A sigh of relief could be heard around the globe, as millions watched the clock strike twelve midnight on December 31. As they laid their heads down to rest that evening, people of all ages and races slept more soundly knowing that 2020 — a year filled with countless complex challenges — was finally behind them.
The many uncertainties encountered worldwide last year were enough to make anyone lose their head. In reviewing events of the first few weeks of 2021, it’s pretty clear we are not out of the woods just yet. But, positivity starts with you.
As American author Seth Godin says,
“Optimism allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.”
Here are three tips to help you stay grounded in 2021:
Agility is a primary ingredient for continued success, particularly when faced with crises. It’s important, now more than ever, for cross-functional teams to avoid panic reactions that detract from achieving long-term goals. In the workplace, being agile involves:
Reading the aspects of a disruptive situation;
Navigating beyond your comfort zone to get through that situation; and
Empowering others to do the same.
Overall, an agile leader promotes dialogue and decision-making among employees and encourages adaptations to challenges, as one. Taking the time to master your agility skills now will prove beneficial in the post-pandemic era, as you look to adapt your organization’s day-to-day operations based on customers’ evolving needs.
Take a Moment for Yourself
As mentioned earlier, the solution to staying positive in 2021 begins with you! That’s where practicing self-care comes in. Self-care is a range of deliberate practices individuals perform on behalf of their own health. It’s a key strategy for not only managing chronic illness, but also for enhancing your quality of life and life expectancy. For many, being forced to work remotely or looking for a job - all while home-schooling children and caring for pets - has taken a severe toll on their mental and physical health. (Did someone say Zoom fatigue?) Here are several self-care behaviors you can practice daily to help you keep a level head and get back on track in the coming year.
The use of Integrative Health Practices like breathing exercises, meditation and yoga have been shown to help with both managing chronic conditions and alleviating stress. Whether you are new to the practice of meditation or a firm believer in the power of holistic health, there are numerous free apps available to help you harness your chi and focus on bettering you.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for people between the ages of 18 and 64. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent do not get their recommended daily rest. Failure to do so could lead to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and, ultimately, to a shorter life.
Some tips for getting a good night’s rest include disabling the use of all electronic devices 30 minutes prior to bed and minding what you eat. The following book, It Starts With Food, offers a clear, balanced, sustainable plan to help you change the way you eat, sleep, and feel. For those who have packed on the Quarantine 15, it should come as little surprise given your decreased physical activity while working from home. One study shows “Up to 40 minutes of ‘moderate to vigorous physical activity’ every day” is needed to counteract approximately 10 hours of sitting. Even the simple task of standing while you work can make a difference.
Do Something You Love
The answer to staying positive often lies in the company you keep. Though social distancing guidelines have hindered the quantity and quality of face-to-face interactions with others, social connectedness - regardless of its form - still has the unique ability to promote social, emotional and physical well-being for all involved. So, take a break from everyday tasks in 2021 and make more time for the people who matter most. Get creative; host a virtual game night via the Houseparty App or on your virtual platform of choice. Schedule a remote happy hour with coworkers and friends. Or simply make it a point to call one relative each week. Right now, they need you just as much as you need them.
While no one knows exactly what the future will bring, the secret to success is within you. Being agile, and mindful of both yourself and of others, are just some of the many small steps you can take to help you keep your head on straight in 2021. And, if ever you’re feeling overwhelmed, lost, or down about the environment you are in, remember: “Optimism allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.”