2020 was unpredictable, to say the least. And 2021 doesn’t feel very different. The New Normal is here to stay and we are feeling the blues already. For some, it just went by. But for some, it was like a prison statement of hard household labor. For some, it was a hard year frequenting hospitals and for some, it was the loss of livelihood loss of jobs loss of business, or a loved one.
With the lockdown that happened since March 2020 and the workload that followed, it was a tough year for many. It tested the limits of our patience, health, and mental wellbeing.
With the second wave of the Coronavirus Pandemic at our doorsteps, we can better prepare and face the challenges head on. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance TO SURVIVE.
Having to maintain the work-life balance is challenging enough, to begin with. But doing it all from the confines of our home is a whole nother level. The concept of time is lost when it comes to work, but it has enforced itself doubly when it comes to household responsibilities. Add to this the never-ending list of expectations.
We have all had that moment of ‘I just want to run away somewhere!’
We have all wanted to scream. Most of us must have yelled into our pillows too.
We have all had the thought to resign and retire.
Yet, we have endured it all, survived through the hell year that was 2020 and are well into a very unpredictable 2021.
It may or may not get easier in the coming days or months or even a couple of years. But we can learn from our experiences and face 2021 in a new avatar.
Here are 5 ways to feel good about yourself in 2021.
1. Break the cycle of negative thoughts
It’s about time you showed yourself some compassion and kindness.
We are in the habit of blaming ourselves when things go wrong and carry the guilt. The weight of this guilt (which is often made-up) fuels this habit of ‘self blame’ and we ride this vicious cycle into the sunset.
You need to stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking of a positive outcome to your action. No ‘ifs’ and no ‘buts’ in the thought process.
It’s going to be hard to break this ancient habit but it’s not impossible.
Start with changing the self-talk words you use with affirmations. If things work out great. If not, no problems and NO STRESS.
You have to keep at it, repeating these affirmations to yourself and replace the destructive self-talk. You will start to see a change in your mood and your attitude towards things and situations.
It was the old normal to be negative. Let’s be positive in the new normal.
2. Focus on your health should become the new normal
First of all, there is nothing wrong with being selfish in focusing on your health.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of having our health. And no amount of responsibility or expectation can take precedence over your health.
The work, the chores, everything can wait when it comes to you putting in the basic amount of time and effort required to improve and maintain your own health.
So stop feeling guilty and start making time for your self-care.
Join a Yoga session or a Zumba class, or simply go for a brisk walk. If you are finding it difficult to remain committed, buddy up with your spouse, child, sibling, friend to motivate and push each other to reach your perfect health goal.
Once you get into the routine of self-care you will see a change in your mood, your attitude and you will also have plenty of energy instead of feeling tired all the time.
3. Involve more friends in the New Normal.
Have you missed a reunion with your friends?
Do you postpone catching with friends over a call or coffee because you don’t have the time?
Have you missed a few weddings and other ceremonies of your friends?
If your answer is ‘Yes’ for any one of the above questions then you need to start investing time for your friends and in your social network. And by social network we mean genuine face-to-face interactions and not social media.
By this, we don’t mean for you to make elaborate schedules and pack your calendar. A simple get together or planning/attending a reunion or attending a friend’s event with your common friends would do wonders for feeling good.
You just need to spend some quality time with your peeps. You owe it to them for missing out and you owe it to yourself too.
It’s 2021. It’s about time you setup new #FriendshipGoals in the new normal.
4. Take up a new hobby. Learn something new.
Let’s get this straight – a hobby is not a waste of time. It is a creative use of time.
In the new normal, there are many up-skilling or learning new stuff all the time. A hobby is the same thing. It’s just a nicer word.
A hobby can be anything new that you have always wanted to do but didn’t make it a priority. It could be painting, pottery, learning an instrument, dancing, exercising or even coding, public speaking or learning a new language.
When you invest time in a hobby you are actually making time for your passions and interests and the activity is de-stressing and declutters your mind.
And the sense of achievement on completing a project or achieving a milestone is a total feel good moment.
5. It’s OK to enjoy some downtime.
It’s OK to take a break and just relax. It can be as little as 10 minutes but that is essentially your ME time.
It’s OK to not spend this time with your spouse or kids and just yourself. It’s OK to spend that time just playing a game or having some tea, reading or just lounging on your sofa. It is your very own, guilt free, ME time.
You are a human being and you deserve some R&R time – daily.
If you still think you don’t have the time then here’s a hack. We naturally have periods of downtime everyday when we are not at our 100% productive levels. You can time your downtime in these periods. Not only will you feel productive later but you would also feel energetic and happier.
2020 was the chaos we weren’t prepared for. But 2021 is a new opportunity for you to change your life. We aren’t saying you need to stress yourself out by doing everything on this list. Just 1 or 2 items mentioned here will help you feel happier & better than before.
And remember to celebrate every small victory, every small moment that makes you feel good.