2020 brought in a year of unprecedented loss & grief. The COVID-19 pandemic is an epidemiological crisis, but also a psychological one that has provoked anxiety, stress, sadness, and pain. Although grief is a normal human emotion, it should be transitory, 2021 is the year for a turnaround.
Maybe you are struggling to envision what your new season of good fortune can look like. You’ve been ‘stuck’ in your present circumstances for so long that it’s hard to imagine life being any different, but I believe there is hope.
Here are my top tips to help prepare for hope and a new chapter in 2021 just in time for International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021:
- Take time for spiritual renewal and mental clarity– Take time daily for moments of solitude and mental clarity so you can focus on what’s important: your vision of a more fulfilling life. Step away from mental chaos when possible by finding a quiet place to collect your thoughts and eliminate emotional clutter. Sometimes you have to steal these moments for yourself, but TAKE them—these moments can set the stage for true growth.
- Embrace change – Do a soul-searching assessment of your life, and if you see circumstances holding you back from growth or productivity, embrace the idea of making necessary changes. Relationships, jobs, and even environments may be holding you from your true potential. If you recognize an area of your life that’s keeping you confined, be honest enough with yourself to move on.
- Think outside the box – Step outside of pre-established boundaries, try a new approach, and consider how to approach old challenges from a new direction. Problems sometime look much smaller from a new perspective or direction. For example, if you struggle to overcome self- doubt, taking on a totally new project or learning a new skill may help.
- Recognize and eliminate personal negativity – Replace fear, insecurities, and self-doubt—all forms of negative thinking—with positive encouragement instead. You can be your own stumbling block if you’re not careful. Listen to your inner voice, recognize what damaging things that voice may be saying, and replace those sentiments with positives. For example, instead of telling yourself, “You’re too weak,” tell yourself instead, “You are incredibly strong.”
One of the definitions in the dictionary for the word Persistent states, “Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” My definition of Persistence is stubbornness with a purpose. That’s right, you heard it here from me. Despite the challenges and obstacles you may face or maybe facing in life, you must be determined and steadfast in pursuing your goals. So here are a few tips to make sure you stay on course:
- Keep your attention on the long-term plan – Give your vision, your goals, and your priorities unwavering attention. Avoid focusing on what’s in the past and don’t get sidetracked by current challenges. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear view of where you’re going at all times. If something in your life has no place in your long-term vision, let it go.
- Drop irrelevant emotional weight and adjust your focus – Resentment, worry, fear, anger—all this is too heavy as you transition into your new life and focus on your goals. Learn how to recognize the emotional weight that is holding you back. When you’ve pinpointed this baggage, pulling it out of your everyday life makes all the difference.
- Prioritize your day according to what’s most important – Prioritize your everyday tasks by making the important things most worth your time and energy and eliminating distractions in the way. Weave the small steps into your daily plans that will eventually help you align with your vision. For example, if you see yourself healthier and more capable, today, choose healthier actions and accomplish something new. Remember, good days become good weeks, good months, and great years.
- Reinforce spiritual foundations – Achieve optimism, positivity, and self-esteem with a strong spiritual foundation as it is key to your emotional clarity and peace of mind. Do what it takes to feed your spiritual soul, whether that is meditating, praying, or reading divinely inspired text. Nurture your own spirituality to ensure it delivers stable ground for you to live your best life.
- Most importantly, practice self-affirmation daily! – Affirm your worthiness, your value, and your power every day with the power of YOUR tongue, which holds the power of both Life and Death. Remind yourself of your importance in the world, in your career, in your family, and to yourself. Remember, no one sees the true value in you unless you see it in yourself first.
In addition to practicing ways to stay healthy during these challenging times, I created a “Living Your Life Without Limits” Wellness Box when I answered the call of duty as an essential worker upon returning to my home in Los Angeles after completing a two-month tour-of-duty as a Covid nurse in New York’s corona struck hospital wards. Here, I witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s effect on people from all walks of life and especially saw how the outbreak has challenged people’s mental wellness, and as a result, was an inspiration for the Wellness Box.
by Shannon Jackson, Los Angeles wellness leader/registered RN, philanthropist and Podcaster