How To Enter The New Year with A Clear, Creative Mind

2020 has been the hardest year to date for most of us; for with the pandemic, presidential election, racially-charged societal eruptions, and more it has been easy for our minds to be clogged with nothing but fear, sadness, and negativity.

One of my favorite phrases, however, is that when you find yourself at the bottom there is nowhere to go but up.

With that said, I will be detailing tips that will help you clear your mind and leave behind any pessimism so that you can receive more positive things in the year 2021.

Stretch twice a day: right when you wake up and before you go to bed,

Firstly, this practice of being mindful stimulates receptors in the nervous system that slow the production of stress hormones.

Stretching increases your blood flow and circulation to your muscles and brain. The greater blood flow helps unclog your mind and after stretching you may find yourself able to rethink situations and decisions that may have been cloudy earlier.

Stretching also helps to focus your awareness to the present, which to me is the most important benefit as this will help clear your mind by allowing you to center all of your attention on your body.

Clean your phone, laptop, and physical space of things you no longer need.

Throughout the year we save thousands of photos, files, papers, and miscellaneous items that are of use to us in the moment, but at the end of the year you should go through everything and get rid of whatever is not serving you.

For me this looks like erasing files from my laptop that I used for past school quarters, deleting photos and apps from my phone, and reorganizing everything I do need in a way that is most accessible for me so I do not waste precious time looking for something.

Doing this is also a great way to practice letting go. Too often we tend to hold onto things for their sentimental value or the false impression that it is important to us. A good way to combat this feeling of possessiveness is to get rid of anything you have not used within the past month. Even if you are thinking of keeping apps on your phone that you have used rather recently, delete them now as you can always re-download them whenever needed.

Take a break from social media.

I know that especially during pandemic social media feels like the only tool we have to stay connected to our friends and family, but be mindful about how it makes you feel.

Excessive use of social media results in the feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, and fear of missing out. It also causes us to constantly compare every aspect of ourselves with other people, resulting in feeling inferior rather than empowered.

Taking a break will be hard, as these platforms are designed to be addicting, but power through as I promise your creativity will skyrocket after not being overwhelmed with the ideas, projects, and images of others.

Whenever you feel the urge to go online, read a book, write some poetry, take a walk, stretch, or simply reflect on whatever it is you're feeling. Aim for at least a week and I promise by the end of it you'll only want to stay off it for longer.

Journal for at least 30 minutes every day.

Journaling is a great way to reduce stress while improving skills such as reading and writing. It will also help you organize your ideas, and I find that journaling down any problems or negative feelings I have always makes me feel better. It has also been proved to help keep your memory sharp as it boosts comprehension and increases working memory capacity, which will result in improved cognitive processing. I've recently been sober from smoking weed so any way for me to rebuild my memory skills is very much invited.

Writing down how you feel, details about your day, any conflicts, and achievements of all kinds will help you remain present while keeping perspective. Too often I feel an overload of stimulation, thoughts, and emotions in my mind and putting them all down on a piece of paper helps make sense of everything.

These are just a few tips you can use to start your year off right, and if you have any more you would like to share leave them in the comments below.

Wishing you a beautiful new year.


Jazlyn Vy