2022 has started off for many in a disappointing manner with it feeling like a repeat of the last two years. The start of the new year saw a spike in Omicron cases as the outbreak of Covid-19 around Australia continued to grow. Many of us might not have had the holiday we had hoped for over the festive season, with thousands testing positive to Covid-19 or in isolation over the holiday break. For many, the holiday break resulted in the cancellation of travel plans, not being able to see loved ones, and fear and worry around catching the virus.
So, what can we do to prepare for the year ahead?
Reset our intentions and expectations about 2022
Coming into a new year, it’s helpful to reset our intentions and expectations for the year ahead. As 2022 started off a bit rocky, give yourself a gentle reminder to be more compassionate and accepting of situations that come your way. Given the current state of the pandemic, entering 2022 with high expectations is likely to set us up for disappointment, so it’s important to keep our expectations realistic. Having realistic expectations makes us feel more content and decreases feelings of guilt or dissatisfaction that can arise if our expectations are set too high. When we meet our own expectations, it provides us with a sense of accomplishment and propels us forward to continue to strive towards achievement in all aspects of our lives.
When setting our intentions for 2022 it’s important to understand our values, desires, and then work towards shifting any limiting beliefs. If we value respect, we can set our intentions to build relationship with others based on respect, honestly and integrity. If we value hard work, we can apply this to our careers which can help us to excel at our jobs. Understanding what we value in our lives helps us to determine our priorities, make smart decisions, and focus on setting us up to live the life we want.
Consider approaching the year in bite sized chunks
Uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges many are facing today and 2022 has renewed this pandemic uncertainty for many. When we look at 2022 has a whole, it can feel overwhelming, and unpredictable as many of us will have learnt from the past two years. A helpful strategy is to consider approaching the year in bite sized chunks. Focusing on each month, rather than the year, allows us to be to fully invest with our time and energy in the present moment. By taking each month as it comes, we can set our goals and responsibilities, focus on our strengths and build new positive daily habits. By taking one step at a time we can build the confidence to become more adaptable with our plans if our circumstances change.
Accept the current reality and focus on what we can control
We all have things we are concerned about, from a global pandemic to smaller things happening in our everyday lives. If we spend too much time worrying about what we can’t control, it can make us frustrated and stressed, feeling like we have no control over anything, even the things we do have control over. By accepting the current reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can become resilient individuals and redirect our energy to focus on what we can control. So, instead of dialling down on the emotional investment in the things we can’t control, spend time on the things we can control. This can include our diet, exercise routine, visiting our GP for regular check-ups, improving our qualifications, and connecting with others. It’s important to remember that we don’t always have control over everything in our lives, but we have control over our mindset and attitude. A positive mindset and attitude can help us take on new challenges and counter any self-limiting beliefs.
Practice good self-care
Practising self-care is extremely important in challenging times. It can help us to reduce anxiety or stress, minimise frustration and anger, increase our happiness and energy, and overall is important for our mental health and wellbeing.
Creating a self-care plan for 2022 can help us to deal with life’s demands and build positive self-care strategies which we can use in times of need. There are many different self-care activities and practices that we can implement into our lives to enhance our health and wellbeing. Some that you may like to consider include:
- Mindfulness enhances our awareness and thoughts which can reduce stress and make us feel in tune with our bodily sensations. Taking aside 10–20 minutes to meditate each day helps us to be present in the moment and can improve our concentration and mental clarity.
- Regular exercise has a profound positive impact on our mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. 30 minutes of exercise each day can boost our positive emotions, allowing us to feel happy, content, and less irritable.
- Practising gratitude can relish our positive experiences and allows up to feel more positive emotions. At the end of each week, practice writing down three things that you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude for the positive things in our lives, improves our mood and encourages us to be happier.
Ensure you reach out for support both personally, and professional. We are all in this together
Uncertainty as we enter the new year can bring on its own set of anxieties. If you feel like you need additional support or are struggling with the current pandemic and navigating 2022 ensure you reach out for support both personally, and professionally.