New Year, New Ways to Reflect

Lauren Maslankowski

As the new year begins, many people create resolutions to accomplish and approve a personal goal with the fresh start that is felt in January. Whether it be a promise to continue working on oneself or to make changes to better one’s life, the most common New Years resolutions include living a healthier lifestyle, saving money, and spending more time with family and friends. Unfortunately for the majority of people, these plans tend to fall through and only a few end up reaching their set goals. It is important to set new and realistic intentions to help achieve new aspirations in 2021.

One of the most important things to focus on this year is self-care. Oftentimes, people get so caught up in the business of everyday life, that self care ends up taking a backseat in their priorities. Making 2021 the year to prioritize your mental health and taking time for yourself is especially beneficial given the current circumstances of the pandemic. Journaling, meditating, and listening to music are some unwinding activities that can be used towards a relaxing and reflective environment. In addition, moving your body can help one feel good and let go of some of the tension that builds up throughout the day. Practicing yoga or taking a walk outdoors are simple ways to release stress and take a break, especially with the tension of school kicking back in. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget about what we need to do to take care of ourselves. Challenging yourself to focus on self-care can show a huge, positive impact on your mental and physical health. 

As unfortunate and stressful as the past year has been, a positive outlook was that the majority of the population was given a lot of time to develop new hobbies. Finding something enjoyable to do allows you to express yourself and grow. For those with an artistic side, painting on canvases or experimenting in watercolor activities can bring a sense of comfort and relaxation. Many people also spent time engaging with different fabrics and learning how to sew and create clothing during quarantine, which flooded youtube and other social media platforms with new tutorials on creating the latest fashion trends.  2021 can be a year to focus on being present and spending more time outdoors. Head outside for a run using the Nike Running App, which is perfect for beginners. Hiking is another popular activity, given that it’s a great workout and a peaceful time in nature. When you’re lucky, a really pretty view can be the perfect reward at the end of a hike! 

This year can also be a year to expand your knowledge in different ways. Pursuing a new language or learning about a new culture can help educate oneself and open up new opportunities. Other activities can include learning how to play a new instrument and following tutorials on YouTube. Discovering a brand new pastime is a resolution to make the year more memorable for yourself. 

Especially after 2020, this new year can hopefully be one that brings more social connections and time with friends. In order to grow your circle, try joining a club, organization, or a religious group in your area. Some ways to meet people are through volunteering, school activities, or outside-of-school extracurriculars. For avid readers, finding a book club is a great way to connect and bond with people over reading. Additionally, lots of workout studios are doing virtual exercise classes to interact and sweat with people online. Finding a group of people with similar interests can help you to stay busy in the new year. Looking into a Penpal may also be extremely beneficial, especially because of the lack of social interaction due to COVID-19.

New Year’s resolutions are a timeless tradition that can help to improve one’s life, and it is important to focus on your passions and self-care. It’s important to make sure that you enjoy what you intend to complete, in order to benefit from these commitments. Resolutions can simply be a time to reflect on the past year’s relationships, experiences that felt fulfilling and meaningful, and learn how to continue this energy in the future.

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