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New year, new you! Welcome to 2021, we can only hope that this year brings more positivity, opportunities, and personal happiness than last year. For many people, 2020 put us through the ringer -- we weren’t able to get out and do the things we wanted, participate in the jobs, internships, and activities we had lined up, and this contributed to a hard hit on the mental well-being of many people.
The truth is, even if we aren’t able to attend that crowded baseball game, packed concert, or live the way we used to pre 2020 -- we have to make this our year regardless! No more waiting around for things to get better, because you have the option to change your situation and make it better.
At some point, the COVID-19 pandemic will end, but we can’t predict when that day will come. So, until then -- this is your opportunity to make light of the situation and make your own best possible outcome. Whether this is through getting a remote internship, taking a leap and applying for the job you once thought you didn’t qualify for, or a more simple task of putting more effort into yourself -- you can have a better 2021.
Your 2021 New Year’s resolutions should be about what you lacked in 2020. If you felt your mental health was declining, invest more time in yourself and do the things that make you feel happy. If you lacked human connection, actually pick up the phone and call or FaceTime that one person you’ve been missing the most. If you graduated college in 2020 or 2021 and are struggling to find a job, apply for anything and everything that fits your ideal career.
A resolution doesn’t have to be a monumental task that will take great lengths and efforts to complete. It can be as simple as cutting out soda or taking five minutes a day to sit and calmly take some deep breaths.
We will walk you through our list of the best New Year’s resolutions that you can accomplish and also make part of your daily life.
- Self-Care Routine
- Journaling and Positive Affirmations
- New Study Habits
When we are at our best we can easily accomplish our goals, move through life in a positive manner, and feel happy with ourselves. When we start neglecting ourselves, things fall by the wayside -- we start forgetting important tasks that we needed to complete, our bedrooms pile with clutter, and we might even look in the mirror and grimace at the person looking back at us.
Self care doesn’t have to be about pampering or spending money -- it’s more about helping you become the best version of yourself so that you can live life the way you want. Here are some self care resolutions that can help you accomplish that:
We know this sounds crazy -- everyone wants to close the door on 2020, put it in a place in their mind that will never be seen or heard of again, and of course never look back. However, this is the opposite of what you should be doing.
The past year wasn’t all glitz and glam -- but there is a lesson to be learned, wisdom to be gained, and growth to be had. Reflect on this year and all that it has taught you, because believe it or not -- it’s played a role in shaping you into the person you are going into 2021.
Establish a Healthy Routine
If there’s one specific thing that suffered in 2020, it was our sleep schedules. Since most of us experienced quarantine or complete lockdown, we started going to bed in the early hours of the morning and waking up in the afternoon.
Start by establishing a sleep routine -- make an effort to be in bed at a certain time and wake up at the same time each day. You will be surprised by how this makes you feel. This will eliminate the feeling of guilt when you wake up in the middle of the afternoon and give you more time to accomplish your daily goals.
Also adjust your diet -- cut out all the excessive takeout and stick to a minimum of one or a few days per week. This will make your body and your wallet happy. Make an effort to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few healthy snacks in between.
Last, but not least -- embark on a social media cleanse. It’s true that social media can have a negative impact on our mental health. Think about who you follow and why -- more friends does not mean we are more popular or social. In fact, social media posts are a different version of reality. We can post something and make it out to be more extravagant or exciting than it really was -- this may lead you to compare your life to others, leaving you feeling more unhappy and isolated to begin with. Only follow those that you truly want to keep in touch with.
Do What Makes You Happy
If there’s one thing that will always remain true, it’s that you will always get a sense of enjoyment out of doing the things you love. If there’s a hobby you neglected this year, make it a point to start again in 2021.
Spend more time on yourself -- whether this is through reading a good book, establishing an exercise routine, taking a walk with your dog, putting on a facemask, or relaxing with some essential oils. Each of these has proven benefits for your mental health.
Aromatherapy helps to activate smell receptors in your nose that send messages to your brain. This can relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and help you feel more relaxed.
Different essential oils are intended for certain triggers -- for example, the calming effects of lavender will make you feel more relaxed and sleep will come quicker and easier.
Make it a point this year to invest more time in your personal wellness through these small self care habits that you can maintain and make part of your daily routine.
Journaling and Positive Affirmations
We’ve all been in that situation when it’s 2 am, we’re laying in bed desperately trying to fall asleep, and there’s one thing on your mind that keeps playing out piece by piece, over and over again. If this happens often, you might want to consider starting a journal.
Journaling has many benefits from reducing stress to lowering blood pressure and improving liver function. Writing about stressful experiences will help you manage them in a healthy way. Make expressive writing a part of your daily routine by spending 15 to 20 minutes a day detailing your thoughts -- this will help you relax and unwind prior to bedtime.
Journaling will also boost your mood, keep your memory sharp, and strengthen your emotional functions, meaning that you will be more in tune with your emotions, needs, and desires. To go with your new journaling routine -- try writing daily positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations will benefit you by bettering your health and serving as personal motivation. Getting caught up in negative thinking will lead you to a dark place -- when you start thinking positively, you will start to feel better physically and emotionally. Positive affirmations will also motivate you because when you believe something is true, it will be -- if you think, “I’m lazy and won’t accomplish anything today,” chances are, this will become true as well.
Both journaling and positive affirmations will lead to better overall health, improve your mental well-being in a positive way, and improve your quality of health.
New Study Habits
One of the reasons you may feel like you’re not benefiting from online classes is because you don’t know how to develop a healthy study routine. We know that for many of you, online classes take place in your bedroom -- which is one of the most difficult places to maintain focus. It’s easy to become distracted by all of the other things that you could be doing, so our number one tip is to study outside of your bedroom, especially refrain from studying in bed.
Studying in bed is problematic for a number of reasons -- the first is, your mind associates your bed as a place for comfort and sleep. This can lead you to lose focus and even fall asleep. It can also be harmful to healthy sleep because the bed should only be a place for sleep and relaxing. Studying in bed is harmful to your health because you are more prone to poor posture and your lack of flat, solid space will lower productivity.
If you attend school at home, try moving to a home office, or a table with adequate space for you to place all of your notebooks, textbooks, papers, and other tools. If you are on campus, see if you can go somewhere that is safe and will allow you to socially distance. Try a study room or the library if your campus buildings are open.
You can also improve your study habits by having a better outlook on online classes in general. Rather than thinking, “I’m learning nothing,” try to dive deeper in your readings or coursework and actually put in the necessary effort to learn.
Set a strict study time each day and stick to this time on a daily basis. Set goals for what you want to achieve while studying, refrain from procrastinating, and eliminate distractions -- so turn your phone off or face it away from you.
Take good notes during class and review them before starting an assignment -- good notes will assist you in your work and you will be thankful for them later.
Last, start with the most difficult subject first -- the one you know will take the most time and effort. Instead of saving the hardest task for last, it won’t weigh on you during your study session and it will be much easier to finish the rest of your work with the hardest one out of the way.