Last year was filled with one disappointment after another, and unfortunately, it being 2021 now doesn’t make us immune from experiencing any more. But while we can’t avoid disappointments, we can be better prepared for them. According to therapist Barton Goldsmith, this year is all about having “preferences instead of expectations.” With that in mind, here are a couple of tips for keeping your head up in 2021.
- Course Correction. While it was miserable to see so many plans get changed in 2020, it was amazing to see our abilities to change, adapt, and evolve. Carry that into the New Year and remember that if things start getting wonky in your life, you can reinvent yourself and do something different. Plus, while we hope change like we just experienced won’t ever come that hard and fast again, change will still come. If you choose to fight it you’re just setting yourself up for more disappointment.
- Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. When life gets rough, thinking about the future can feel like a waste of time. But Goldsmith says, “without a goal, it is hard to be happy.” So keep on planning for life post-COVID and reframe this rough patch as a chance for you to refine your plans. According to Goldsmith, this will help you build serotonin in your brain and might even make you smile.
- Balance And Acceptance. Whether we like it or not, life is still going to continue to be different for quite some time. The best thing we can do is try to accept as much as we can and work to find a balance in our own life. For example, post-vaccine, some people are going to party like Prohibition just ended, while others will still stick to their bunker. Strive to be somewhere in the middle of the two.