5 – Spending time with family
Before the pandemic, full days at home as a family were rare. Now, families are spending more time together than ever before. Sure, there’s some squabbling, but we’re also connecting more deeply and growing closer.
6 – Self-improvement
More time at home also means more time to work on you. Whether that’s taking college courses online, spending more time on hobbies, or signing up for online therapy, it feels good to finally focus on yourself.
7 – Learning to be happy with less
All of this adds up to a simpler lifestyle. From home-cooked meals to date nights playing with our pets, the pandemic has forced us all to slow down and focus on what really matters. The result? We’re learning it doesn’t take a big budget and the latest trends to be happy. While the pandemic has taken a lot, it’s given us time to really think about how to build a life we love.
The past year has taught us a lot, but most importantly, it’s shown us what matters. As you look ahead in 2021 and beyond, consider how you can maintain these positive changes in your life for the health and happiness of yourself, your partner, your children, and your pets.
About the Author
Elena Stewart, is a certified life coach specializing in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. Visit elenastewart.com to find out what coaching can do for you!