So how’s the “new you” project of 2021 coming along? I say that in jest of course, because I’m referring to how so many of us feel that January 1 is like a clean slate and a fresh start, and we tell ourselves, “The diet starts Monday!” And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m kind of doing the same thing. It is Monday, January 4thtoday after all! And yes, the “diet” began today. Ugh.

I currently feel that my jeans are a little too tight for my (mental) comfort after the holiday indulgences – I really shouldn’t have had that cookie last night… But to counter that emotional guilt, I am sipping on a Harney & Sons green tea as I write this – it’s time to detox. I also began the day by taking all of my vitamins – and then some. But frankly, that was also to counter the fact that I only got about three hours of sleep last night and that one of my co-workers was feeling a tad under the weather. Yes, psychology set in and my throat immediately felt scratchy as soon as he said that he wasn’t feeling 100%. Let’s not joke about such things, not in this Covid-era at least! “You, go home. I, take a lot of vitamins. Byeeeee!”

“This tea tastes SOOOO good!”

As I sip my green tea, I am convincing myself that I like the taste of it. I’m not knocking my favorite tea company – I’m just very particular when it comes to my tea. I pretty much only like Earl Grey tea, and so anything other than that is just maybe OK to me. Just being honest here. So I am currently recounting all of the ways in which green tea is SOOOO beneficial to my health with every sip that I take. I’m telling myself how my body is going to feel so thankful and good for this warm cup of tea, that my kidneys and other organs will have help in detoxing. Mmm, that sip just tasted so much better than the one before it. And perhaps tonight I’ll have a cup of peppermint tea before bed – I’m just going to crush this detox thing. (Side note, in September 2020 I wrote an article here about the health benefits of green and peppermint teas – so drink up and love every sip of it! They are so good for you).

So now, since we got through that and have established that I find myself in the middle of a mid-Monday hangover of sorts, this is truly not how I wanted to start this week – this week of all weeks. My tabula rasadoesn’t feel so… rasa. But being the eternal optimist that I am, I’ll glass-is-half-full the shit out of this predicament: it can only get better from here! Right?

So let’s talk 2021 then. As you’ll notice in the current print issue of the magazine, and you’ll notice in the coming days and weeks, we here at Main Street have devoted the month of January to focusing on all aspects of wellness. I’m not feeling like the poster child of wellness today, but hey! That’s just life. In the past year I’ve shared bits and pieces of my wellness journey with you here on these web pages. What better way to kick off our themed month than with a post about wellness from yours truly? Even though I’m not feeling especially well today. But lessons learned: a cookie after dinner will lead to a cookie hangover. Plain and simple.

So in the spirit of things can only get better, what’s my health plan for 2021? I’m glad you asked. I set out on my wellness journey in 2020, going to about half a dozen of my doctors to get checked out. Everything came back more or less fine and good, with a couple things that I need to work on and monitor. Then Covid kind of put a damper on some doctor’s appointments and follow-ups. But I realized something in the second and third quarters of 2020: stress is my enemy.

Stress and 2021 plans

2021 is the year that I’m going to stay conscious of my stress levels. 2020 taught me that my high levels of stress at times were a real detriment to my health, and I didn’t realize it when it was happening. It wasn’t until it was too late at times, but then after that I recognized the pattern I had found myself in, and I made major changes and eradicated a number of things that were causing me this immense stress.

As they say, “stress kills,” and I don’t want that to be a factor in my life. It’s that plain and simple. I have no time for stress in my life, there’s too much good and fun to be had! So stress, don’t be a time thief – just get out of my life!

For me, personally, my 2021 health goals are as follows:

  • Monitor my stress levels – keep stress out of my life as much as possible
  • Eat well – that means eat healthy and lots of fruits and veggies
  • I need to reduce the amount of sugar/sweets and white flour that I ingest – bye-bye bon-bons L
  • Sleep better
  • Take time to meditate
  • MOVE!!! I need to exercise.
  • Get back to taking a daily walk
  • Get back to yoga and Pilates – albeit it will be virtual for the unforeseeable future
  • Stretch every day, multiple times a day
  • Do things that bring me joy
  • To always feel excited about what I am doing, which applies more professionally than personally, because as long as I am excited at work then that means I feel super creative and come up with big plans and ideas. And that in turn makes me feel even more excited and energetic.
  • To do all of the things above (and more), to make sure that I feel at the top of my game mentally, emotionally, and physically.

So friends, have you sat down to make your list – even if it is just a mental one? If not, there’s no time like the present. The best investment that you can make in life is to invest in yourself, and your own wellbeing. Always strive to be the best you. And yes, I definitely do live what I preach – and I am honest with you to a fault, for I share my struggles and downsides as well. Case in point: my holiday hangover on the first Monday of the year. I’m human too, and we are all entitled to an off day. But it is your attitude towards the “not ideal days” that will also define you. Find the good, find the silver linings and that will help you put things in perspective and to remember the bigger picture.

Life is a journey not a destination, and you should enjoy every step of the way! Good luck!