UCA’s alternative ‘resolutions’
for making 2021 the best year yet

Right then, folks! Time to dust ourselves off, shake off the turmoil that was 2020 and face the new year with a renewed sense of purpose, drive and creative genius — or should we?

03 Jan 2021

About now, you’re about to see an avalanche of articles coming at you talking about how 2021 is going to be so much better, that now is the best time ever to reinvent yourself, to get the perfect body, to get the perfect job or grades, to find love… that this year is the year you really should fulfil all those resolutions you set yourself after one too many proseccos.

But maybe this year it’s time to say: don’t worry about any of that.

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that there’s been WAY too much expectation on us to live these ‘perfect’ lives, full of unattainable things that most people don’t have the energy or emotional bandwidth to handle on top of all the pressures of daily life.

In truth, going with the flow, valuing those nearest and dearest to us and making the best out of a crap situation have been the most important things — not the size of our waistlines or the designer label on our trainers.

So, with all of that in mind, we hereby present our alternative ‘resolutions’ list, which we hope you’ll enjoy and take something from. We know we’ll be taking up some of them as we continue to navigate these strange and unusual times.

After the hellscape of the last 10 months, and the potential of many months more ahead of the same, it’s really important to put the pencils down, turn off the laptop, and just chill out when we need to. And not feel guilty about it either. The duvet day is king, so snuggle down, drink all the tea, watch the cheesy movies — anything that helps you unwind and escape.

We’ve all consumed enough to feed a small country, but who can resist just one more Quality Street? But thinking about going on some crash diet when it’s still dark, and cold, and we’re all under these never-ending restrictions…well, we reckon that’s counter-productive.

Just go back to normal eating like you were before Christmas, don’t cut those carbs just yet. It’s far more important you stay well and healthy — physically and mentally.

Having trouble being creative? We know the feeling. Hands up if you stockpiled art supplies at the start of lockdown thinking they’d help keep you busy, but then struggled to find the emotional energy to put them to use? Us too. The best advice we can give is not to beat yourself up if your creativity levels are low at this stressful time, and to adjust your expectations — if you give yourself loads of time to complete a project, you can tackle it in smaller, more manageable chunks and give yourself the space to walk away when you need to.

There are SO MANY reasons to hate yourself these days. Please don’t.

Even if you write down in a journal just one thing a day — one thing you did that you were proud of or pleased with, or one thing that someone said that made you smile, or one thing you liked about yourself that day. Remind yourself that you’re bloody fabulous, and no-one can take that away from you.

If you already get some exercise in, then great, but if you don’t, then it might be a good time to have a think about what you could do to get the endorphins flowing. This links in with our ‘be kind to you’ section above — because we know (it’s a fact!) that exercise does indeed improve your mood, helps you sleep better and therefore improves your overall wellbeing and health.

Time to learn those fab K-pop dance routines

But — and this is a big but — don’t feel like you have to buy a gym pass you know you’re not going to use, or pound the pavement in the rain, or buy those pesky resistance bands that everyone seems to use on Instagram to attain those unrealistic bodies. Of course, if you enjoy that kind of thing, fantastic, but if you don’t, then look for activities that give you joy. Skipping — why not? Learning the latest BTS dance routine — absolutely! Revisiting your childhood love of cricket or netball — then sign up! You do you — so long as you break a sweat every once in a while, it’s all good.

We’re stating the obvious here but complacency is a real thing and so is impatience. We get it. It’s been a long haul and everyone — including us — is still reluctant to embrace this ‘new normal’ we’ve all been forced to accept. But we really do need you to play by the rules — wear a face covering on campus, keep social interactions distanced, wash hands often — and do your bit to help to keep each other safe.

We promise it’ll be worth it in the end.