The year most people want to forget is finally over!
With the 2020 holiday season coming to an end, many of you, like me, and have had mixed emotions about the holidays this year. You might be dealing with the Covid-19 blues, missing a loved one, stuck in quarantine over Christmas vacation, lost your job, and many more. All of these are reasons that could have made this holiday hard for you. We are all hoping 2021 will be better so we can start fresh. I know life isn’t going to magically change the moment the clock strikes 12 New Year’s Eve, but we can start getting our minds going in the right direction. In order to do this, we, as a community, have to wake up in the morning and start putting one foot in front of the other. I asked a few of my colleges for some tips on how we as individuals can personally grow.
Find a routine and stick with it
Disruption of our schedule can really throw us off. You need to find a way to maintain your day-to-day plan. The sooner you get back on track, the better it will be. Start waking up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night. This does become quite a challenge when you are involved in a stay-at-home job or even if you’re on a 14-day quarantine. Shower and get ready for your day, even though you aren’t going anywhere. It’s still healthy for you and helps you wake up and do activities while you’re in your home. Add some rest time into your schedule. We all need at least an hour to sit and think and let our bodies go. Think about what you have planned for the rest of the day and do your best to complete it.
Exercise is one of the best ways to increase hormones in the brain that lower feelings of sadness and loneliness. If you have an at-home exercise routine, keep it up. Add some extra minutes each week. There are many gyms and workout groups that have virtual and in person training.
A little fresh air is always a good pick-me-up. When you are working on your routine, be sure to add in a walk around the neighborhood or even some yard work. Taking the dogs on a walk, picking up trash, shooting the basketball with your kids all give you a good reason to go outside.
Turn off the news
We all know how depressing the news can be and the amount of misinformation it gives you. If you don’t like the silence, you could try listening to an audiobook or a TED talk to help you feel better and might lead you to learning something new.
Write down your goals
We have all heard the “New Year, New Me” saying. Thinking of the future and getting your priorities straight is the first step to figuring out your goals. Next, write them down. Remember to keep your objectives attainable. If you can’t complete the goals you set for yourself, why write them in the first place? Look up, S.M.A.R.T goals on Google to help you get started.
Share what you’re going through
Some of the things we experience are unbearably sad. If we’ve lost a loved one, our business is in jeopardy, or we can’t see our children or grandchildren, we should talk to someone. Talking about how you feel to someone close to you has been proven to be a healthy release for the mind and body.
Keep your sense of perspective
Right now, it’s easy to feel like we are living near the end of the world. But history shows that our species has dealt with other pandemics and all sorts of crises before, and we’ve survived. We are actually better equipped this time around to battle this new challenge. To find out more, reach out to friends to talk about this unique point in human history.
Try to laugh
Humor is a way we humans cope with stress, there are many people out there who put their own spin on comedy and share it with the world. Check out recent videos on YouTube or join the popular app TikTok. Call a friend and crack some jokes or turn your TV to any sort of comedic series like SNL, Modern Family, The Jokesters, or everyone’s favorites Americas Funniest Home Videos. We all need to experience some joy during this rough time.
If feelings of depression don’t improve, help is available. Therapists and other healthcare professionals are conducting remote counseling sessions through telehealth and teletherapy. Ask your doctor for a recommendation. And remember that you are not alone! Millions of us are experiencing and worrying about the same things, asking the same questions, and dealing with the same uncertainty all around the world, though we are isolated from each other, we have somehow never been so close.
Don’t forget you can always call the Suicide Prevention Hotline if you are struggling. Call 800-273-8255