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New Year’s resolutions to help you reconnect with the world

Jessica's aims to reconnect with community, family, friends and herself. Are these on your list of resolutions?


Written by Jessica Viola and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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I have been brainstorming new ways to enhance my life in a positive way to better myself in this new year. Since I am an ambassador of the body positivity movement, I intentionally did not focus on the pressures and toxicity of ‘diet culture’ that emerges when January 1st begins because if there is anything we need to improve on it is our mental wellbeing for self-love. So, having said this, here are some alternative resolutions that are useful to improve relationships with the world, the community, and yourself.

Engaging with the world and what is happening today

One resolution that I have on my list is to watch the news more. This is beneficial because it informs you of current affairs and allows you to develop an opinion based on fact, not just from the ideas of others. Personally, it can also help teach me the full story of Brexit so, that I no longer have to pretend that I know what is going on with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Also, taking a break from social media is a good plan to have in this new year. I know social media cleanses are not for everyone but, last year I deleted Snapchat and it honestly is one of the best decisions that I have made. Going off social media even temporarily I find helps keep me in the moment so that I can appreciate what is happening in front of me and not on my screen. Of course, social media does have its upside as it connects you with people from all over the world who share common interests with you, but I feel that taking this break from social media adds more time into the day and allows you to value the company of others in real life.

Another resolution that would be beneficial to follow through is to spend more time outside. By spending time outside it improves your appreciation for the outdoors. Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries due to its scenic landscape and garden flora. So, by going outside more it can help to improve your fitness while getting to admire the scenery of the Emerald Isle.

Engaging with your community

A huge goal of mine for this year is to enhance my skills as a writer and to produce more pieces in the upcoming months. Writing is a great form of self-expression and one aspect that I love about the writing community is that everyone is really encouraging. It is definitely a field that helps to support other writers and encourages people to step outside their comfort zone for new and creative ideas. So, if you are considering taking up writing this year, definitely do. It does not have to be on a large scale like for a website or newspaper, but I find even writing in a diary relieves stress and helps to express your opinions.

Another way to engage within your community is by volunteering your time to different charities. This is a great way to improve the lives of others and also provides one of the most rewarding feelings in the world, knowing that you are making a difference to someone. A few ways to support charities are to hold a fundraiser, like a cake sale, participate in a charity walk, such as Darkness into Light for Pieta House, or to donate your time by volunteering at charity events. Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time and to give back to your community.

Making time for friends and family is an important aim for me this year because it is so easy to get caught up in my own life that I sometimes forget to prioritise the people who love me the most. This can be done by setting out a certain time within the week to hang out or, to plan a nice trip, such as a lunch or a weekend away to reconnect with them. The hope with this is to help strengthen relationships and to appreciate the ones you love.

Engaging with yourself and your feelings

One of the most significant resolutions that I have made for the year is to show more gratitude within my life. Gratitude is not only a feeling but, a skill that can be learned and developed in order to make you more appreciative of all the great things that are happening every day. A way to help improve your gratitude is to create a gratitude journal that allows you to reflect in the morning and in the evenings on how your day went. Some points to consider are: things you are looking forward to, ways you have helped people, and an overall summary of how you felt during the day. Showing gratitude can improve your mental health as you are reflecting on positive life factors that happen day to day.

On a personal note, making time for myself is going to be one of the most difficult resolutions to keep up this year but, by far the most beneficial for my mental wellbeing. It is important to take a break every day for at least 20 minutes so that you can focus on yourself and your needs. This could be taking a bath, watching your favorite television show, or even going to the gym. Doing something for yourself is crucial because without breaks, you will be running on fumes and become stressed out. Checking in with yourself needs to be carried out more and more as we need to practice more self-love in this new year.

Overall, these alternative new year’s resolutions, whether big or small, can help those who are looking to enhance their lives and make a change to old habits. With this being said, I hope that these ideas can help bring more positivity, empathy, and love in the new year.

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Published January 7th, 2019
Tags opinion wellbeing mental health new year's resolutions community volunteering
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