Last year changed many people’s lives. Some students lost family members, friends and acquaintances; others dealt with financial and health struggles—all of this while adapting to remote learning.
Now that 2021 has arrived, it’s time for people to start caring about themselves.
This new year offers the possibility of turning over a new leaf. But for change to happen, people must take the time to reflect on what exactly went wrong in the past and discover how to improve. Dive deep into yourself, your emotions, your thoughts, and the situations that made you feel stressed, depressed or anxious.
It’s a beautiful idea to make self-care one of your New Year’s resolutions. Find what makes you feel more relaxed, even if it’s something small like drinking more water. If you have already found a method that works for you, challenge yourself to improve it or try new ones.
The New York Times says that in order for resolutions to work, they must be SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Making sure that you can measure clear and interesting goals over a specific amount of time will make it easier to achieve them and thus keep you motivated.
Your resolution will depend on the issue that’s deteriorating your mental health.
If your issue is not having enough time, consider getting a planner. You need at least five minutes of uninterrupted time to take good care of yourself, whether that means waking up five minutes before school or going to sleep five minutes later. Self care is so wonderful that they will feel like the best five minutes of your life.
If you don’t know where to start, identify exactly what you’re struggling with and how it started. Knowing the root of your problems is the first step toward figuring out how to fix them.
There are also different coping mechanisms that you can use depending on the situation. Try taking deep breaths when you’re stressed or anxious, or engage in a hobby when you need to clear your head. Talking to someone and exercising are also helpful.
If you’re a perfectionist who worries about every little detail, understand that acceptance is key. You can’t control everything—and that’s okay. Give yourself some space to recover from a stressful day and focus on having a positive mindset.
2021 is the year we improve our mental health. Let’s learn how to cope with stress and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic so we can be the best versions of ourselves.