It is so easy to begin the year with this grand overture about how you shall start 2021 with these resolutions and create a 12 step plan on how you shall achieve these amazing goals and lose weight, get fit, and every other goal you may reach.
But the reality is that 2020 was such a difficult year for many. Stress levels were extremely high. People lost jobs, loved ones, feeling of control and motivation.
Some people gained depression, anxiety, phobias, mounting stress levels, grief and maybe some weight.
What I'd love to see this year for many of us is to just be present in our moments. Having a goal is great and creates focus and drive. But we have just spent the most part of a year in such a heightened state of stress that the last thing your stressed body needs is for you to fast for 15 hours or excessively work out for 2 hours a day to lose that covid belly.
Working on mental health is and should be, our main priority and focus for this year. No-one came out unscathed by 2020.
I constantly notice hesitancy around hugging and touching/ shaking hands of people you have just met as it has been learned behaviour. People snapping at each other when they stand too close to you in the queue. Loading up and stocking up every week with long life food items and bulk items for fear of another lockdown. Constantly waiting and wondering if your job will last, and noticing that your weekly wage doesn't go far now that prices for everything has gone up so you also worry about money.
Covid is a virus, it is real, and many countries are still suffering the consequences of this diverse and intelligent disease, don't get me wrong about that. It has been horrible and nightmare-inducing.
But letting self doubt, chronic stress, anxiety, depression and phobias control your life daily is just another form of disease. There is a saying that goes like this "dis-ease causes disease". What that means is that when you are in a state of unease then you could likely see some other effects on your body, and long term can be detrimental.
So please, for Aotearoa's rising depression and anxiety rates, work on creating a peaceful mind, loving heart and open arms to those who love, care and support you as you transition from a trapped anxious caterpillar into a 2021 majestic butterfly, processing and moving on from what has happened and finding ways to thrive, not survive the year that was, in a less stressed, less anxious way.