It’s no shock that 2020 did not go as planned. Suddenly, our lives consisted of quarantine, canceled travel plans, weird college class setups, mask wearing, and normal life just vanishing before our eyes. I sympathize with each and every one of you that had loved ones taken due to COVID-19, weddings postponed, or no family at holiday gatherings. 2020 took a toll on each and every one of us in one way or another. However, I always believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me, that hope is being found in 2021. I have such a strong feeling that this year is going to be life changing. And in honor of the New Year and looking forward to all of the joy it can bring us, I want to share a few simple ways to make 2021 your most positive year yet!
- Write down one thing you are grateful for every morning
I know this may seem a little silly, but anytime I write out something good or positive going on in my life in the morning, I tend to have a more positive outlook on the day – starting the day off right! Usually, the gratitude is a constant reminder throughout the day to see the good in every situation!
- Try to get some physical exercise in a few times a week
The endorphins and serotonin produced from working out can completely change your day around! I know that trying to balance sleeping, school and a social life is already hard enough, but adding a 30-minute walk around campus or a quick gym-sesh with your girlies is sure to boost your mood and help you think more positively.
- Recite self-affirmations in the mirror
Self-affirmations are KEY to viewing yourself in a positive light. I am not talking about just reading or whispering them. I am talking about standing in front of a mirror, looking at yourself, and repeating affirmations. Even if you do not believe what you are saying when you start, if you are consistent, you will soon believe them. I’ll give you a few to start out with, and feel free to pick the ones that resonate most and add more positive affirmations to your list!
I am enough.
I am worthy.
I am confident.
I can do anything I put my mind to.
I am capable.
I will get out of this rough patch in my life.
I am successful.
I will get [insert internship/job/etc.] because I have worked hard for it.
I am loved.
I am an unstoppable force of nature.
I am not defined by my past; I am driven by my future.
Today will be a productive day.
- Get more sleep!
I know this a little bit of a “DUH” moment, but if you cannot seem to find time to get some sleep during the weekdays, try the weekend. I also recommend picking one weekday where you get at least 8 hours of sleep! That extra bit of brainpower it gives you can change your whole day! This year, my goal is to get at least 8 hours every Sunday night heading into my week.
- Limit your social media usage
I am not one to harp on anyone for being on social media too much, since one week during break I had amassed over 18 hours of screen time on TikTok and over 12 hours on Instagram (YIKES!). Social media is a highlight reel and so many things that you see are edited, posed and perfected. My advice is to take that into account when you begin to compare yourself to the girls you see on your feed. Less time on social media means less time comparing yourself to others! Join me in trying to spend less time on social media and more time with the people around you in 2021.
- Focus on your relationships
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you need interaction with people. Due to the pandemic, it might be difficult to keep up with your friends due to limited in-person events, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have contact. Thankfully, we live in a time of FaceTime, Whatsapp, and other forms of communication to stay connected. Having friends and family members to be an ear to listen to or a shoulder to cry on is so important for your mental health and positive state of mind!
While some of these steps may seem trivial, with constant implementation, you will see improvements in your mental health and overall outlook. I believe in you, and all you have to do now is believe in yourself. Try out these tips and tag us at @hercampusbama on Instagram to show us how you are staying positive in 2021!