Approach for 2021: Cautiously Hopeful & Realistic Expectations

After last year’s fiasco, I hesitatingly welcomed 2021. The standard Happy New Year greeting was conveyed to all. My wishes of a prosperous year, financial success and ever lasting love were genuine, but even then, I knew deep-down that these were in fact just wishes. Yes, there will be some good months, some devastating months and mostly ones which are just average. If we’re lucky, we will soon have the COVID-19 vaccine available for all. If we’re lucky, no new deadly pandemic-causing, world-stopping virus will be formed. 

Even as I write this, there is nothing but grim news all around. A picture of an empty Oxford Circus graces The Wall Street Journal signifying a new lockdown situation in the UK, pro-Trump supporters attack the Capitol building in the US and India continues to witness (and ignore) farmer protests. In the last couple of days, another concerning headline that is making the news is the onset of Bird Flu in parts of India. This means that we might have another medical situation while we still battle with the one from last year. 

In short, 2021 will not be easy. There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, so many questions remain unanswered with respect to the novel coronavirus – where did it originate from and how? What is the future of viruses? Are we prepared for another pandemic-like situation? What are the long-term repercussions for the economy, our mental health, our healthcare system? Perhaps we will never know. With time, this too will be another forgotten incident in our history. 

Entering the new year with cautious optimism

Gone are the days when I believed that a clock and a calendar will reset everything. I no longer approach the midnight of 31st December as a do-over or a new beginning. For this reason I don’t particularly enjoy NYE parties (another reason is that it’s way too cold and crowded) For me, transitioning into the new year is just a continuity to what was. I am cautiously hopeful for the new year, but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t turn out much different from the last. I also know that we cannot predict or change the inevitable, but we can mould ourselves to be prepared for it.

Its been a week of 2021 and now that the hype of resolutions and reflections has started to settle, I penned down a few self-care exercises that I will be taking with me to the new year

  1. Daily Vitamins

Our daily diet is not enough to provide the necessary vitamin supplements our body needs. Yes, even the expensive leafy green organic veggies fall short. Once COVID hit, thanks to my mom’s quick thinking the entire family got onto a daily intake of multivitamin and multimineral supplement. A healthy immune system is half the battle won. So even if tomorrow the entire world gets a vaccine, i’m not giving up on these trusted pills. Allopathy-haters don’t come at me! #FreedomOfChoice

  1. Letting go of Control

This one is hard since I am impatient and I like to see results fast. 2020 had other plans for us and what do you do in the face of a deadly virus? You just go with the flow. To be honest, it’s easier to do that when the whole world is going through the same hardships as you. It is so much harder when you alone have to face an adversity – job loss, financial insecurity or a disease. Feelings of isolation and inadequacy are natural, but that is the test of your resilience. If in these circumstances you give up control, accept and adapt yourself to the situation, then hats off! I did it and it is the most liberating feeling.

  1. Meditation

You just need 5 minutes to experience the beauty of meditation and once you come close to that feeling of calmness and bliss, there won’t be any going back. I have found meditation to be one of the easiest things to do when you have nothing to do. We are lucky to have YouTube where one can get all kinds of guided meditation videos starting from 5 mins to 60 mins. Through my practice of meditation, I have come close to my dog. The foundation of animal communication or animal telepathy is to be grounded and meditation helps in that immensely.

  1. Spending time with Zia

My dog is my stress buster. I love spending time with her – rough playing, teaching her new tricks or just cuddling. She makes me happy. Thanks to the extended time together, she and I have formed a special bond which I will continue to strengthen this year. 

  1. Keep Learning

An empty mind is a devil’s workshop – no truer words have been spoken. Always keep the mind intellectually challenged and keep the learning going. There are so many articles which recommend courses to improve your CV. Why just your professional CV? Why not something that genuinely interests you? Last year I enrolled myself in a distance-learning psychology course. It’s tough af! With someone who has no background of the subject, everything is new.. but it’s interesting and I’m enjoying it. I know someone who is learning 5 languages – French, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian, not because it will help him in his career, but because it interests him. My husband spends hours a day on Chess, his new-found hobby. Find things that’ll interest you. I’m hoping to discover more personal interests in the new year.

On the flip side, not everything I tried last year worked for me. Journaling and affirmations are a big no-no. I might still do them once in a while, but I can’t make it a daily habit.

With that, my agenda for 2021 is pretty sorted – have no expectations, keep healthy, stay strong and do the things you like to do. I hope 2021 is a period of growth for everyone and our hardships are never more than what we can handle.

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