We can all agree that 2020 was a doozy of a year. But we’re taking all the lessons we learned and moving on to the New Year!
Whether you’re redecorating the house on a budget, learning a new hobby, or picking up something completely different to read, there are multiple ways to make 2021 a much better year than the last.
Curate Positive Experiences
This can mean almost anything, right? Specifically, it means you should start to whittle down the things causing you undue stress and surround yourself with experiences and people who bring you affirmation.
This doesn’t mean being positive no matter what (toxic positivity is a real thing!), it means removing things negatively affecting your personal life.
Start by stopping the doomscrolling. (Doomscrolling means constantly consuming large amounts of bad news at once.) This is incredibly detrimental to your mental health and can deeply affect your perception of the world around you. Live your life, moment by moment and appreciate the good things around you.
Schedule weekly video calls with positive people and talk about all the good things that happened each week. Spend more time offline. In fact, this leads into our next tip.
Spend More Time in Nature
2020 taught us that spending too much time indoors (in public, around crowds) is not great for many reasons, so spend as much of it as you can in nature!
Most of us live in pedestrian-friendly areas with plenty of hiking trails, paths, parks, ponds, lakes, and beaches to spread out and enjoy sunshine. Make sure you bring your masks, sunglasses, and sanitizer wherever you go!
If you’re someone with their own backyard, you can create your own outdoor experience no one else can have. Turn your backyard into a stargazing retreat, complete with hammocks and telescopes and whatever else you need to relax under the stars.
Take Part in Your Community
Another big lesson we learned in 2020 is how important it is to take care of not just your family and friends, but your entire community such as neighbors, the people that deliver food to you, restaurant workers handling takeout, utility workers, volunteers, and others.
Being a bigger part of the community and helping local businesses is not only great for your local economy, but it’s important that your community thrives and continues to do so because of your contribution.
Read or Watch a New Genre
This one can be super easy or incredibly hard, depending on how rigid you are with your tastes!
If you’re a big Young Adult fiction reader, try nonfiction graphic novels. If you love historical films, binge on classic horror movies. If you don’t read much outside of texts for work, please give your eyes a break and read a comic book or two or three. If you’re the ultimate TV binger, read a book and then watch the movie adaptation of that (take it in instead of rushing through it!).
The whole point is to try something new within something you’re already familiar with. Like having your favorite comfort meal with a new side dish or spices!
Take a Break to Do Nothing
This tip is even easier than the last one. It seems so simple, but many people find it hard to do: take a break to do absolutely nothing. Yes, you read that correctly. You deserve time to do nothing. Turn off your electronics, dim the lights, and sit. Breathe. Have a moment just to yourself.
Just because 2020 was a behemoth of a year, doesn’t mean 2021 has to be. Live in the moment and make your experiences more positive this year.