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Make Time for Self-Care
If you feel like you have tons of commitments that aren’t always for you, carve out some solid “me” time in the year ahead by trying a new hobby—or resurrecting an old one—such as cooking, making art, or reading a good book.
Make New Friends
Okay, we admit that it’s not always easy to make new friends (especially in times like these), but there’s no reason to stop trying. Join a new Facebook group for a group you’re interested in, or volunteer your time to an organization in need—others may also be trying to meet new people, too, which can alleviate some of the pressure.
Better Your Budgeting
While coming up with a budget isn’t necessarily the most fun thing to do (unless you’re a numbers person), not knowing where your cash has gone and being unable to cover your monthly expenses is even less so. Budgeting for social gatherings and incidentals (unexpected dinners out, new clothes, a locksmith’s visit) means you won’t have to change old habits too much.
Use an online management tool or app, such as Mint and Clarity Money, or use a spreadsheet template to help set short and long-term goals.
Create Your Dream Career
Even if you’re not looking for a new job right now, it’s still wise to keep sharp in case you see a posting that interests you. Revisit your LinkedIn profile and give it a fresh update, edit and add skills to your résumé, network, subscribe to job alerts, and create an online folder where everything job-related is kept in one place. This will keep your professional standing in good health now, and be well prepared to nail any job application and interview.
Declutter Your Space
A clean home is a happy home. Quell anxiety and stress by tidying up and decluttering everything around you. Tackle the refrigerator, cabinets, messy drawers, desks, and closets. Toss everything you haven’t used in six months, donate what you don’t love or need, and get ready to celebrate the new year with new clarity and peace of mind.
If left unchecked, stress and anxiety can go unnoticed for some time, and later manifest themselves in physical and emotional ways.1 Instead of waiting for them to rear their ugly heads, learn stress management and reduction techniques now. Some meditate, others practice yoga, and many exercise to combat stress.
Many people spend a good portion of their lives saying, “I’ll be happy when…” Don’t wait to be, or get, happy. Instead, keep healthy habits, focus on staying positive, and let go of too-stringent or unattainable ambitions while acknowledging there may still be achievable goals you’d like to attain during the upcoming year.
Catch Up With Family
The distance from our families at this time can take a toll on our mental health. Take time to appreciate loved ones via a simple phone or Zoom call. Check in with those close to you, especially older relatives, if only to say you love them and are grateful for their presence in your life. Not only will it make a sister’s, grandparents’, or cousin’s day, strong family ties contribute to happiness and physical health. 2
Try a New Look
A fun way to start off the year is trying out something different, right? Play with a new hair color, style or cut, as well as new ideas for your personal style.
Stop the FOMO
2020 was the year of FOMO (aka Fear of Missing Out). Despite the fact that you’ve missed out on events this past year, look within and realize that whatever you did get to experience should was amazing, and there are great things to experience in the future.
Take some “me” time to relax and recharge and find gratitude for the things you have experienced, rather than harping on what you missed.