The year 2022 is not just another year but an opportunity to bring our lives back on track. To unlearn old habits and make space for new ones that can help us grow and become better individuals.
It feels like only yesterday when we welcomed 2021 with mixed emotions. The pandemic’s second wave was in the making and vaccinations were still getting manufactured. Our homes were our sanctuaries and also our offices. All these lifestyle changes that happened overnight turned our lives upside down. They changed our thoughts, opinions, and our habits.
Now we are at the same place where we started 2021. The emergence of a new Covid-19 variant has again put us on alert. This time, however, our tomorrow will depend on us, on what we choose to do today. For this reason, 2022 is not just another year but an opportunity to come out stronger than ever. To unlearn old habits and make space for new ones that can help us grow and become better individuals—it’s a new chapter for everyone.
So, what’s the best way to welcome 2022? By learning what not to do this year. Let’s take a closer look at the habits we need to leave behind as we step into a new year.
Not listening to your heart
We all had big plans and aspirations when the year 2020 was on the horizon. Who would have thought that in a matter of days, life as we know it will change forever? Students, working professionals, housemakers, everyone had to put the brakes on their plans. Nothing changed in 2021 as the second wave washed away all hope for normalcy. In these two years, we wondered about the same thing, when will it end?
With 2022 at the door and rigorous vaccination drives in play, we thought the end was closer than ever before. But the rise of Omicron has forced us to rethink everything once again. But this time, we need to listen to our hearts and not be consumed by our fears. We need to find ways to pursue our aspirations and dreams that we kept on hold for two long years. The skills we aimed to learn, the goals we longed to accomplish, it’s time to listen to our hearts and open a new chapter in our lives.
Just sticking to your job
Other than wishing for the pandemic to end if there is one thing we have done more of is work. We spent the little time we had either binge-watching shows on Netflix or catching up with friends. But overall, it was a stressful year for everyone. According to a study by Oracle, “the COVID-19 pandemic has created the most stressful year in history and negatively affected the mental health of 78 percent of the global workforce.”
Life before the pandemic wasn’t like this. Along with work, people had their pet projects too, some hobbies and routines, which kept them healthy and satisfied. In 2022, we need to do more than just work. Yes, we need to work to pay for bills, but what we do outside our jobs is also crucial for our growth and happiness. So, don’t just stick to your job, and find something that intrigues you as well. Something worth your time and efforts. This approach to life can enable us to discover our passion, and if we keep up with it, our true calling as well.
Comparing yourself with others
The comparison trap can be deep and scary. When you fall into it, it’s difficult to find your way back to light. While waiting for the pandemic to end, social media had become our window to the outside world. We spent more and more time browsing and scrolling in the past two years—to be precise, the usage of social media and while doing so, we often compare ourselves with others. The thing about comparison is it never makes one feel good about themselves. Mostly, it evokes negative emotions that can lead to lower self-esteem, resentment, and in worst cases, depression too.
We should ask ourselves if the comparison has ever helped us in any way. It only makes things worse. But the good news is, one can escape the trap of comparison with their sheer conviction. As 2022 is coming close, let’s make a decision to never compare ourselves with anyone and start the new year with self-love and confidence.
Not paying attention to your health
American motivational speaker, Denis Waitley once said, “Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognise and appreciate until they have been depleted.” His words are apt for what we experienced during the pandemic. Life is like a vase, beautiful but fragile. One gentle push and everything turns into dust. That’s why we should preserve our years by being healthy, physically and mentally.
We can’t take our health for granted. We should stick to healthy routines and habits that help us weather the storm of COVID-19. Washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing are no longer precautionary measures but lifestyle behaviours that we should continue to follow. We can’t take our lives for granted, so let’s make sure in 2022, we continue to keep our guards up. And while doing so, exercise regularly, eat healthy food, drink lots of water, and find time for meditation.
Multitasking to get things done
We all have two hands but in the last two years, we fooled ourselves into believing we have more. Why? Because, the amount of work and responsibilities we had required extra hands on deck. Without multitasking, we couldn’t have finished our projects, ordered groceries, taken our conference calls, and do the dishes, all within the proximity of each other.
Multitasking is a dangerous game, the effects of which can be damaging. Research by Stanford University reveals that multitasking can reduce your efficiency, hamper your focus, and damage the brain as well. For this reason, the beginning of 2022 should be the end of the multitasking approach to work and personal life. As philosopher Swami Vivekananda once said, do one thing at a time. don’t divide your focus between different tasks. Rather, focus on one task and do it with maximum efficiency. You will be surprised how much you can finish with this approach, without sacrificing your peace of mind.
Thinking environment is not your responsibility
It’s really unfortunate that it was a pandemic that taught us the importance of our environment. Before, we seldom cared about climate change or air pollution. We just turned a blind eye and never thought it’s our problem. But the pandemic has shown us what can happen if we don’t take our environment and wildlife seriously. COVID-19 killed millions of people but this is nothing compared to what can happen if we don’t stop climate change. There’s no coming back from that.
The year 2022 is our second chance. A chance to reconcile with our environment and wildlife and take measures to save the planet. And don’t think one person can’t make a difference. Your contribution matters more than you can imagine. You can volunteer or partake in clean initiatives. If nothing else, you can make sure that you segregate your garbage at home before disposal. Even things as simple as this can help protect the environment.