In a word, if you were to describe your impressions of 2020, what would you say?
We’re only half-way through the year, and already 2020 has made a terrible impression on all of us. It would be amazing to find a time machine and go back a few months in time. We could prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. We could stop tragedies that have taken innocent lives from happening. We could make the world a better and friendlier place. But, unless you’ve met Doc Brown and know where he parked his Delorean, you can’t go back to before 2020 started going wrong to erase the problems before they happen.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the world a positive place. It’s too late to restart in 2020. You can, however, inject some positivity into your life. You’ve deserved a fresh slice of happiness.
Here’s a little tip to get you started: You don’t need to move mountains or summon angels. Happiness, as it happens, can be found in simple, everyday things. So, give yourself the chance to give 2020 a new direction.
DRESS UP LIKE YOU’VE GOT SOMEWHERE TO GO
Admit it: The first few weeks wearing cozy loungewear were bliss. Finally, you don’t have to wear office clothes! However, after a few months of wearing loungewear ensembles and breeze knits, your stay-at-home outfit has started to lose its appeal. If you feel demotivated, you are not the only one. As cute and comfortable as co-ord joggers and cardigans are, they can make you feel like you’ve been wearing PJs since March. As the lockdown and self-isolation restrictions are easing everywhere, it’s time to give your summer wardrobe some love. You’d be surprised by how much difference to your mood a new pair of jeans or a cute dress can make. It can give you a sense of purpose, which is enough to make you feel in charge. After all, you’re not going to let 2020 be the boss of you.
ADOPT A PET
It feels like you’ve put your heart in a cage to stop worrying so much. The year has been pretty brutal in terms of emotions, so you may be feeling a little drained. It’s time to come back to your feelings. You can combine it with a good deed, such as adopting a pet. If you’re not an experienced dog owner, you can choose a bread that is easy-going and family-friendly, such as a chocolate Labrador Retriever, for instance. When you adopt a dog – or a cat – two magical things happen. Firstly, you give an animal the chance of a better and happier life. And secondly, it brings your family closer to each other. A dog could be a positive force at home, to remind you to look at the bright side of life! Did you know that petting a dog can give you a boost of happy hormones?
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOUR FORGOTTEN RESOLUTIONS
We all know it: New Year’s resolutions are made to fail within a couple of days. If you’ve been determined enough to make it work, chances are that the pandemic has put a hold on your resolutions. From fitness plans to learning a new language, somehow, everything has stopped and changed. You acknowledged the failure, and somehow, you’ve decided to give up altogether. But have you considered revisiting your resolutions? Lucy Revill, a bullet journal enthusiast, always reassesses her resolutions after 6 months. It’s a fun exercise that helps to adjust your goals or create new objectives. To do so, you only need to ask yourself 5 questions:
What are you doing?
Why are you doing it?
What would you like to do less of?
What makes you feel good?
After spending several months confined at home, you can be sure that your answers will transform your views of your resolutions. The bottom line: You can create something that works better for you and boost your mood.
REDECORATE A ROOM
It doesn’t matter how much you love your home. When you’ve spent almost 24/7 inside for months, the lovely interior style you created a while ago could start to get on your nerves. You may not notice it clearly, but somehow rooms may start to feel a little ‘dull’. But that’s pretty standard in the life of a homeowner. This year, however, has accelerated the phenomenon, so you may not be ready to spend thousands on transforming your interior again. But you can create a joyful accent on a wall that instantly lifts your mood. Sure, you’re staying at home, but at least you’ve got the best view. Geometric walls are super impressive, and they’re relatively cheap to do. It’s a win-win! You don’t need more than picking a few colors you like, get some FrogTape, and have your brushes at the ready. And tada, you’ve found a new happy place for under $200.
ARE YOU EATING YOURSELF HAPPY
Ah, sugary snacks and comfort foods! Aren’t they marvelous when you’re staying at home? They give you an immediate feel-good sensation. But after months of junk food, it’s unlikely to help with your mood. Most people assume that if they don’t put on weight, junk food doesn’t affect them. Even if you remain calorie-conscious when you eat your favorite treats, you have to be realistic. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to perform essential bodily functions. Would relaxing your diet under lockdown affect those functions? Yes, it can. It could affect your mood, cause minor and unpleasant side effects – such as sleep disorders or constipation –, and make you feel tired. The remedy is simple, though. You can start adding fresh vegetables and fruits to your daily meals. It’s not going to create happiness, but it can make you feel focused and emotionally balanced.
SHOW OFF YOUR INNER GLAM GIRL
When was the last time you put makeup on? We get it: When there’s a pandemic spreading in the world, lipstick may not seem like the most important thing. But, feeling pretty does a lot for your mood — and even your immune system.
Do you need an excuse to pamper yourself and look your best? How about spending some time in the bathroom to give yourself a fresh glam look for the day? There’s something empowering about putting makeup on and taming your hair into a cute and sophisticated bun. It reminds yourself that you matter, something that you might have forgotten with all the world’s dramas since the beginning of the year.
START A NEW HABIT
What is a habit? In theory, a habit is a new activity that you introduce into your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a huge change in your routine. You could start with something simple and manageable, such as starting the day with a glass of water. But when you create a habit, you virtually kickstart your routine into shape. It can have a lot of positive effects. Firstly, you can track the benefits of simple changes. To go back to the example of the glass of water, it may not seem like much, but it can help keep your body hydrated and your mind clear. Secondly, it makes you feel like a new year is beginning because we all try to change our routine after New Year’s resolutions.
DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR SOMEONE
The world is still full of good people. Unfortunately, we don’t hear enough about them in the news. But that doesn’t mean there’s no goodness around. You can take inspiration from positive news networks that collect good news from all around the world. Reading about the goodness in the world can help you put things into perspective. But nothing feels as good as helping someone else. If you want to see positive communities, you have to become a positive force for your community – or carry on the work that exists already. What does it mean? You could offer to do your elderly neighbors’ shopping, for example. A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. Starting a free fridge where people can take or give what they need can make a difference.
GIVE YOURSELF A SIMPLE GOAL THAT SEEMS UNNACHIEVEABLE
Last but not least, it’s time to challenge yourself. Assessing your resolutions and adjusting them for the year is a good idea. But that may not motivate you to make any change. But you can also create short-term goals, such as a 30 days workout plan. A short-term goal can help prove that you can achieve things successfully, even if 2020 doesn’t seem to be a successful year for anyone. Challenging yourself to something you’ve never done before can be scary, but it’s also a boost of energy. Whether you’re deciding to bake a fantastic cake for your child’s birthday or to sew your first dress, a short-term goal helps you conquer obstacles and boost your self-confidence.
In short, no, we can’t restart 2020. But you can make it a better year for yourself and the people you love. Injecting positivity into your day-to-day life is not an impossible task. On the contrary, it could be the key to giving 2020 a new meaning and making it a happy year at last. I’m trying to put in my best efforts to make the rest of this year less of a dumpster fire and more of my year.
“Always Remember You’re Beautiful!”