A Psychologist’s Brief Guide to 2021
To say the year 2020 was a difficult one would be an understatement. With the world going through a pandemic, the lives of people have become more uncertain than ever – with some people even losing their jobs and shelters.
However, now we all, as humanity are daring to hope. Because the year is ending. Because we read articles about vaccine trials being 90% and 95% by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna respectively.
Hope is good. Hope is necessary. Along with hope, we need some other things to be mentally healthy and that is what this list includes – because 2021 will not be an easy year against the Coronavirus even when we have the vaccines.
(1) Compliance to Government and Medical bodies.
Yes, we may get vaccines in 2021.
However, as the World Health Organization (WHO) states manufacturing and distributing the vaccines in large numbers along with the existing vaccines will be a challenge.
During those times following the precaution measures like staying in, social distancing, wearing masks and sanitization will be essential.
If you read the above paragraph and felt frustrated, it is understandable.
Why do we still have to follow precautions? The vaccine is out, so why can’t I resume my normal life?
Because the hard truth is that the world will not return to normal simply because we have a vaccine.
Consider the Unlock phases we had till now as practice runs for the ultimate Unlock in 2021 when the vaccines are out.
Being kind to self is now required more than ever.
Due to the pandemic, the world hitting a pause for many like the students whose academic plans got cancelled/delayed, people who lost their jobs and speeding up for others like frontline workers, people who end up or have to work more due to blurring of work and home boundary.
2021 is not going to be any less uncertain because there is no guarantee when things will begin – hugely because so many things (exams, admissions) got delayed in 2020.
The least we can do is to be kinder to ourselves by:
- being quick to forgive ourselves for mistakes
- being okay with an okay performance
- being with one’s difficult emotions like sadness, anger anxiety and fear
- accepting that this is a difficult time and asking help when required
- resting without the guilt
(4) Continue cultivating the good habits
Finally, yes, the lockdowns were challenging. But they weren’t all bad.
After all, it did provide us the time to introspect and work on ourselves.
While some began to invest time in their hobbies, some took time to learn new things. Some of us began to work out and began our attempts to live a healthier life.
Keep that up! Because “Going back to Normal” doesn’t have to mean going back to unhealthy habits like irregular/not enough sleep, junk food, overwork and excessive partying.
In conclusion, stay healthy and happy because you as a human deserve to have a good life.