COLUMN: Changes I'm bringing to 2021
*Column originally published in the Eastbourne Herald on 01.01.21*
I’ve never liked New Year’s Eve. It always ends up being expensive, overcrowded and an anticlimax when the clock strikes midnight. This year just the idea of going out would be great, but instead it’s looking like a few drinks at home with my housemates, something I’m sure many can relate to.
This change in celebrations doesn’t get rid of the pressures that come with the new year though. Overindulging at Christmas is something that isn’t ground breaking news; we eat and drink too much and then January rolls round and suddenly everyone gets obsessed with improving their way of life. Whether that be through cutting out alcohol, going to the gym or losing weight - people think that life needs to dramatically change to make them happier.
Despite these efforts, February soon arrives and the gym membership isn’t used anymore - eventually the habits come back again causing you to try and make the same changes all over again the following January.
This vicious cycle of disappointment only causes you to feel bad about yourself. It is because of this stereotype that comes with the cliché ‘new year, new you’ that people feel the need to go big or go home when it comes to January – this year, please just go home.
This January is going to be even bleaker than usual too. Many are expecting another lockdown and if not a lockdown then the strict tier systems will remain for the time being.
Either way, the perks we normally rely on to get through January like seeing friends won’t be there and this is just another reason why we need to be kinder to ourselves this time around.
Losing motivation is the feeling that can only really be summed up with a sigh. It happens all year round, but January can be a popular time for that sort of sigh because the weather is rubbish, the festivities are all over and we feel like there’s little to look forward to.
I’ll be getting through the month by sticking to manageable to-do lists and trying to keep busy. Putting things off will only make you feel worse in the end, so writing something down can often be enough of a push to get the ball rolling and before you know it February will be here.
Stepping back from social media is something I’ll be doing too. I intend to swap a bit of social media time for something more positive. Often we can look at social media and feel like everyone else is having a great time, but I’m really trying to remember what you see is just the ‘best bits’ and you shouldn’t compare to them.
So rather than scrolling for half an hour, I’ll be spending a bit more time on reading next year, because comparing to others is only going to make January feel even worse.
Finally I’d say that being a bit more selfish is an aim for next year. This sounds misleading, but bear with me. Self care is just as important as looking after others. If you’re not okay then you’re not going to be okay to help others.
Learning to say no so I don’t get overwhelmed is a big thing I’m working on. Another aspect of this is to focus on yourself rather than stressing about what others are doing.
‘Focus on your lane’ is a mind set I’m taking through to 2021 because instead of judging others on what they’re doing, focussing on improving yourself feels so much better.