The new year, a time of resolutions and reinventions, can be tough! Especially going from 2020 into 2021, we might feel pressured to wash away or forget the past and head into January full-throttle just to leave the horrors behind.
Whether you’re prioritizing rest, reimagining, or release, whatever is best for you and your mental health is totally valid. But if, like me, you’re feeling more frazzled than fully calibrated, we’ve got you covered—we turned to our Instagram community for words of wisdom and support heading into 2021.
Before we get started: “Three deep breaths, please.” Always a good reminder!
This year, we’re focusing on being well—whatever that means to you. While that might include goals and resolutions, our community reminded us that taking our time and being patient with ourselves is important:
“Rest! 2020 came with a lot. You don’t have to do anything in 2021 but go one day at a time.”
“Give it time.”
“Take your time, encourage yourself to go out for a walk on a sunny day.”
“Take it day by day.”
“Be patient with yourself. Healing doesn’t happen overnight.”
We definitely feel like slowing down is going to be a theme in 2021, both as we settle in for the hurdles to come, take time to take care of ourselves, and learn how to best navigate the daily changes the new year is sure to bring.
I’m very guilty of tying my personal worth to my output or productivity. I still struggle with defining myself by my work, title, or how much I “get done.” But our community had some words of wisdom about that:
“Your self worth doesn’t equal your productivity.”
“I’m reminding myself to focus on small changes that add up.”
“Even if you don’t do anything today, that’s fine! No need to please anyone!”
Don’t do anything!? I mean...that does sound lovely (oh, and great for your mental health, of course).
It’s not all bubble gum and rainbows over on Instagram. Our community was reliably pragmatic when it came to the fact that many things are not okay—and it’s fine that we’re not either:
“You don’t need to pretend everything will be okay now that it’s a new year.”
“It’s okay to cry, scream, or to be alone. Take all the time you need!”
“Life is tough but so are you.”
To be a “positive vibes only” zone is unrealistic and ignores the fact that we’re all going through some very difficult times and it’s fully okay to validate your emotional state and be okay with not being okay.
Even with everything awful that has gone on in the past year, it can help you cope to focus on the future. It doesn’t erase what has happened in the past, but gives you the freedom to move forward.
“Learn to let go. Forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes. You can’t grow if you’re still in the past.”
“Keep your head up.”
“We’ve gotten through tough times together as a community and we’ll get through this too.”
And while your worth is not tied in any way to your productivity, there’s nothing wrong with setting and attaining specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals (or SMART goals, for those who aren’t familiar). As one member of our community said: “Hope is helpful. Action is key.” Remember that goals should be empowering—not high pedestals from which you eventually tumble.
For many people, the new year is a great time to start therapy. It should be no surprise that the MyWellbeing community members are fans of getting the support they deserve from a therapist—and they encourage others to do the same.
“Be kind to yourself and seek help with building healthy coping strategies.”
“Find a therapist that works for you! It changed my life.”
And simply: “Seek help.”
If you’re wondering if therapy is right for you, we’ve gathered a few ways you might be able to tell if you would benefit from therapy with expert insight from some of our practitioners as well as a guide for how to create your plan to start therapy in the new year.
An important thing that therapy can teach us is that we don’t have to change—your therapist will meet you as you are and where you are and you’ll move forward together, empowered to either choose change or not. Because you’re awesome as you are, and our Instagram community agrees wholeheartedly:
“Somebody loves you. Even if you might not feel it, somebody’s thinking about and appreciating you.”
“You are worth so much more than you might feel.”
“You are important and you are on Earth for a reason.”
“You matter and you are so loved.”
“Put your arms around yourself and feel my hug.”
Or, to put it simply, a statement that came up over and over again: “I love you!”
And even though we’re on the other side of a screen, know that you’re supported and cared for. As one of our community members said: “We may not know each other personally, but I’m proud of the person you are. You are awesome!”
Caitlin is an organizational change strategist, advisor, writer, and the founder of Commcoterie, a change management communication consultancy. She helps leaders and the consultants who work with them communicate change for long-lasting impact. Caitlin is a frequent speaker, workshop facilitator, panelist, and podcast guest on topics such as organizational change, internal communication strategy, DEIBA, leadership and learning, management and coaching, women in the workplace, mental health and wellness at work, and company culture. Find out more, including how to work with her, at www.commcoterie.com.