Since 2020 didn’t go to plan for many of us, you might be thinking of ways to make 2021 a little better. And more power to you. Despite ongoing restrictions and risks of the virus spreading in some places, there are lots of things to be hopeful about in 2021.
If the year started bleakly for you, you’re not alone. But with spring now sprung, there’s still plenty of time to take matters into your own hands.
Here are 5 ways to rescue 2021 and make it your best year yet.
Reach out to family and friends… now
2020 was the year of family Zoom calls and interactive group quizzes. For a lot of us, it was exciting at first and then it quickly became too much. In the third UK lockdown, a lot of us shunned social video calls altogether. If you’re online at work, it can be intense making your evenings virtual too. (Hello, screen fatigue.)
But the truth is we all need social interaction. So it’s time to increase it and actively look for it when you can. If you can’t stomach a Zoom after a full day at work, consider an old-fashioned phone call to a friend instead. Strike up a conversation with your new colleague, smile at the postman and reach out to your neighbours. Making new friends, developing new relationships and random acts of kindness can be transformative. Who knows where they could take you?
Embrace the great outdoors
It’s April at the time of writing, meaning there’s (at least) six more months of outdoor living left in 2021. And we all know the benefits of being outside. From boosting your mood and wellbeing to reducing the risk of virus transmission, the pros of alfresco living know no bounds.
Here in the UK, restrictions have now eased to allow limited outdoor gatherings in pubs, restaurants, parks and home gardens. So make the most of it. Call up that old friend (see point 1) and arrange an outdoor lunch. Or if you’d prefer your own company, get out of the living room and into the park. And grab your book and ice cream while you’re at it. Don’t catch on to warmer weather when it’s too late.
Plan a staycation
Travelling abroad is understandably tricky at present. With risks of new variants and countries in different places in regards to infection rates and vaccination numbers, it might be wise (and more cost-efficient) to make the most of what you’ve got this year and stick to the country you’re in.
If you’re in the UK, there’s plenty to see, do and explore right on your doorstep. From the Scottish Highlands and the picturesque Northumberland coast to the scenic Cotswolds and heavenly Dorset, there’s a world of beauty in this small country. If you’re fond of camping, you’ll save yourself a fortune when compared to the prices of hotels. And then there are the money savings of not jumping on an international flight.
Accept the certainty of uncertainty
2020 brought with it many lessons; the main one being that some things are very much out of our control. As many of us know all too well, Covid-19 threw weddings, businesses, holiday plans, trips to see family and much more into turmoil. And there wasn’t much we could do to get around it.
While things are looking brighter thanks to vaccines and falling infection rates, it’s wise not to pin all of our hopes on an imminent return to normal life. After all, anything could happen. The profound lesson in this is to accept uncertainty and embrace mindfulness. Research shows that by being open, adaptable and present, you’ll worry less, face your fears and generally enjoy your life more. Try to trust the process and let things go. Yoga and meditation are great aids in this practice.
Seek new opportunities
If current situations are making you crave change, there’s no time like the present. First, let’s start with work. Is your job making you unhappy? Consider looking for new opportunities or creating a side hustle. Our recent blog post 5 ways to earn more money during the pandemic shares some great tips and tricks on giving yourself a professional boost.
Next, evaluate your social life. Are certain friends not serving you? Forge new connections by seeking out new hobbies and clubs. Group exercise is back on in the UK, opening up a world of opportunity when it comes to discovering new interests, keeping fit and meeting new people.
Finally, focus on the things you do enjoy and make more time for them. It’s amazing how much time we can waste scrolling through our phones. Could these minutes be spent reading, writing, calling family, painting or taking photographs? If your mind is saying yes, it’s time to make some room for a more productive activity.
And remember—it’s never too late to change your year (or life). Be open to the idea of it.