by SARAH YANG
Well, here we are. A new year is here. There’s just something about that fresh and hopeful feeling a new year brings, especially when you think about what went down the year before. I think it’s safe to say that all of us are cautiously optimistic about what 2021 will bring.
With this new year, you’ve probably made some resolutions or set some intentions. Maybe you want to work out more or eat better. You might have some career goals to cross off your to-do list for 2021. Some of you might have relationships (and how to improve them) on the brain.
Whatever they are, your resolutions are hopefully supposed to support your well-being. I don’t want to dwell too much on last year, but one thing I think a lot of us learned was the importance of taking care of ourselves, physically and mentally. I know I definitely paid more attention to my health and wellness in 2020, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve always got it on the brain because of my job as managing editor of THE/THIRTY!
Whether you did this last year or not, 2021 is a great opportunity to continue taking charge of your well-being or start thinking about it more. Because when you take care of yourself, you are more equipped to be there for others and the things you’re passionate about.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of well-being to-dos, from health to nutrition to fitness to personal goals. Consider these suggestions as you think about what your hopes are for 2021.
1. PLAN THOSE DOCTOR’S VISITS
With COVID-19, whether or not you can go to your doctor’s office for a routine checkup can depend on a lot of variables—the specific policies at your doctor’s office, how safe and comfortable you feel with going to the doctor right now, any risk factors you have to consider, and any existing conditions you have that may require more in-person visits. We’d recommend calling your doctor’s office, which will be able to assess your specific needs based on your medical history. That goes for both primary care physicians and any specialists like a gynecologist or dermatologist.
Don’t forget about your teeth and eyes. Check with your dentist and optometrist to see if a checkup or exam is needed.
You can also take advantage of telehealth services if they’re available to you. Again, this depends on your needs and your doctor’s policies. According to the CDC, telehealth can be used to provide low-risk urgent care for conditions not related to COVID-19, to support people managing chronic conditions, and to monitor clinical signs of chronic medical conditions (like blood pressure and blood glucose).
2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
With all the stress of 2020, mental health was in the spotlight more than ever, and it still is very important. Take stock of the state of your mental health. Make it a point to keep up regular appointments with your therapist. If you don’t have one and think you can benefit from therapy, perhaps it’s time to start looking for a provider or a support group. This all depends on your specific mental health needs.
Aside from therapy, you can take small steps toward caring for your mental health. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts, anxiety, and stress. Creating your own self-care routine can help you cope with hard times. Take some time to explore new ways to nurture your mental health.
3. Check In Your Relationships
There’s no doubt that 2020 changed the way we interact with others. Some people have been quarantining alone, while others have unexpectedly had a lot of quality time with their immediate households. Maybe you had some relationships break down because of certain events in 2020. Maybe it brought you closer to others or pushed you to reconnect with long-lost loved ones.
Even though everyone has a different situation, now might be a good time to take a look at the relationships in your life. How can you strengthen them this year? Do some need boundaries, and how can you create them? How can you check in on the people you love? What can you do to open yourself up to the possibility of meeting new people? Those are just some things to think about.
4. Get Moving
Even if working out isn’t at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, adding some movement or activity to your routine can be good for your body and mind. Try a new workout or add a challenge to your existing one. Grab a workout buddy to hold you accountable, even if you can’t see each other in person. Push yourself, but be careful about overdoing it and causing injury or putting too much pressure on yourself. Try to make it fun so that you’re more likely to stick to it.
5. Eat Well
This might be prime time for restrictive diets or eating plan overhauls. If that’s your thing, no judgment here—just make sure you’re doing everything safely. But you don’t have to embark on an extensive diet journey to eat better and take care of yourself. Add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Drink more water. Try new recipes or ways to meal prep. And if you want to make big dietary changes, you can consult a dietitian or nutritionist who can customize recommendations based on your lifestyle and preferences.
6.Change Up Your Surroundings
We’ve been spending more and more time at home these days, so why not switch things up there if you’re able to? Redecorate or rearrange your place. Invest in some luxe bedding to get those z’s. Add some décor that has wellness benefits, like a humidifier, air purifier, or diffuser. Refreshing your space can feel like a fresh start.
7. Write Down Those Goals
You’ve probably thought of some goals for yourself this year, whether they’re centered on your career, personal life, relationships, health, or something else. Whatever they are, writing them down can help you focus on them and hold yourself accountable. Make a game plan for those goals, but don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to reach them all by the end of 2021