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What are you doing in 2021?

What are you going to do differently in 2021? Have you made any promises (aka resolutions) to yourself? We are talking about realistic goals for you to focus on for the next 12 months, achievable goals that contribute to your healthier, happier living; motivation to improve your way of life physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.

It is much easier to just go with the way things are and have been, to not think outside the box, to grumble that there’s not enough time to do anything else, to make changes. You are worth some of your quality time to make changes that help you feel better and live better, if you are willing to make a little effort.

Expand your mind, your world, by reading more, by meeting new people through volunteer work and club memberships. Keep up with current events going on around you. Develop your creative talents and abilities. Make time for the things – and people — important to you, the things that help to define who you are.

Your productivity will increase when you budget your time. A huge time waster is phone apps. (Has anyone accused you of being addicted to your phone? Until you track your personal app use, you may not be aware of how much time you spend on your phone.) Instead of trying to do everything yourself delegate chores. Calm the chaotic areas of your home and work space. Spice up your life with recipes that look good and are good for you as per the five food groups. Drink more water and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Research has found that what you eat can change the levels of brain chemicals that send messages to the part of the brain that controls brain activities and affect your mood and performance. Poor nutrition contributes to conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, eating disorders and depression, among other things.

Good mental health is a struggle for many people at this time. You may not be able to take a vacation, but you can plan one. You can take a road trip with no particular destination in mind when it is safe to do so. Listen to upbeat music that gets your feet tapping, maybe even singing along. Be kind to yourself the way you would be kind to someone else. Get enough rest and plenty of sunlight when you can find it this time of year.

For good physical health drink less alcohol, quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Take the stairs for a cardiovascular workout. Keep moving! You might explore your green thumb abilities with a few houseplants. Caring for plants and flowers helps to reduce stress, lowers blood pressure. Have you ever watched an amaryllis evolve? A Christmas cactus bloom, even at Easter? Have you smelled the scent of the flowers that bloom on the string of pearls, or watched clusters of African violets in a south window that pop out in the dead of winter?

There are so many adventures to take in the comfort of your home … planning the garden you want to plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. Learning to play a musical instrument. Beginning yoga for all of its health benefits or just because those gentle stretches feel so good. Learning to crochet, draw, paint, work with wood tools.

There may be limitations as we step into a new year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t explore, learn and grow. Use this time for self-development to become the person you want to be or to renew yourself. Take hold of those opportunities for mindfulness, enjoying the people in your life that you may have taken for granted pre-Covid. There are endless possibilities. And if you need a little help, reach out. There is no shame in needing help. Everyone needs a little help sometime.

So, what are you going to do with your year 2021?

Note: The Parenting Group at Family Recovery Center will begin the next series of classes beginning Jan. 22. Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon every Friday for 12 weeks at FRC, 964 N. Market St., Lisbon. The next series will begin April 11. This is a closed group, meaning that no new participants may join once the group series begins. Participants will learn effective, evidence-based skills for parenting children and/or adolescents and must be an open client of FRC. For more information, contact Danielle at 330-424-1468, ext. 103.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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