The rhythmic pace of our busy lifestyles was disrupted dramatically by last year’s pandemic. As the UK begins another lockdown, it seems the impacts we endured over the last year will continue for a little longer in 2021. With all the recent changes to our lives, we need to ensure that our mental health and wellbeing remain a top priority. The disruptions to our lifestyle, the changes to personal and family health concerns, along with significant economic impacts have resulted in rising mental health challenges for many people. 

On a more positive note, the collaboration and sense of resilience that emerged last year were unprecedented. There is hope that this year will bring new success and a return to some form of normality in both business and in our personal lives. 

Focusing on our mental health

With last year’s unrest, the pandemic and other significant events, industry experts believe it was a massive learning period for us all. One of the biggest lessons from last year was the need to focus on our mental health. Rather than thinking of conventional new year resolutions, the priority should be taking care of ourselves, both inside and out. 

The financial stress, our health and the health of others, along with the pressure of social distancing disrupted our minds and routines. As a result, many people pushed aside their mental health and wellbeing.  Unfortunately, in many cases, mental health falls to the bottom of our priorities when addressing everything else going on in our lives, especially considering what has happened over the last year. This month, and for the new year, is an opportunity to seize control and prioritize our mental health. Taking the time to reflect and relax is critical to have a more positive start to this year. Quite often, we reflect on our day and question what we didn’t achieve within the day. At present, with another lockdown and further disruption to work, school and family life, we need to appreciate what has been completed and ensure we set realistic expectations for each day.

Our routines may have transformed, but it’s still important to find some sense of normalcy, wherever possible. We, as humans, are designed to share experiences and not necessarily be doing things alone. Reflecting on your day by mentally listing the good things that have happened can enable a clearer perspective and ensure you look beyond certain things that may be getting you down.  

Guides to health and wellbeing and ways to improve our mental health are widely accessible, and in general, are understood by most people. The focus isn’t necessarily how to effectively manage our mental health. The priority should be ensuring that our wellbeing doesn’t get forgotten amid the inevitable challenges we are likely to continue facing this year. In 2020 we showed resilience and positivity. This year we need to embrace mental health and ensure it consistently remains in the spotlight.