By Courtney Davies
With last year being like no other, everyone was preparing for Christmas in October. Trees were up, lights were lit, and Christmas hits were being played at the start of November. There is no doubt after a year like 2020 that everyone was craving some sparkle and cheer. Yet now January has rolled around and the sparkle has dimmed, it is hard to know how to continue sustaining the positivity.
A lot of people spent this New Year without any plans, for most it was a far more understated celebration than usual. Such a meek entry into 2021 combined with the news of another lockdown means many will be feeling apprehensive and anxious about the year ahead. This is absolutely fine. Last year the year did not go as expected and it was a test for everyone, just making it out of 2020 is an impressive achievement.
Make sure that you allow yourself to take some time out for you, even if it is binging your favourite movies or series or treating yourself to a self-care day. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, that’s including New Year resolutions. The majority of them probably don’t work out anyway and right now there’s no need to put extra pressure on yourself.
Around this time of year, you might experience isolation, especially if you don’t live at home or with close companions and cannot seek comfort in company. You are not alone in this, so don’t be afraid to reach out and call or write to a loved one, they will only be glad to hear from you and you’ll feel all the better for it.
The return to work post-Christmas is also often an onerous prospect. A return to long, tiring days and, for many, the experience of working from home once more. Without the change in environment the workplace provides, it can be easy to feel demotivated and stagnant. Nevertheless, try and use your time off as valuable as possible. Organise an appropriately socially-distanced walk with a friend, order a takeaway from a local cafe or restaurant, organise group drinks via Zoom or cook up something new. Having such things to look forward to can be immensely cheering.
Most importantly, don’t start this year off with regrets about last year or things you wish you had done differently. 2020 was not anyone’s year but that doesn’t mean 2021 can’t be different. Whilst it has been a difficult start to the year, we are only a few weeks in and the opportunities for future sparkle are plentiful.