Welcome to 2021! We're never sure how good a year will be until we experience it, but we're off to a great start!
I didn't make a resolution this year, but I did decide to do a few unofficial things that I should probably write down.
Every year, we make resolutions and oftentimes don't go through with them.
Rather than doing that, I'm just setting goals. Here are ten things that will help my mental health, and hopefully yours too.
1. Call someone.
Technology is the beauty of the 21st century. While we're in 2021 now, there may be a bit more quarantine to experience. Phone a friend!
While it may be uncomfortable, try face to face. Facetime, Discord video call, or Zoom. It's better than being by yourself. If you're alone, and you feel like everyone is busy, try Omegle! It's an app where you can meet and talk to random people all around the world. There may be a few bumps, because while the internet it lovely, it can also suck. Move past that, and you can have some proper human interaction. A few people I know were as lonely as I was during the summer, and we spent nine hours on a call. We would get up, eat, or stream a movie. At the end of the day, it was enough to remind me that I'm not alone.
2. Sing and dance.
For others? Nope! For yourself. I did this yesterday, and it works wonders for your mental health. My entire family went out, and I had stuff to do so I stayed home by myself. I put the music all the way up and played whatever music I liked because there wasn't anyone to judge me. I cleaned my fish tank, washed the dishes, and danced around the kitchen while singing off-key. The trick is to find the right song, but one I love to listen to is "All The Right Moves" by OneRepublic. Goof off a bit. You're amazing, and you should have fun when you do this.
3. Chase sunlight.
Something I noticed was that sunlight helps my mood. A little while ago, I realized that whenever I don't get any natural light, I get depressed!
My dorm room has no sunlight, so I tricked my brain by getting sunflower bedsheets. The bright colors help on days where I don't go outside. That being said, go outside whether it be in the garden or down the street. I prefer places with less people, but I take walks periodically and work them into my schedule so that I make sure to get my brain on reset. My window doesn't open, but I recommend opening your window and getting some fresh air if you can't go out.
Trust me. It helps more than you know.
4. Watch a show.
Watch one or two episodes of your favorite show or favorite childhood show to take a break. I don't recommend binging unless you're done for the day. I usually watch an episode of "Friends" or "Blue's Clues" to just let my mind take me back to the good times. It motivates me to keep going for younger me who had big hopes and dreams.
You probably hear this a lot, but it's definitely something to try. It forces you to stop moving and to just breathe for a moment. There are videos online, and you can ask people for recommendations. Sometimes, all it takes is sitting in a chair, putting your feet on the ground, and breathing while you think about puppies. It's pure happiness.
6. Try working out.
You probably hate this. Living in Florida means I hate to workout because it's way too hot. Once I realized that was something that stopped me, I tried working out in the morning or evening, rather than just in winter time.
Now, I've learned to get up at 5:30am to go running with anyone who wants to join me. I prefer to get up early and run, come back and shower, and then go get breakfast on campus.
If that's not for you, yoga is a great alternative. Try working out from home. Experiment with ballet or gymnastics. Working out doesn't mean that you have to do something you hate. Find something that moviates you. Have some friends yell at you to keep going.
7. Eat healthy.
I don't eat healthy. That's on me. There are fruits that I eat a lot, and they make me feel better. Pomegranates are probably my favorite fruit because I have to peel it and do the water test to see which seeds are good and which aren't. Find something healthy that you love, and make it! Drinking water always helps.
8. Dress up, even if it is for yourself!
I had a bad night and called my friend. She didn't know how to help because she hadn't been in that situation before, but she told me to do something that helps her when she's down: dressing up. She stayed on the phone while I put on a dress and makeup and everything else, then demanded pictures. It helped me concentrate on something other than the current situation, and pretty soon, I was smiling. You'll look nice even though no one can see it, and your brain can concentrate on something different.
9. Make popsicles.
One of these is not like the others. It seems random, but popsicles are amazing and you can use anything to make them. Anything goes, and then you have a snack. They don't take a lot of effort, and if you have a freezer, you can make one! It's a lifesaver, honestly.
10. Make the best of it, and have some hope.
The best thing we can do is hope. In the darkest of times, hope is our greatest asset. Anytime you think you can't do it, hope. The thing that will make you happiest is yourself. Treat yourself kindly, and do those thing that make you happy. Know that everything will be okay.
Happy 2021, everyone!