How to make resolutions for 2021 in the midst of the pandemic
Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year. Everyone has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and our lives have all had to change and adapt to our new normal. So it’s not surprising that many of us didn’t achieve our 2020 resolutions, due to the most year most of us can remember. Now the new year is fast approaching, how can we make the best of our situation, and resolve to improve ourselves in 2021?
With so much of our normal lives restricted in ever changing ways, gyms closed, travel curbed and social gatherings reduced or banned altogether, many of the usual resolutions may not be appropriate or achievable.
It may be that the turmoil of 2020 has helped us find perspective, clarify the things that are really important to us, and work out what we really want from our lives. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
Up your self-care game
In a world of stress and isolation, taking care of yourself is crucial to suriving and thriving in 2021. As the flight attendants say, put your own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else. You can't pour from an empty cup!
Although self-care is sometimes thought of as spa days and bubble baths, proper self-care actually begins at a much more basic and boring place.
According to Maslow's heriarchy of needs, we must take care of our 'physioloigal needs' first (air, water, food, shelter, sleep and clothing), before moving onto 'safety needs' (personal security, employment, resources, and health), followed by 'love and belonging needs' (friendship, intimacy, family, sense of connectedness), then 'esteem needs' (respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom) and finally reaching 'self-actualization' as a result.
Spend time with loved ones
When it's safe to do so, prioritise your friends and family as much as you can. Skip the overtime if you can afford to, and dedicate time to your loved ones on a regular basis. Book in your plans ahead of time to make sure it doesn't fall by the wayside of a busy life, and consider monthly dinners, regular walks or weekly lunch dates to keep the feeling of togetherness thriving in your circle. Guard your work-life balance fiercly to allow you to make up for lost time with your friends, and schedule in annual leave regularly to allow you to stay as social as possible.
Support local business
Our local communities have been more important than ever this year, and have adapted to support us in phenomenal ways. From providing takeaways and deliveries of essential food supplies, to donating free school meals and volunteering to deliver medicines to vulnerable people, we have all stepped up for each other this year.
Let’s repay our local businesses with our loyalty this year, and shop at our local butchers, bakers and pharmacies to help them keep going in difficult times. Local independent coffee shops, restaurants and markets all need our help to survive, and it only takes a little effort to make this switch. Follow them on social media, leave Google reviews, and order their products! A great resolution could be to switch from Starbucks to a local coffee shop, or to buy you meat from the butchers instead of Tesco once a month.
A sense of community is beneficial to us all, and connection with our neighbours and community can improve our mood and mental health. Plus, if you want your local area to thrive, you've got to lend your support and participate in the local culture. It's a win win!
Prioritise your health
Our health is more important than ever, as we’ve learnt that being in good health can help us fight the virus, should we catch it.
Eating nutritious food and moving our bodies are two of the simplest, gentlest and most sustainable ways of adopting a healthier lifestyle. You could resolve to move in some way three times a week, such as a walk, run, or an at-home yoga session, or swap out junk food snacks for nuts, seeds and fruit. Setting yourself a rigid diet and exercise plan can be very hard to follow, and may increase the chances of failure long term. It usually works better to gently create healthier habits bit by bit. Slow and steady wins the race! Apps like Noom and Couch To 5k could be a good place to start if you need a helping hand.
Plan for your financial future
In an worrying economic year it’s more important than ever to plan a secure financial future for yourself and your family. Resolving to save more money each month, or rethinking your pension plan could be a good idea this year. Do you research or speak to your accountant to make the smartest choices. There are also lots of banking apps and accounts available to help you keep track of your spending, make and stick to a budget, and save your spare change every month, such as Monzo.