2020 was a difficult year for so many. In different ways and at different times, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has hit each and every one of us hard, both financially, emotionally and physically. Needless to say, while we know that 2021 is going to be another turbulent year, many of us are entering the new year with a sense of optimism, for our own sanity’s sake as much as anything else.

Even if this year looks certain to be a challenging one globally, you can still enter the new year with personal progress at the forefront of your mind. Here are 5 positive changes you can make in 2021.

COLLECTIVE CARE 

If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that self care isn’t possible without adopting an attitude of collective care, too. While we, of course, all need to take responsibility for our own well being, it’s essential we take care of each other, too, with compassion and love. 

Collective or community care can take many forms, from volunteering to participating in peaceful protests for the greater good, or perhaps simply being a better neighbour and offering an ear to those less fortunate. Yep, it can even be something as simple as sending a text to a friend who you know needs to talk and making yourself available for others who need support. It’s all about interpersonal acts of kindness, being there for people without them having to take the first step. So, to make positive changes to ensure personal progress in 2021, first focus on taking care of those in need, too.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE 

Think radiators, not drains. Hey, bear with us here….

Radiators are people who exude warmth and energy. Drains are those people who suck all of the life and energy out of you, leaving you feeling negative and down. Get rid of the latter and surround yourself with the former. Simples.

Go further and seek support and love. Do not let the people who encourage and enable bad habits to bring you down or cause negative behaviour patterns to emerge in your life. Instead, think about the people who will understand your need or desire to cancel a wild night out and replace it with a quiet evening in with a book. 

As the experts in Psychic Readings, Psychic Light, suggest; ‘’relationships are about loving someone for who they are and no one is worth relinquishing your identity for’’. We couldn’t agree more; if the natural give and take of any relationship feels lopsided and unfair to you, don’t be reluctant to remove that toxicity from your life altogether.

DINE DIVERSELY 

We’d all like to eat a little healthier, but rather than putting yourself on a gruelling and strict diet, make healthy eating more tolerable by incorporating the cuisines of the world into your breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

A report by Diabetes UK discovered that around 66% of adults ate three or fewer portions of fruit and vegetables per day, with almost 50% not eating a piece of fruit at least three days in a week. By embracing food from different corners of the globe, you’ll bring variety, deliciousness and most importantly, diversity of ingredients. In discovering new cuisines, you’ll increase the number of often neglected fruits, vegetables and pulses in your diet. This will broaden the mind without broadening your waistline, giving you a healthier outlook in more ways than one as 2021 progresses. Magnificent!

CHALLENGE YOURSELF 

Do you sometimes feel like you’re living life a little too much on cruise control? Without some surprises and stimulation, the daily grind can get pretty monotonous, and whilst small doses of boredom can actually be good for you, once life has completely lost its colour, you leave yourself in danger of apathy and listlessness, or worse, developing low mood. 

One of the most difficult yet rewarding things to do is to push yourself and try something new. We often hesitate for fear of failure. Reframe your thinking and bear in mind the famous Erin Hanson quote:

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

Take the plunge, step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. You might not succeed – but you might just. Now that would reframe your year positively!

From changing careers, learning a new language or even picking up a new hobby, there are so many ways to challenge yourself. Check out our article on 5 new skills to learn in lockdown, IDEAL for those looking to make work for idle hands, for more.

THINK MORE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT 

Caring for the environment helps our mental health. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Actually, don’t do that; it wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly, now would it? 

Anyway, according to recent research, ecological grief is a very real thing and it’s been making Greenlanders depressed for a while. As the UN environment program points out ‘’the effects of our changing climate—economic uncertainty, job insecurity, extreme and volatile weather patterns, and displacement—also influence mental health’’. 

Indeed, research is revealing the link between air pollutants and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and we all need to play our part to help the environment, from reducing our own carbon footprint to putting our money where our mouth is and only buying from businesses who are socially responsible. Every little helps here.

And if you’re considering doing your bit for the environment and your health by going vegan this year, then check out our tips on things you can do to help your journey into veganism in 2021. Good luck!