I think we can all agree that 2020 was a year for the record books. I’ll put this in sleep consultant speak: dreams came true, nightmares were realized – it was a year of chaos and uncertainty (and I’m not just referring to sleep training toddlers). Because of this, I’m sure more people than ever committed themselves to New Year resolutions, determined to flip the script on what has become known as a dumpster fire year.
Now that we’re a month into 2021, how is the progress on your resolutions? If you’re struggling, consider changing strategies and adopting one of these resolutions:
Let’s deem 2021 the year of the pants. If you’re cracking a smile, then you’re my target audience here. You know who you are – all business on top, pajama party on the bottom. And while I, personally, have never conducted a sleep consulting call without my pants on, I’m pretty sure at least one of my tired parents was half-dressed.
With Zoom now a part of our lexicon, everyone – from students to parents – uses the video conferencing tool to communicate remotely. This has meant getting half-dressed for many professionals, with business attire from the waist up to everything from yoga pants to pajama bottoms from the waist down (and sometimes no pants at all!). For this reason, a top resolution this year will be to wear pants – bonus points for wearing pants without elastic waists!
Okay, this one’s harsh. Maybe set a baby step kind of resolution where you have a time limit to binge-watching your favorite show. So, instead of watching the entire season of The Mandalorian or Bridgerton, try only watching two episodes in a sitting.
If you’re watching The Mandalorian as a family, it’s my duty as a sleep consultant to remind you to turn off the television at least an hour before settling into bed – that goes for both you and your little ones. Healthy sleep habits aren’t just for the kiddos.
Improve juggling skills
If only I was actually referring to tossing items in the air and catching them, one after the other. In this instance, I’m talking about juggling life. You know, working full time – remotely – while staying on top of your children’s virtual schooling; while keeping the house tidy with everyone home all the time; while planning, shopping for, and cooking healthy meals; while getting enough exercise; while sleeping at least eight hours each night; while practicing self-care, all while scheduling time for rest and relaxation. That’s the type of juggling I’m referring to here. And that’s entirely a joke – no need to improve your juggling skills. You’re doing a fantastic job – keep it up!
Work on social skills
If you’ve been following the rules of pandemic engagement, then you’ve not likely had a lot of social time in the last year. Resolve to dust off your social skills this year and plan some outdoor, socially distant get-togethers (that sounds like an oxymoron). Plan a trip somewhere new and explore with your family – state and national parks are great for this. Planning trips or other recreational activities are proven to help mental health, easing anxiety and giving you something positive to look forward to during bleak times (I’m looking at you pandemic quarantine).
If you’re still not ready to plan outings, no worries. Why not schedule Zoom calls with a handful of your closest friends, like a Friday happy hour, or start a Zoom book club? Planning a regular call with friends will help ease the isolation and prevent you from falling off the map.
Get better sleep
Getting more or better sleep is actually a serious resolution and one that many Americans commit to each year. I read that only eight percent of people keep their resolutions each year – that’s less than 10 percent! If your resolution is for the entire family to get better sleep this year, then check out these baby sleep tips. And if you’ve resolved to dedicate yourself to baby sleep training this year, call me. I’m ready to help your family get the healthy sleep they deserve, and I promise to wear pants on our video calls!