A new year…renewed hope!

I think the resolution for all of us this New Year 2021 is to be OPTIMISTIC!

This past year has been one of many global changes, many inconveniences, many disappointments, many challenges, many businesses lost, many people lost, many months without seeing friends and family, no travel, stress on the health care system and the front line workers……and the list goes on.

With the recent beginnings of vaccination around the globe against Covid-19 we must all hope and pray that a new day has dawned.


“A time to tear down and a time to build up.” – Ecclesiastes

Many would agree that 2020 has been the worst year in our lives.

We have suffered as a society this past year with many lives lost to Covid. We had protests in the large cities around the globe in support of the unjust treatment of people of colour. We were mandated to “social distance” from all people except those in our immediate household. Many small businesses and large corporations could not hold on through the lock downs. There were devastating wildfires in the mix. And to top that off, the US election has added much division in that country, which affects all of us indirectly.

“Optimism” – is an attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable and desirable.

Being optimistic is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation.

We all need to practice optimism as this new year begins.

It has been proven that those people in the world with an optimistic outlook on life have better immunity and heart health, and are just plain happier. Optimistic people approach hardship in a positive way, and because of their upbeat outlook they have reduced anxiety and depression, have stronger relationships with those around them, and are better able to cope with life’s stressors. This positive mental attitude lowers the harmful effects stress takes on the human body.

I live with one such person. My partner, Paul, is one of the most optimistic people I have had the great pleasure of being in close with. We have been together for 30 years and his optimism has affected me in profound ways. I am definitely more optimistic then I use to be and I know it is because his approach to life has rubbed off on me. Paul sees other people and events around him in a very positive light. He has that “glass half full” approach. I am grateful for his influence on my optimism.

Looking on the bright side has real health benefits….it’s true. I can vouch for that. Losing my ability to be as active as I once was should have put me into a dark place. But practicing gratitude and recognizing the blessings in my life has given me a resilience against the negatives associated with my Multiple Sclerosis. I believe that if we all try to find the bright side of Covid-19 and this past years negativism, we will collectively reflect optimism to the world at large.

I know it’s not easy to find the “bright side” of Covid-19 but here are a few points that may give you food for thought.

  • Life has slowed down. It was going way to fast and furious. We are in our homes….our safe havens….able to read that book we never had time for, or clean out that spare bedroom closet or basement storage that we never had time for. We are cooking more and baking more. We are sitting at the kitchen table sharing concentrated time with our loved ones….instead of grabbing a snack and running out the door to our kids sporting events. Life has definitely slowed down. It’s a good time to learn self care, meditation, a home hobby, and enjoy more one on one time with those in your household.
  • Covid-19 has given us the opportunity to reflect. Our lives were full of things we took for granted. Our routines have been altered. This was uncomfortable in the beginning but now that it has been a year we have learned to do things differently, like working from home, teaching children from home, cooking from scratch instead of dining out, exercising in our living rooms instead of the high-tech gym. So many changes have come to the top that you may want to continue with long after the pandemic is over.
  • We have changed the way business is being done with “zoom” meetings and working from home. Many old “systems” had to change and things can get accomplished without flying to a business meeting on the other side of the country. Businesses have innovated to meet the needs.
  • Being a “global” crisis, it has affected everyone. We have adapted to new ways of staying connected to people, to helping people and keeping our families safe.
  • The environment has benefited big time from this shutdown. Industries are closed or working below the norms. There aren’t as many cars on the roads spewing exhaust and not as many airplanes polluting the air. It is a fact that pollution has markedly reduced since the global shutdown. Our planet is getting a blast of fresh air.

So you see, there is a bright side.

Think happy thoughts. What you focus on is what becomes prominent in your mind.

Turn negatives to positives. Rather than focus on being “stuck” at home, look at it as a great day to enjoy “reading”…..as an example.

Remove yourself from the company of negative people. Emotions are contagious. If you are constantly hearing negativity from those around you, then you may start to hang out on the dark side with them. Not good.

Don’t watch too much news. That’s a downer and can wreak havoc on your optimism.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Be more mindful. Live for the present moment rather than dwelling on what happened yesterday or stressing over what may happen tomorrow.

I hope you can see ways to become a positive light in the days and months ahead.

So as we enter 2021, optimism should be our goal for this year.


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