2020 and the pandemic, quarantine, political and social unrest, and overall constant state of uncertainty and anxiety has had a deep impact on the lives and good habits that we have all been trying to maintain over the years. Long periods of staying inside, isolating ourselves, and living more in the virtual world than in the real one lend themselves to indulging in negativity, eating poorly, and not paying much attention to what is going on around is a symptom of the times. However, now that change is on the horizon, we must take back a bit of control over ourselves and our lives. A good way to do that is by intentionally remaking your habits and rebuilding healthy processes for 2021. Here are 5 steps to start.
Think Positively (Fake it ‘til you Make It)
For many of us, thinking positively is not always the easiest thing to do, especially after the sustained and constant difficulties of the past year. However, as we focus on the future, and the accomplishments and joyful situations we have yet to experience, it is truly important to sew the seeds of positivity into your everyday life. Finding positivity in simplicity and common things cn certainly boost your mood and curb negative thoughts before they become intrusive and difficult to shake.
Certainly, the power of positive thinking is not an all-powerful cure-all, especially for those suffering from serious mental health issues, however trying to look for the bright side or the silver lining of a situation does begin to incorporate positivity and hope into any situation, and with practice and persistence, this positivity can undoubtedly find its way into your life habitually, and then sincerely into your daily outlook. Positive thinking has been proven to reduce daily anxiety, increase positive emotions, and change the way you think and react to stress.
Take Some Notes
Even in the event that you think you have a perfect memory, human recall is definitely not 100% reliable. Even for those who are able to remember most of their daily tasks, for most of us, the possibility of remembering every single detail about every single thing we need to remember is impossible. For this reason, incorporating the making of lists and writing down notes about the specifics of your tasks will up your game and ensure that you have everything sorted and sealed for any task you may have to complete. Keeping lists will also reserve mental energy that you would otherwise be used to remember the details of this task. Keeping notes and lists will not only save mental bandwidth but will also give you a menu of accomplishments that you have succeeded at completing, keeping you dialed into your own momentum, and living as inspiration for what you can accomplish.
Choose your Diet Intentionally
Regardless of if you have specific weight loss and dieting goals, or are just trying to cut down on mid-afternoon snacks that make you feel bad for the rest of the day, sorting out a more intentional diet and eating schedule will help you feel better, stick to your goals, and maybe even lose some weight.
Emotional eating is one of the most prevalent ways that people deal with stress and discomfort and after the incredibly stressful year of 2020, many of us have had our diets and health thrown out the window due to our reaction to the constant state of stress that we have endured.
The best ways to fight this behavior is first by attempting to minimize your stress, and learn to react differently to these difficulties. Taking in a moment of meditation is a good place to start, as with practice, the goal of clearing your mind and concentrating on your breathing will introduce calmness and clarity into your everyday process, lowering your stress level and allowing you to be more intentional when you eat, as opposed to eating away your stress and anxiety.
Speak Positively To Yourself
For most of us, 2020 has left us feeling powerless and at the mercy of so many details that we cannot control. Losing the feeling of control while attempting to boost up and comfort the people in our lives can, unfortunately, lead to not giving ourselves the love and positivity that we need to stay even-keeled and level-headed, oftentimes losing perspective on the contributions and strengths that we bring to the table. If not curbed in time, our feelings of helplessness can often descend into a feeling that we are failing. It is absolutely necessary that we take stock and awareness of the contributions and positive change that we make and provide to those around us on a daily basis. This small amount of personal gratitude will inherently pull us out of the fear, anxiety, and helplessness that prolonged stress such as living through 2020 presented to everyone this year. So, boost yourself up, remind yourself of your successes and capabilities, and remember that even if you are unable to fix everything right now, even the smallest positive contribution will help. And when you help, you will begin to feel better and more capable. Always be kind to yourself.
Put Your Phone Away more often
Now that we are living in the “future” and technology influences literally everything that we do in our lives, it is incredibly important that we take a break from our screens from time to time to take in the real world around us, rather than just posting, taking pictures, and tweeting about the life you are living. Sure, especially in a culture so heavily focused on digital communication, and shared experiences it sometimes feels almost unnatural to put away your phone and enjoy the moment as it happens, but, moving forward there are many benefits, mentally, emotionally, and physically to unplugging and putting your device away. When we live for documenting the memory, and not for the moment you are living in, the importance and spontaneity of true enjoyment can erase the personal worth and value of that experience. Sometimes, it is better to keep it to yourself and those who experienced the moment with you. Otherwise, you might miss something important, and miss out on what truly matters.