With 2022 right around the corner, we have had to adapt to life amid the pandemic for nearly two years. While many of us may often feel that we are operating in “survival mode,” it’s important to recognize that there are many steps we can take to enhance our lives and cultivate resilience each day. This is especially true for human service workers who are constantly faced with overcoming adversity while empathizing with others to do the same. Here are some tips human service workers, and everyone, can use to help build a happy, healthy future this holiday season and into the new year.
Build a Strong Social Network
Life in the pandemic has taken its toll on many people’s relationships. However, research suggests that maintaining and growing social connections is vital for a healthy and happy life. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research at Stanford University explains, “People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.”
While building relationships can be challenging, there are many ways to make new connections, such as joining a club or a religious congregation, volunteering, or taking a class. Try finding something that you like to do, and you will naturally meet others who have shared interests who you can connect with.
1. Take a Break From Work
Take time to relax and take a real break from work. With many people working from home at least some of the time, it can often feel like the line between work and home life is blurry. In order to start the year off feeling refreshed and replenished, try stepping back from work duties over the holiday.
2. Find Things You Enjoy Doing
What brings you joy? Make a list of things you love doing or would like to try doing, and do them! It’s important to find activities outside of work and family that fill you with joy and a sense of accomplishment.
3. Cultivate a Positive Outlook
According to The Medium, “Your outlook is what your perception of success (or failure) looks like. It has a big impact on your success. The good news is that if you have a negative mindset, you can change it and your attitude to be more positive.” For a happier and more successful life, practice cultivating a positive outlook. Everyone struggles with this sometimes, so if you are feeling especially negative, be easy on yourself. Try writing down a list of 10 things you are grateful for, meditate, or find a positive affirmation that resonates with you.
4. Take Care of Yourself
It can be easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves, but it is one of the most essential aspects of feeling renewed and balanced. Make a plan each day to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, move your body, and get a good night’s sleep. These simple measures can help reduce stress and anxiety and leave you feeling better.
5. Help Others
When you are feeling unhappy, it can be hard to think about helping someone else. However, helping someone in need can be the exact thing that allows you to feel more fulfilled and happy. Studies show that helping others has enormous benefits for the helper by providing a sense of purpose and belonging, creating new connections, and boosting self-esteem. Some simple ways you can help others is through volunteering, donating, or simply helping a neighbor or friend with a task or problem they are facing.