Published on: 7th January 2021

Get ready for the year ahead

Rachel ChinDr Rachel Chin (pictured), clinical psychologist, has shared these four tips to help you through difficult times and to thrive in 2021:

Take back control

When the future feels unpredictable it can be easy to get lost in our fears and worries. Instead, try to recognise what we can and can’t control.

For example, we can’t control if we’re made redundant or if our community goes into lockdown, but we can control how we respond to those situations, such as how we take care of ourselves and behave towards others.

By accepting that there are things we can’t control, we free up more energy to focus on those things that we can.

Understand our values

A lot of our goals might be blocked at the moment, but by understanding the values behind them, we can find ways to achieve them.

For example, just because we might be struggling to provide financial support for others doesn’t mean we can’t still play a valuable supportive role to them.

The family holiday might be off, but we can still achieve the value of spending quality time as a family, by sitting down to dinner together or arranging a weekly games night.

Create a coping calendar

Good self-care isn’t a selfish luxury — it’s vital for our emotional, mental and physical health. If we’re not well, we can’t take care of others.

Create a coping calendar and starting with January, schedule in one thing every day for you.

Whether it’s exercising, listening to music, doing some yoga or having a bath, plan it in advance so you stick to it.

Find ways to self-soothe

Another useful tool for managing feelings of stress, worry or low mood is to create a self-soothing box and fill it with things that help calm our five senses.

It might be a photo that makes you smile, your favourite magazine to read or some hand cream — anything that engages our senses and keeps us positively grounded in the moment.