2020 was a challenge beyond any in recent memory, and 2021 will demand much from each of us. The key to transitioning and responding in healthy, effective ways is through our resilience. Resilience relates to a multi-faceted ability to meet life’s challenges and opportunities with strength, creativity, and flexibility—an ability which can be nurtured and which grows with our attention.
Here are some tips for restoring your resilience in 2021:
Go inward. While many of us still face the challenges of separation and limited social opportunities during the pandemic, we are also presented with an opportunity to relabel our isolation. Consider it solitude; and in solitude, we find our strength. By using our time wisely, limiting TV, streaming, and social media, we can read, learn and meditate our way to better mental health, discovering that we can stay assured and calm even at the most difficult of times.
Focus on small changes. Instead of rewriting our life stories overnight, consider small fixes that can lead to greater returns over time. For example, exercise: start by committing to 10 minutes a day of exercise, gradually increasing it by 5 minutes per day each week until you get to 30 minutes per day. This is much easier than over-committing to a new fitness routine that is too ambitious and doomed to fail. A great journey starts with a single step.
Have a growth mindset. It’s important to remember that humans are uniquely suited to learning and improving. Rather than being fixed in our thinking and accepting that the way we are is the way we will always be, choose to embrace that, at any age, you can improve in many ways: outlook, skills, behaviors, attitude. Consider online classes.
Shift your nutrition. It’s time to clear the junk from the kitchen cupboards and invite better nutrition into your life. Healthy food fuels your well-being. Processed, preserved or otherwise unnatural combinations may be called “food” but are not wholesome. A whole food, plant-based diet is one healthy option; a Mediterranean diet is another. Find an eating style that works for you.
Get your sleep. Sleep is essential for the human body. Most of us operate with too little sleep which can seriously limit our ability to respond with resilience to life’s challenges. Work to adjust your sleep schedule and develop a sleep routine. Choose a dark, cool, quiet room; prepare clean sheets, good pillows. Leave the tech out of the bedroom and disconnect at least an hour before bedtime. Read, relax. Try to get at least 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
Stay connected. Whether it be with friends, family, or peers, make an effort to be in touch. Do it for you and do it for them. Others may be suffering from loneliness and isolation and would welcome your outreach, too. Have a support network and work to expand it in 2021.
If you need help, reach out. Sometimes, things get more serious than we can handle by ourselves or with the support of loved ones. Whether it be out-of-control anxiety or depression, these conditions need the attention of medical help. There is nothing wrong and everything right about getting proper care from a trained professional. Don’t wait.
Andrew Flach is the CEO of Hatherleigh Press, Ltd. Hatherleigh Press, Ltd. is dedicated to publishing reliable and authoritative content in healthy living. Hatherleigh encourages active and healthy lifestyles, involvement in family and community, earth-friendly choices, and mindful awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.