We’re in a new year. One many of us were looking forward to, if only to stop thinking about being in the year 2020. But here’s the thing, we said it before but it bears worth repeating given all that has happened so far: “2021 is not some magical reset”. It wasn’t going to be an instant fix or alleviate the stressors of 2020. And I think many may have found that to be true.
But here’s what’s great about being in a new year. We can be prepared.
2020 snuck up on us. By the time the world stood still, we were all in shock and caught unaware. Goals were put on hold, dreams deferred and plans disrupted. 2021 doesn't have to be like that. Ten months of our new normal has shown us, whether we feel like it or not, we can tackle whatever comes our way in 2021.
So how can you prepare? We encourage you to prioritise your mental health this year. You have to take care of yourself in order to take on the days ahead. So here are some tips:
Take it one day at a time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the news cycle and what could go wrong. But it’s important to remember that you can’t change the past and you can’t control the future. You’re most productive in the here and now, so focus on what you can do today!
Laugh! We all know it’s medicine for the soul. That’s just a scientific fact. But for real, laughter can reduce anxiety and help relieve stress. So sit back and watch a sitcom or your favourite comedian and laugh out loud.
Find community. We are made for relationships. None of us are supposed to do this ‘life thing’ alone. Find your village and hang on to it. You need them and they need you.
Get active. Move your body. Gyms may be closed but there are so many other ways to ensure you stay active. Something as simple as going for a walk will do you good. Join a zoom workout class or start a workout challenge with some friends and keep each other accountable. Get those endorphins flowing!
It’s ok to seek therapy. Seeking professional help can be the kindest thing you can do for yourself. Don’t suffer in silence. There is strength in recognising you need help and taking the action to search for it.
Here’s to being better prepared for 2021. Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders.