As we prepare to embark upon a new year, I can’t help but reflect on the challenges we faced in 2020. The pandemic infecting and taking the lives of our family and friends, the Black Lives Matter movement, policing in the United States, the inequitable treatment of people of color, our schools restructuring instruction, and the presidential election. Despite it all, many of us were able to adjust and embrace our new normal.
There were a few tips I followed in 2020 that helped me adapt and as I continue to move forward, I plan to stay the course and apply them in 2021
- Communicate frequently with family and friends. This year, around March, my parents suggested we talk over the phone instead of visiting one another. I knew they were concerned about their health, so, I agreed because I was working everyday and their grandchildren were going to school. The last thing we wanted to do was jeopardize their health. Initially, it saddened my heart but I soon adjusted. We met on Zoom, we wore masks when delivering them packages and followed the social distancing guidelines. It was different but we knew it was for the best. We love each other and we wanted to keep everybody healthy and safe.
- Exercise. All it takes is 20 minutes a day. Get up and get moving. There’s a vast variety of exercises such as yoga, Pilates, aerobics and Zumba. You can use an iPad, smart television or hand held device, go to YouTube and pick what interests you. Your body will thank you later.
- Read. This year, I had the opportunity to read some great books. Two memorable books are Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste and Stacey Abram’s Lead From The Outside. Taking the time to read helps to expand your mind, experience different genres and mentally travel away from your day to day routine.
- Take walks. Getting out and taking a walk can be refreshing. I prefer dusk or dawn. The traffic is light and it’s peaceful. After a nice, long walk I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on another day.
- Write. Throughout the day so many thoughts cross my mind and I like to capture as much as I can in my journal. Every night before I go to bed, I reflect on my day and write key points. I also like to set daily goals and reflect on my progress. These activities help me stay on track.
Before the pandemic, I was wrapped up in my career and I made little to no time for my family, friends, reading, writing or exercising. After work, I always felt tired. I didn’t take the time to smell the roses or count my blessings. Now, I have forged new relationships and I am taking better care of myself. Life is too short, tomorrow is not promised so I urge everyone to live for today.