Pandemic rituals to carry with us into the new year

2020 has thrown our schedules and expectations upside down, but some of the new habits we’ve formed this year may stick with us even as we return to a semblance of normalcy. Here are a few ideas for pandemic rituals you may want to maintain as 2021 New Year’s resolutions. 

  1. Journaling. Many of us have turned to journaling to process the emotions surrounding a global pandemic. Journaling, specifically on what we are grateful for, has been shown to boost reflection and mental health. 
  2. Walking. As gyms and workout classes shut down, many of us turned to walks around the neighborhood to get some exercise and fresh air. Taking breaks for walks throughout the day improves blood flow and cognition and time outdoors improves mental health. Even when gyms open back up in 2021, we encourage you to keep walking!
  3. Putting down your phone. Many of our health and wellness stories from the year include recommendations to put down your phone at least an hour before bed and limit media consumption to designated periods during the day. It helps you sleep, promotes mental clarity, and improves eye health, so why not keep doing it?
  4. Checking in with loved ones. Perhaps it’s the ease of shooting a text without an obligatory plan to meet in person or perhaps the sting of loneliness that has driven us to reach out to connections we may not regularly connect with. Whatever it is that has you video chatting with your college roommate, try to keep that connection alive in the new year. 
  5. Bike riding. Similar to walking, for many, local bike rides are one of the only ways to get some exercise. If you love to bike, maybe make it part of your commute when you return to the office or challenge yourself to do your shopping by bike. 
  6. Setting work boundaries. When we first started working from home, the line between work and free time was blurred for many of us. As we’ve learned to manage virtual work, many of us have set stricter boundaries for ourselves like specific work hours and designated workspaces. This is a good habit to get into as we continue working from home for the foreseeable future. 
  7. Fun hobbies. Maybe you started gardening, knitting, baking bread, or jogging. Whatever fun pandemic hobby you picked up, why not plan to continue it into 2021?

As we head into the new year, we encourage you to think of your pandemic habits that have best served you and consider how you can continue these habits into 2021 and beyond. Did you start doing yoga? Waking up earlier? Writing the next great American novel? This new year, commit to making positive changes, but also think about the progress you have made and continue working towards it. 

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