Heading into 2021: 8 Tips for Mental Preparedness during a Pandemic

This is a time and opportunity unlike any other. Establishing New Year’s resolutions in the midst of a global pandemic is unconventional, to say the least, but we don’t have to put our plans on pause. It’s resolution time; and Quarantining gives us the rare opportunity to achieve personal goals uninterrupted from the outside world, (apart from virtual meetings).

Take this time to get to know yourself, to achieve personal goals, and to quote one of my favorite sayings, “grow so strong on the inside that nothing on the outside can affect your inner wellness without your conscious permission" (Pinterest).

I think we have all come to terms with how little “control” we actually have. I have realized that although we cannot control the outside world we can control our reactions; and by being proactive, we are better equipped to face challenges when they come.

8 Tips for Mental Preparedness during a Pandemic

1. Know your weak spots

It's difficult to look within yourself and realize that some of your own behaviors are holding you back from your goals. How do you overcome them? You accommodate for yourself to achieve my goals. Take the time to figure out what habits need to change to meet your goals. That's the first step.

2. Self Monitoring

Pay attention to how your habits make you feel. You control your habits. My goal was to adopt a healthier lifestyle during the quarantine. One thing that drastically changed my eating habits was paying attention to how I felt after eating certain things.

3. Congratulate yourself. Be your own hype man.

Every time you do something that puts you closer to reach your goal, pat yourself on the back. Every time you walk past your reflection, compliment yourself. Engage in positive self-talk, encourage yourself.

Remove things that will encourage you to break the routine. Whether it be removing junk food from your house or taking your TV out of your room. This is easier said than done; especially, if you don't live alone. However, make the little changes that are in your control and it will make a difference.

5. Just start.

Take 5 minutes to start whatever habit you are trying to build and if after 5 minutes you want to quit, then you can quit. The odds are you’ll want to keep going because you’re already doing it.

"You don't have to be great to start, you have to start to be great."
- Zig Ziglar

6. Do what makes you happy

You are on this journey for you. There are so many things in life that are out of our hands, why would you choose something that makes you unhappy? Not only that, make sure you are on this journey because YOU WANT TO BE. Don't change yourself based on others perceptions, do it because you think it will be good for you.

"It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else's job to take care of me but me."
- Beyoncé

7. Avoid comparison

Good things take time and it’s a process. Don’t compare your Day 10 to someone else's Day 100, you’ll get there. It's hard with social media and constantly looking at everyone else's' lives, but at some point, they were where you are now. All good things come with time.

8. High expectations. Small goals

You should have high expectations for yourself, but realize that you have to take steps to reach them. You can't just say you're going to lose 50lbs or save $1,000 and instantly do it. It takes time and planning. Set small incremental goals, this will help you be proud of your progress. Every pound lost or dollar saved gets you closer to meeting your expectations for yourself.

If you need a little extra guidance or push, here are some useful apps that helped me find motivation and discipline throughout 2020. Whether you use my routine to start out or come up with your own, once you get started you will want to keep going.

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