We can all agree that 2020 has been a year filled with stress, uncertainty, and the feeling of being unsettled. Whether we are struggling with the loss of job, the loss of loved ones, the loss of health, or just the loss of self-confidence, 2020 has put us all to the test in some shape or form. So it’s time for a 2021 self care checklist to get our confidence back and move forward with a positive outlook!
Creating a 2021 Self Care Checklist
For many of us, not only is our physical health at risk right now but our mental health has been challenged in this last year as well. We struggle with finding normalcy in a world that is very unstable at the moment. Many of our routines have been uprooted.
Our stabilities and our comforts have become uncertainties.
This amount of stress has led to alcohol abuses, anxiety, depression, and lower self esteem. And as we hope for some healing in the year to come, we need to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done within ourselves and among our families.
Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions and commit to a healthier and better version of ourselves. And 2021 should be no different! While 2021 comes with great hope, it is critical that we still take important steps toward our journey to self-care, happiness, and fulfillment.
Our 2021 self care checklist has 3 easy steps you can take TODAY to help ensure a better and healthier year. So let’s get started!
1. Do NOT Spin the Story of the Year
For many of us, we can’t wait to sweep this year under the rug and move forward. But in order to move forward, we need to be able to reflect on the past. In times of adversity, there is always a lesson to learn and a strength to be gained.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of speaking with award winning poet and author Sonya Renee Taylor.
Sonya stressed, “If we’re not honest, we can’t honor the year.”
We had an open discussion about how we have grown this year through the pandemic, what we have learned, and how the pandemic has allowed us to see each other.
So take time to reflect on this past year by asking yourself these questions:
- What can you take from the year, and what new seeds can you plant with it?
- What was your experience, what did you learn, and what’s still lingering?
- How have you been open and honest with your children about what’s happening?
2. Social Media Spring Cleaning
Through this pandemic, many people have turned to social media as an outlet and a way to escape daily stresses.
Although social media can be an amazing tool to get information and feel comforted during a time when we can’t physically connect, it can also be very damaging. Social media can be dangerous to your self confidence as you may be comparing yourself to an unrealistic image.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Who do I follow?”
Take a closer look at what you consume in your feed. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Does everyone look the same? Are the images you see unrealistic or unobtainable?
During our conversation, Sonya emphasized this point by challenging us to diversify our feeds and to continue to surround ourselves with different types of people who look different and teach us different lessons in life. This point is particularly relevant to parents of young kids who are being exposed to social media for the first time.
We challenge you to explore who your children are following (if they are on social media). It is so important to help ensure they see a diverse world in front of them.
3. Discover What Makes You Feel Grateful
Gratitude is the ONLY way to achieve optimism in your life.
Even in our darkest moments, there are always things to be grateful for, whether a great friend, support of family members, or your own physical health. When we focus on what we do have and push out what we don’t have, we are able to discover clarity and what truly matters.
I start each day with meditation and gratitude. This practice allows me to start my day with a positive mindset.
And this attitude is so important to instill in our own children!
So in our house, we end each day with our highs and our lows. We give our children the opportunity to be grateful for something that happened to them during the day.
One of the easiest ways to change your mindset is to read a book or watch a documentary. Lean on others who have overcome adversity and found happiness in their own skin. Try reading one of these inspiring books:
- The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love (and the tween/teen companion Celebrate Your Body) by Sonya Renee Taylor
- The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
- The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown
- Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
- No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox
Final Thoughts – 2021 Self Care Checklist
Now is a great time to start (or continue) the conversation with your children about stress management, especially in regards to drinking responsibly! Your children may be seeing your interactions with other adults or your own relationship with alcohol more often now. Be open in sharing your experiences with your children in these instances. It’s the perfect way to open the discussion early.
Responsibility.org is an excellent resource for conversation starters and how to approach the topic at all ages and stages. Talking with your kids about alcohol early and often really is the best way to help prevent underage and irresponsible drinking as your children grow and become more easily influenced by outside sources.
Remember, parents are the leading influence on their kids’ decisions to drink – or not to drink – alcohol.
Our children will model what they see and learn from us. And we want them to learn and grow in healthy ways. If they see us dealing with stresses in negative ways (lashing out, alcohol abuse, etc.), they learn that those are appropriate ways to handle stress.
So let’s teach them another way.
Let’s teach them to love themselves, to give themselves grace in difficult times, and to manage daily stresses in healthy and productive ways.