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2020 was definitely not what all of us expected. With our fresh experiences from 2020, we’re fully equipped to handle the year, even if our physical landscapes are stagnant. Let’s focus on creating a few factors that will help us mentally and continue to give us an easier lifestyle during the pandemic. A year later, we now understand why there’s a greater emphasis on our health and safety because 2021’s going to be different.

Hone in on Your Best Qualities

There’s no doubt that all of us had a reflective period in our lives last year, and it might have lasted a few months, the entire year or had started before the pandemic and you’re still on your personal journey of growth. Nonetheless, there have been a lot of changes in our mental health, like our confidence. Confidence for a lot of us students probably plummeted when spring break was extended and suddenly we were stuck in our rooms for over 8 hours attending our classes and finishing up our homework.

At one point, confidence almost felt like a prize. As if it was something I could get after the semester was over, but there’s a way to maintain and build confidence during the semester. Anxiety is a ruthless illness and can influence our confidence; a good way to keep ourselves feeling more and more confident is to meditate. It may not be for everyone, but trying it out when you’re feeling stressed, in the beginning, or at the end of your day, can reduce the stress you’re carrying and keep you focused on your exceptional abilities. A notable app for beginners who would like to meditate is Headspace! There are a lot of great and free beginning classes that can steer you on the right path.

Wait… Are Our New Hobbies Temporary?

A lot of us had definitely gotten new hobbies during quarantine! Everything from working out, finding new foods to eat, cooking and baking more, writing, reading, crocheting, making art and creating embroideries – are all pretty popular hobbies we’ve developed or our interests have intensified during the pandemic. A few of my favorite hobbies were cooking, baking and making different coffee drinks. These hobbies have also opened my eyes regarding my relationship with food and just how much I enjoy fresh foods and making new memories out of the things I eat. 

Though I can’t say that some people may agree with me about food being comforting, these are all hobbies that I’ve become skilled at and can help me in my adult life further on. Picking up new hobbies is always great, but don’t stress out about how hobbies are temporary and enjoy them in the now. Our interests grow and change at the same pace we humans change. We’ve come to enjoy a lot of new things in the past year for our own comfort so continue taking care of your mental health with a new hobby.

The Future

As a college senior, I’ve had a lot of questions that contain this phrase: “What do you want to do in the future?”, “What does your future look like to you?” and the list goes on. The pandemic brought upon a different type of anxiety and pressure to do well, especially because full-time job opportunities and internships became scarce. There were a lot of challenges with thinking of the future and I would endlessly plan everything out, but eventually, it wasn’t enough. What was enough was that I could be less pessimistic and let things happen the way they’re supposed to. When looking for a job now, it’s great to research and connect with people to find the best for yourself, but I’d recommend letting the opportunity present itself and think about the steps you want to take after. I practically plan everything in my life, but sometimes it’s worth it to wait things out and let time be the judge. This can relieve some stress and nerves, but also allow yourself to grow during an uncertain time in hopes of a better future.

Let’s Focus on Us!

The most important theme of 2020 was to take care of yourself. This is the best time to remember when to be selfish and when to be selfless. It’s important to take care of your loved ones, yet just as important to take care of yourself. From your physical body to your mental state, and your soul – each part is essential to a fuller and content life. Let’s keep it up and remember to take care of ourselves in this new year!

Harmeen is a student at Montclair State University, New Jersey and is majoring in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing. Of course, besides being a Marketing student, she's interested in fashion and lifestyle, and motivated to write unique pieces for her interests.
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