With the new year officially upon us, you’re bound to see a lot of posts, ads and people all talking about ‘losing the quarantine 15’ and ‘getting back in shape after isolation.’
This is as good a time as any to remind you that your body is perfect just the way it is. You do not have to change your appearance just because the calendar flipped. The body you have now is the result of surviving a literal pandemic. Whether you lost weight, gained weight or stayed the same, your body did what it needed to do to make through 2020.
So, we will absolutely NOT be focusing on changing our bodies as a New Year’s resolution. And after the year we just had…how could that possibly be the most important thing you can think of?
Instead, we’ve come up with a few other options to focus on as we move into 2021. Here’s our picks for New Year’s Resolutions that have nothing to do with weight loss.
Rest When You Need To
Whether you worked from home, worked an essential service or didn’t work at all, I think we all learned a little lesson on the importance of rest this year.
The pandemic took a toll on everyone’s mental health. There’s been a major increase in cases of both anxiety and depression since the pandemic started. Even if you don’t feel like you did much over the past year, it doesn’t mean you don’t need rest.
The stress of living in the world right now is enough to warrant a little downtime. So, be kind to yourself and take breaks from work, social media, the news, people or anything else that’s wearing you down. You deserve rest.
Continue to Fight for Social Justice
This summer, people advocated for Black lives in a way the world hasn’t seen in decades. But the fight doesn’t stop just because the year is over (or because someone new takes office). Continue to stand up for social justice and reform just as hard as you did in June.
Continue to talk to your family about systemic racism, continue to speak up for Black lives and continue to uplift Black people by sharing their content, supporting Black run organizations and continuing to vote out oppressive politics.
Reach Out to Friends More
Zoom calls got old pretty quickly. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your people!
With mental health being such an important topic these days, it’s even more important than ever to connect with your communities.
Shoot someone a text when you think of them, play online games together, go on socially distanced walks (if allowed) or even send some good ol’ fashioned mail.
The only thing that will get us through this is our connections with one another. So, don’t forget to reach out to your friends and give or ask for support when needed.
Do More Things That Bring You Pleasure
Did anyone pick up a new hobby this year? Making sourdough perhaps? Knitting? Tik tok dances? Banana bread chef extraordinaire?
What brought you the most joy over the past year that you can incorporate in 2021? What was missing from last year that you want to do more of?
Whether it’s food, dance, sex or origami. Do more of it.
Add as much pleasure to your new year as possible.
Tell People You Love Them More
This year was hard. Jobs were lost. Opportunities were lost. Lives were lost.
Once life returns to some sense of normalcy, there’s no doubt that many people will be living life to the fullest. Because, there really is no telling what could happen.
That’s why it’s so important to let people know how we feel about them while we can. Tell your family, romantic partners and friends that you love them. And even more than that…tell them why you love them.
Send them a text laying out all the little details that make you so proud to be in their life. Send them a random email with an old photo of the two of you and reminisce about exactly what you were feeling. Love your people fiercely and make sure they know about it.
No matter what your resolutions are this year, be kind to yourself. The world isn’t going to look too different for the time being, but how you approach this year can make all the difference. Remember that it’s ok to be tired, it’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to not be ok.
Reflect on what you need and ask for it. Whether you’re asking yourself, a partner, a friend or the universe. Make a resolution and see what comes back. You survived 2020. You got this.
Jennifer Doan is a sex educator, coach and the host of the podcast Taking Back Slut. Jennifer is committed to helping people connect to their sexual power in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them. Connect with her on Instagram @jenn_doan for sex rants and unapologetic nudes.