The past year challenged all of us. It made us reassess the way we live, how we pursue our goals, and in some cases, ask ourselves why we pursue them.
By the holidays, many of us were quite happily waving 2020 off, in some cases understandably deflated.
But there’s no need to feel stagnant. A new year can be just the milestone you need to get back into action, and we’d rather stay positive about the times ahead than dwell on the past. If you need to invite some fresh energy into your life this January – whether at home or away – here are five ways the LifeJacket team will be trying to stay positive and optimistic in 2021.
1. Find a ritual
Not to be confused with a routine (or a solstice meet-up at Stonehenge). A ritual, or a process: like making freshly grounded coffee, having a wet-shave once a week, or scheduling a walk with the dog, can become the spark needed to ignite your mojo, so to speak – to help you with the aspects of life you’re struggling to re-calibrate, like work hours. Make a habit of creating these rituals, and not only will they become easier to do, they'll begin a pattern that makes 2021, and life in general, a little more colourful.
2. Go outside
Yes, yes, we know: lockdowns and all. Many of us can fall too deeply into the habit of staying at home, lounging around the sofa, and allowing the days to blur into one. Inevitably, we punish ourselves for the feeling of wasted time. Planning a walk, or some other form of exercise, invites that dopamine hit that puts it all into perspective: we might be putting something off, but at least we’re being productive. Tip: Leave the headphones at home and allow yourself to be fully present; you’ll be surprised at all the new ideas that come to mind. (And don’t forget to protect that skin of yours!)
3. Stay in (but make it count)
Of course, you'll also be spending large periods of your day at home. The internet is often misused. Social media thrives on you measuring your happiness against others, and that isn’t healthy. Rather than scrolling down your newsfeed, use the internet’s free resources to learn something new instead. If you must be distracted online, at least do it learning how to tie nautical knots, performing a card shuffle you’ve always been impressed by, or brushing up on your Swedish for an unplanned trip to Malmo. These new ideas will make 2021 more fulfilling, and supply other ways to keep sane, away from inevitable social media land.
4. Look after your hygiene
Keeping yourself feeling fresh and revitalised is a no-brainer, but few people consider how much of an effect it has on your mood. Poor hygiene is a sign of self-neglect, and often accompanies feelings of anxiety or hopelessness. And as we’ve spent more time indoors, many of us are guilty of dropping our standards slightly. Even if we’re not heading into the workplace for a while, your hygiene is as much for you as anybody else; so don’t let it drop. And remember, with so much time away from natural light, that a good moisturiser can be a best friend.
2020 has taught us that too much rest can sometimes have the opposite effect. But rather than seeing meditation as ‘doing nothing’ consider it as ‘actively doing nothing’ instead. Meditation has been proven to boost mental health, help you find peace of mind amidst life’s daily stresses, and even improve your immune system. Some of the most successful figures on earth take a moment to meditate each day, and while it’s difficult to get going at first, if you stick at it you'll have a resource to withdraw (and find peace) no matter what the year throws at you.
Let us know what other ways you will be keeping positive in 2021, or whether you already use some of the above for your own life.
Stay well friends.