For many, 2020 has been a year of loss, change, stress and uncertainty. And those sentiments are more prevalent during new year when you’re accustomed to celebrating with loved ones or traveling back to your home country to spend time with them.
Now with the pandemic, many find themselves alone and devoid of the traditional celebrations. Seasonal affective disorder coupled with mental health challenges amplified by COVID-19 can bring with its own set of challenges. As the year winds down, here are some ways you can take care of your mental health this new year and Re:Set yourself for all that 2021 holds:
Focus on the positives
This has been a year of tremendous change with many life plans disrupted. However, make a list of the positives that you’ve experienced this year. Whether it’s a new skill you picked up during lockdown, being proud of yourself for getting through the tough moments that have come your way, reconnecting with old friends or even just letting go of what didn’t serve you, write it all down! Remember it’s easy to fall in a comparison trap but even your little accomplishments such as simply making it to the end of this year is a victory in these times! Focusing on the positives will help lift your spirits and allow you a moment for gratitude and improve your well-being.
If you’re unable to travel back home or join loved ones here for a celebration, organize a virtual get together. Recreate or order in the dishes you would typically eat with loved ones, dress up, spruce up your surroundings and join in on the festivities. Try and replicate as much of the new year traditions and routines as you can. It’ll give you a semblance of normalcy and allow you to connect with family and friends.
In it together
If you have a friend who also finds themselves away from home and you’re comfortable having them around, organize something with them. Whether it’s watching movies, going for a walk, taking a weekend trip to the neighbouring Emirates or simply meeting for a cup of coffee, take time out to socialize in a manner you’re comfortable with.
Do something for yourself
We often don’t prioritize ourselves in the hustle and bustle of day to day of life. Take this downtime to focus on yourself and your well-being needs. Whether it’s eating your favourite dishes, sleeping in, going to therapy, enjoying a favourite drink by yourself or even binge-watching a show or listening to a seasonal music playlist, do what makes you happy! It’s been an incredibly tough year and you deserve to take time out to acknowledge what you’ve been through and pamper yourself.
Take a digital detox
With all the positives of social media, it affects our mental health and particularly during the celebrations of new year, it can remind us of what’s missing. Stop the doomscrolling and carve some time out to connect with yourself away from the noise. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the social media posts and updates from your network, hit the logout button and focus on activities that nourish you or call up a loved one to remind yourself of all that’s good in your life away from the screen.