Ways to Love Yourself in 2021

Ways to Love Yourself in 2021

Everyone says 2020 was the worst year ever. They couldn’t wait to say goodbye to it. Yes, it was awful in so many ways, but what was the alternative? We all experienced it in different ways. Some of us lost jobs, lost businesses, lost homes. Some kept their jobs, working from home. Some changed careers, because their former career path took a u-turn. Some worked even harder in the middle of Covid chaos in the medical field. Parents became very reluctant teachers and teachers struggled in virtual classrooms.

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We all have different experiences, but the one thing in common is STRESS. Stress takes many forms, but its effect on people is the same. It changes us, making us feel overwhelmed and lose hope. When we feel this way, we cannot accomplish very much at all. What difference does it make anyway? We feel like we are shoveling against the tide.

How can we accomplish what we need to do and still have time to love ourselves? Following this acronym might be of help make us think of stress a little differently:
S - Slow down
T - Think
R - Regroup
E - Energize
S - Sort out
S - Stabilize

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Slow down

— even if it is just for a moment. We are so busy running in the race that we do not know where we are in relation to our goals, if we even have them. Try just driving the car with the radio on instead of feeling like you have to talk on the phone at the same time.


— about what's important, Life's basics of food, clothing and shelter are the first things that count. If you've gotten those covered, be grateful. Don't worry about the Coach bag, the new iPhone or whatever. Is life a competition? It is NOT important! When you get down to what is really important, you will have the time for what is truly important.


— set realistic goals about things that really matter in the long run such as: My kids will remember I am present in their lives, that I love them and I care about what is important to them. Help your kids set short-term and long-term goals. Help them believe their future is bright. Whether or not you are parenting right now, set goals for yourself, about what's important to you, as well. What will help you grow as an individual? Is there anything you always wanted to do, but never had the time or just never did it, because you quit before you gave yourself a chance to try. Some examples are painting, learning to play an instrument, volunteering at an organization that helps others. These kinds of things help us feel better and give us a sense of accomplishment by sharing something of ourselves with other people.


— Stress wears us out. It robs us of the natural energy we have. Figure out what recharges your batteries and plug yourself into it. Walk outdoors, with or without your favorite two or four-legged friends. BREATHE! We are wearing masks all the time now. Get somewhere that you can safely remove your mask, freely breathe and calm down the endless "chatter" of your thoughts. Have a friend massage your shoulders to get the knots out. There is something to be said for shutting down once in a while.

Sort out

— What is truly important? How many people have garages or storage sheds full of things they haven't seen in years? Clear out the clutter! This doesn't just mean the physical clutter, which does help by the way, but the thoughts you have that get in the way of accomplishing what is important to you and for your family. Throw out anything that does not help you meet your goals. Stinkin' thinkin' never helped anyone do anything worthwhile. This will take some strong, constructive self-criticism. Do this in a positive way. Have someone you love and trust help you with this. Help each other answer the tough questions such as: What do I do that holds me back from being more successful at life?


— Stabilizing is another way of saying there is balance. Realize that life events are going to happen. If you have balance before a life-altering event, you have a better chance to stabilize after it happens. Everyone is talking about this "bad thing" called the new normal. How about your new normal being a good thing: a new balanced you, full of life, love, positive energy and a new way of thinking. People will see you transformed and wonder, "What is he or she been doing lately? Something's different." That is a good thing!
To sum it all up, take the time in 2021 to love yourself. Using even a few of the suggestions above may open up a whole new world for you.

-JoAnne Smith, LPN, BA
Practice Manager
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