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Wellness > Mental Health

Pick Up One Of These Daily Habits For A Better 2021

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021! Setting New Year’s “resolutions” can be daunting, and sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve them. But instead of beating ourselves up for what we don’t accomplish, let’s commit to one new daily habit that can build us up! Whether it’s journaling, exercising, decluttering, or reciting affirmations, it is these small acts of self-love that will help us prosper in 2021!

Declutter Declutter Declutter!

I think it is safe to say that most, if not all of us, suffer from a term I like to call “Stuffocation”. It refers to the feelings of stress we acquire from owning too much stuff. I am spending more time at home now, during this pandemic, then ever before. And it has become increasingly clear. just. how. much. stuff. we. own. Nobody actually knows how these items came to be in our possession. Nobody knows the exact reasoning as to why a thing called a “junk drawer” exists. But what we do know — deep down — is that we don’t need stuff. We need connection, love, and purpose. And in order to make room for the things we actually need in our lives, we must purge the items that no longer serve us (yes, that means pitching those magazines from 2003). After watching the Netflix documentary “The Minimalists: Less is Now”, I started the 30-day minimalist game, which challenges you to donate/recycle/pitch one item on day one, two items on day two, and so on, for a month. I found this a bit too intimidating for myself, so I modified it a bit. Everyday, I declutter at least one item, and write it down in a notebook. The first day of January it was a few old sweaters that didn’t fit me anymore, the next day it was an old book, then mismatched socks, then magazines, and now, the momentum is unstoppable. I feel a sense of relief each time I let go of something I no longer need.

Daily Affirmations

One of my “big” goals for 2021 is to be more present, intentional, and authentic. This is something I struggle with, but the small daily act of taking the first 5 minutes of my day to recite affirmations that I need to hear makes such an impact on the way I carry myself. One day, I wrote on a single page various reminders and truths, such as “I am open”, “I am at peace with my past”, “I have enough time”, “I have everything I need”, and “I let go of things I cannot control”. Each morning/evening, I read aloud each phrase, one by one. I repeat each phrase until I am confident in my conviction, then move on to the next. It grounds me, brings me peace, and puts my mind in a healthy space to begin or conclude my day. 


I have heard that a lot of people find journaling to be daunting. And it is. Sitting alone and acknowledging one’s own thoughts is scary! But I have found that in releasing my emotions onto paper, it allows them to see the light of day. The act of transcribing how I feel helps me to hold space for those feelings in a very validating, tangible way. Most of the time I simply vent about my day, or how a particular event or interaction makes me feel. But sometimes I like to write more intentionally by using journal prompts. These guided questions help me to unpack baggage I didn’t even know I had, which feels unnerving but is also quite liberating. Another exercise is to write down your stream of consciousness for 5 straight minutes, which you can explore here

Vision Boards

I am big on collages. I LOVE making collages. I am a visual person, so it is exciting for me to cut out scraps from old magazines and create something that represents me. With every new season of my life, whether it’s summer, winter, my birthday, a new year, or simply a new season of personal growth, I like to “commemorate” it by creating a collage. Cut out words and images that resonate with you, and arrange them on some paper, and then hang it somewhere where it can make you smile, bring you peace, or remind you of who you are. For some inspiration, you can see all of the collages I have made here

I hope you are inspired to begin at least one of these habits for 2021! I wish you a bright year, full of growth, love, peace, and self-discovery.

Julianna is a final year Mechanical Engineering Student at McMaster. She is a struggling student by day and a singer/writer/foodie by night. If she had it her way she would be laying on a beach on Lake Huron, soaking up some rays and reading a good book. In her spare time, you may find Julianna daydreaming about freshly baked croissants, obsessing over the new F1 season, or running around a soccer field.