With the lid finally closed on what was a stressful, tedious and at times frightening year, it may be difficult to greet 2021 with great optimism and lofty resolutions. Instead, as we carefully step into a new year carrying lingering uncertainty, it may be more advantageous to set intentions rather than make resolutions. The one thing that will help get everyone through another winter, likely in some form of isolation, is to develop resiliency.
We have heard a lot about silver linings this year. Changing our negative inner dialogue and instead looking for the positive in each situation. Just like any habit, it takes time to develop a more optimistic mindset. Writing in a journal can help people get out all their fears and anxieties and over time, gain some control over how to perceive each situation, developing a more resilient and hopeful attitude.
Fear can keep us stuck in one place, unable to live life to its fullest. Setting intentions to face the things we fear and do something uncomfortable is how people grow. Maybe this is the year to live just outside our comfort zone and courageously try something new. Joining an online euchre club, reciting a poem in front of a small audience, or taking a Zoom yoga class with the video turned on. Big or small, facing fears is the only way to move through them and continue to grow and become unstuck.
As people enter another season of what is sure to bring its share of challenges, it’s important to treat ourselves with compassion, remembering we are not alone. Some find peace in daily meditation, through music, or by spending time in nature. Resilient people make time to recharge in ways that calm the busy mind and allow negativity to drift past without causing endless rumination.
With compassion for oneself and for others, it becomes easier to let go of anger or resentment and embrace forgiveness. Holding on to past wrongs only prevents people from living well and fully in the present. According to research, people who practice forgiveness experience improved mental and physical health.
Learn more about how to cultivate resilience by staying connected with others, finding purpose, promoting wellness, and embracing a healthy mindset by following this link to The American Psychological Association website.
Stay connected and stay well.