2020 has posed some of the greatest challenges of our lives. 2021 is a time to remind yourself to take good care of yourself. Here are some meaningful ways to make 2021 a more balanced year for your mind, body, and soul.
1. Practice self-compassion.
During the pandemic, many people are good at showing compassion for others, but a lot of the time, they forget to be compassionate towards themselves. Practicing self-compassion this year will not only help you take care of yourself, but it will also give you space for yourself to breathe in a healing and kind way. It is important to remember that this pandemic is affecting everyone emotionally, mentally and physically, including yourself.
2. Take care of your basic needs.
I know I can at least speak for myself when I say I get a little moody when I forget to take care of my basic needs. A lot of the time we find ourselves neglecting our body's need to sleep, eat, and be active. This can have a strong negative impact on our minds and bodies. With the new year, we should prioritize our needs, no matter how busy our lives get. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night, eat consistent balanced meals, and be active for at least 20 minutes every day.
3. Reflect and think about what you left behind in 2020.
As we begin a new year, we need to think about all of the good and bad that occurred in 2020. Be grateful for all the accomplishments, lessons, and things you've been through this past year. It's a good time to begin thinking about how you may or may not do things differently in 2021. This is a great way to give yourself perspective and make the past year feel complete.
4. Be present.
Many times we find ourselves re-living the past or worrying about the future. Try to bring yourself back to the present. An effective way of doing this is by using your senses. Notice five things you see, four things that you can feel, three things you can hear, two things that you smell, and one thing that you taste. This should help allow you to proceed with your day, fully in the moment.
5. Clean one space or thing.
Working or just being in a messy area always seems to stress me out. Cleaning up can help clear your mind and help you focus. Whether you clean your bedroom, wash your car, or scrub your bath tub, the reward of a nicely cleaned space is always uplifting.
6. Learn a new skill.
Learning something new doesn't have to the worst thing in the world. Start off with something you can easily incorporate into your daily life, like a new recipe. Trying new things and learning can boost self-confidence and raise self-esteem. There are plenty of apps and technology that can help you take on new projects like video editing, or photography. The internet can help you learn anything you have an interest in, from astronomy and science to painting and artists.
7. Recall positive life events.
Spend time thinking about your best memories. Whether it's a vacation, an award you received, or even time spent with friends, recalling the happiest times of your life can bring more positivity to your mindset. These memories keep us going and keep us connected to the people in our lives.
8. Practice forgiveness.
Holding grudges and hanging on to anger is not something we need to bring into 2021. It's important to practice forgiveness, whether it's toward ourselves or others. Forgiveness allows us to let go of past hurt and lean towards good mental well-being. Releasing these emotions will allow you to move into a greater state of well-being.