We never thought the day would come — but it’s finally here. Good riddance 2020! See ya never!
It’s without question that the past year will go down as one of the most hellish any of us will ever experience. With all the uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic, the stress around the 2020 US Presidential Election and the tragic losses of various Black lives through the act of police brutality, this year has done a number on our mental and physical health.
While it’s important to remember a lot of what happened in this past year, we are also happy to try and leave it in the past. While the fight continues for issues such as basic human rights for POC and defeating COVID-19, we’re remaining positive that 2021 will let us all catch our breath for a second — even if we’re still wearing masks and protesting in the streets.
New Year’s resolutions in the past have been relatively typical. Exercise more, eat healthier, learn a new language — whatever. Now, we’re focusing on more mental health-related issues first and foremost, while throwing those typical New Year’s resolutions on the backburner. Because, without your mental health, your physical health will take a toll, too.
If you’re looking for some 2021 resolution inspo to kickstart your year, we’re happy to help guide you in the right direction. It’s time to make the year yours this time around.
1. Drink More Water
Easier said than done, ain’t it? Whether you think you’re getting your daily dose or not, you should put more effort into your day-to-day water intake. Here’s a great way to start: whenever you think about water, whether it be an ice-cold glass or a beach vacation fantasy, have some water. Keep a full glass at your desk and refill it numerous times a day. If you really want to go all out, we suggest snagging yourself one of those time-marker water bottles so you can track your daily intake.
2. Support Local Restaurants
It’s been tremendously hard to get out and have a nice sit-down meal at your favorite local spot in recent months, but as restrictions begin to eventually ease, we suggest you splurge on a nice meal at a local spot to help them get back up on their feet after the year they’ve had. If you’re still nervous to go out to eat, considering ordering food from a local spot or buying a gift card to use in the future to help keep them afloat. Always remember to tip as much as you can!
3. Save More Money
Don’t think that this counteracts our prior resolution because it doesn’t. This past year, online purchases became the new norm, but your bank account has been suffering from it. Order out less, shop online less and stop treating your credit card like it’s Monopoly money. You can splurge from time to time, but 2021 is going to be the year we save more than ever for bigger, more worthwhile future purchases.
4. Get Out of the House
It’s funny, because this time last year, we would’ve been suggesting you head back to the gym and work on your fitness. This time around, that’s not what we’re doing. The majority of us have put on a little quarantine pouch from staying indoors so frequently but you don’t have to lose it right away. Right now, all we’re suggesting is that you get out of the house at least once a day and go on a walk. Try routes you don’t typically venture out on. Consider walking to buy a few small groceries next time you need to head to the supermarket. Maybe surprise a loved one with a bouquet of flowers. You’ll never know what you’ll find when you walk in a new direction.
5. Fight For Human Rights
The fight’s never over. This year, we saw way too many unarmed Black men and women’s lives cut short due to police brutality. Enough is enough; without our voices being heard, nothing is going to change. Whether you’re rallying on the streets or keeping friends and family informed at home, stay educated and do your part no matter where you are.
6. Stay in Touch
It’s weird because given all the time we’ve had in the past year, it seems that staying in touch with friends and family would have been easier than ever. Don’t get us wrong, at the beginning of quarantine, keeping up with everybody was relatively easy. Now that the weight on our shoulders has become a bit too heavy, answering a text or FaceTime feels like it takes every ounce of energy out of us. This year, make some more time to keep up with Mom, Dad, siblings and friends to keep them updated on your life and to show you care. You don’t have to have three-hour long conversations, we’re just saying that you both deserve the social interaction, even if it can feel like a lot at times.
Does even thinking about the space under your bed or the interior of your closet give you anxiety? Don’t answer that. We already know what you’re going to say. It’s time to declutter. Clean out all of your drawers, tear apart that closet and discover what’s hiding in the depths underneath your mattress and donate as much as you can to charity. For anything you choose to keep, consider buying storage containers you can neatly pack underneath your bed or closet organizers to help you keep clean. For anything you want to give away, there are likely a number of donation boxes in the area you can easily access. Anything you want to sell, we suggest heading to Depop or Facebook Marketplace to see if you can make a quick buck. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
8. Start Therapy
Even if you don’t think you need it, you need it. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, baby. Everyone needs somebody to talk to, a place where they can simply let go of whatever’s going on in their lives, even if it feels semi-mundane. If you have health insurance, there’s a good chance you can even have the majority of your sessions covered. It really is an investment you should make this year and it will help your mood tremendously.