6 positive intentions for 2021

A woman puts on a cloth face mask.


We were all glad to see 2020 go. It was a tough year. But when will we be able to say so long to the pandemic too?

We can't predict the future. But here are six positive intentions that might help you make the best of the pandemic this year, whatever comes:

1. Recommit to supporting the long-haulers in your life. Do you know someone who's struggling with long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection? Don't wait for them to ask for help. Reach out and find out what you can do to make their life easier. Doing for others is a win-win—it is appreciated by them and it makes you feel good too.

2. Keep masking up, even after you get a vaccine. We don't know yet when it will be OK to stop social distancing or wearing masks. That will depend in part on how many people get vaccinated, how well the vaccines work and how actively the virus is spreading, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For our best shot at ending the pandemic, keep wearing a mask until we get the "all clear."

3. Learn more about the challenges facing people unlike you. The pandemic hasn't affected everyone equally. Take some time to learn what it's meant for:

  • People of other races.
  • Healthcare workers.
  • Essential workers.
  • People with disabilities.

Then think about what you can do to support them. For example, you might be able to donate personal protective equipment to your local hospital. Or you might deliver food to someone whose disability makes it difficult for them to get to the store.

4. Make a self-care kit. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Gather a kit with things that can help you rest and recharge when you need to. You might stock it with slips of paper on which you've written positive thoughts, photographs of your friends and your pets, movies that make you laugh, or supplies for a home spa day. Put in a small toy from your childhood that sparks memories of good times growing up—or a memento from a particularly lovely trip.

5. Keep connecting. Did you find creative ways of reaching out to people in 2020? Vow to keep it up this year. Or if you didn't connect much with others in 2020, make a resolution to start now. Look up old friends you've lost touch with. Schedule regular virtual visits with family members who live far away.

6. Express gratitude. Doing so can help others and yourself keep going. Let your friends and others in your support network know how much you appreciate them. Say "thank you" to essential workers. And keep cheering on healthcare workers for the amazing work they're doing.

Reviewed 2/22/2021

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