Remember how excited everyone was for the “roaring 20s” to make a comeback last year? Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans. Instead of getting ramped up for a great decade, our lives came to a screeching halt. Sitting at home during a pandemic took a toll on us physically and mentally. That’s why we need to find ways to make 2021 the “Year of Health.”
As a collective, we’ve gained enough weight that those extra pounds have a nickname—the “COVID 20.” On top of that, social distancing and quarantine measures have impacted our emotional health. Of course, things were even worse if someone in your family lost their job or contracted the virus. It really was a horrible year, but 2021 doesn’t have to be the same.
Tackle Your Diet
Did you gain weight in 2020? If you did, you’re not alone. Many of us occupied our time by eating more—it was even hard to find flour and yeast because so many people were baking bread! During a time of uncertainty, comfort food may have gotten us through, but it’s time to get back on track.
Being overweight puts us at risk for so many diseases, including the more severe outcomes associated with COVID-19. We need to clean up our diets, remember what normal portions look like, and fuel our body with the nutrients it needs to keep us going.
Get Back to Exercise
Access to gyms and fitness centers has been unpredictable this year, and some experts have listed them among the places where you’re most likely to be exposed to COVID. While there are some guidelines for making it safer, many don’t feel safe working out in those settings.
The good news is that you don’t need a gym to stay active. You can still go for walks in uncrowded areas or even exercise at home. In addition to the large collection of workout videos on YouTube, you can download fitness apps, or use at-home equipment such as hand weights or even a stationary bike.
Focus on Emotional Wellness
This year has been brutal in so many ways, and it’s really hurt us emotionally. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’ve likely had at least one moment when you felt lonely, depressed, anxious, or even afraid. We’ve faced so many challenges alone, separated from many of the people we love.
It’s absolutely essential that we find healthy, productive ways to take care of our mental health. Whether it’s meditation and yoga, deep breathing techniques, weekly check-ins with friends, or even seeking professional counseling through virtual therapy services. There is no shame or weakness in needing emotional support, and we must make sure it’s a priority.
Deal With Debts
Have you ever avoided opening your mail because you can’t handle looking at one more bill? Have you ever lost sleep because you don’t know how you’re going to pay for anything? It’s tempting to slide into denial and escape financial problems, but ignoring them only makes everything worse.
Set aside some time and open every letter and credit card statement. Make a list of everything you owe, take a deep breath, and contact your debtors. Explain your situation, ask about possible solutions, and search for any pandemic relief options that may be available in your area. Come up with a step-by-step plan so that the mountain of debt doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
Set Goals for a Healthy 2021
Whatever you’re focusing on, set some goals for 2021. Break them down into steps so that you can celebrate small victories throughout the year. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to end this year feeling stronger and healthier? It’s within your power to give this gift to yourself. All you need to do is believe it’s possible!