Congratulations. If you’re reading this, we survived 2020.
We barely made it, to be honest. It has been tumultuous and stressful for everyone. Having to drop all our plans, isolate from loved ones, battle anti-maskers and anti-vaccinators, reason with idiots over why Dr. Fauci isn’t the Devil, overcome a virus, and grieve our losses.
It’s been an awful year. I can’t wait for the pandemic to be over. Key word– pandemic.
As we wrap up 2020 and welcome 2021, please remember that this virus won’t just disappear when the clock strikes 12. The pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however.
Moderna and Pfizer have had their new COVID-19 vaccines approved, and plans to begin vaccinating the elderly in nursing homes and healthcare works have been voted upon. If everything goes right, everyone (excluding children for now) can be vaccinated around May!
Until then, we remain in lockdown to ensure the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. You’ve done this before, and for now, this continues to be our new normal. This doesn’t mean you can’t establish some resolutions for the new year. Here are some goals you can focus on in 2021!
The pandemic isn't over just because
- Sanitize your commonly touched household surfaces multiple times a week, including your phone. This is an easier habit to continue for the rest of your life because bacteria has always existed. We are just hyper-aware because of this virus! Did you know our phones are one of the dirtiest objects we own? It’s dirtier than a toilet seat. Bruh…
2. Source alternative streams of income. If the pandemic has taught you anything, it’s that regardless of your relationship with your employer, if a company needs to make a difficult business discussion, business overrides personal affiliations. Millions of Americans were, and remain, unemployed. Some have it worse, struggling to stay afloat affording household essentials, bills, and rent. Besides finding a job that can serve as your primary source of income, it’s best to have multiple sources of income to not only increase your salary, but to help develop and build your emergency fund.
3. Secure time in your week for self care. This can be something as easy as slithering chunks out of the week for a hobby of yours, like painting. Or, it can be much more substantial like researching and committing to a therapist for weekly sessions, meditation or isolating more defined “work v. play time” when working from home. This pandemic has affected us all in a number of ways. Just because someone has remained employed, and has not had to deal with themselves or a loved one contracting the virus, doesn’t mean they are alright. Devote time to specific activities that focus on you.
4. Revisit the concept of adopting a hobby. It takes about two weeks to undo or implement a habit, so establish a hobby or goal of yours you’d like to introduce to your routine. Join a virtual club to hold yourself accountable. Scout out tools and resources that can prepare you for your new endeavor. Remember, a hobby can be purposeful but be sure it is something you have an interest in. Hobbies are meant to be explorative and fun!
5. Wear SPF. Yes, I understand that you may not be going outside much, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your skin! If you don’t already lather on SPF in the morning, it’s time to learn the facts. Sunscreen protects your skin from UV and UVB rays which damages your skin, whether you notice signs of skin damage or not. UV and UVB rays can cause uneven skin pigmentation, sunburns, dullness and premature aging, such as lack of firmness and wrinkles. Oh, and skin cancer (duh!). Before you beautiful melanated humans argue that you don’t need SPF, let me tell you that you’re wrong. Yes, darker skin has greater natural protection, but no one is immune from sun damage. Darker people can still suffer with sunburn, hyperpigmentation, dullness and skin cancer. My forever goal is to look 30 years old when I’m 80 years old, so order some daily SPF and join me!
6. Support your local communities who are suffering the most. Acknowledge your privileges. If you are in a position where you can volunteer your time or donate food, clothes or money, look into it! Some cities have established a community fridge for families who need it the most. Safely distribute sanitizers and masks to the homeless in your communities. Dig through your closet and donate your old clothing. Consider utilizing task rabbits for random errands you have. Shop locally when you can. Do your best to order takeout from smaller restaurants nearby, rather than fast food chains. Research local charities that support families in need. Now is the time to empathize with those who have been affected the most from the pandemic, if able.
7. Take time to educate yourself further about issues outside your realm of comfortability. Acknowledge your privilege. The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t a trend– it never has been and never will be. Remind yourself of the political climate we are in. This recent election has exposed the harsh reality that racism never disappeared, and we are from overcoming the deep hatred and bigotry this nation was founded upon. Don’t rely on your peers to keep you informed. Your minority friends aren’t your search engines. Remain curious and vigilant. Research topics you don’t understand. Engage with organizations and participate in their progression. Don’t resume blissful ignorance because there is too much work to be done.
8. Get vaccinated. I shouldn’t have to explain why.