We endured a hellish year, and for 2021, it's time to step up, get off our butts, and collectively resolve to be better as a city. And we will do that by being better individuals that comprise that city. Like bats that swirl to give their friends free lift out of caves, we're going to do this for each other.

So what is that resolution? You probably think I'm going to call you a trash bag and diss our hometown. Nope, not today, not this year. 2021 is the year we all resolve to take better care of our mental health.

Even if you're a well-adjusted, easy-going person, there's always room for improvement in this area. It does take some work, but I know you can do it. Work2beWell from Covenant is a great place to start. but I also have some really easy, reasonable suggestions as well:

1. Get enough sleep. I know this one is difficult. But put down the screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Read a book to help you relax. When you close your eyes, let your first thought be "I am not here" so you are unfettered to any worries or obligations or cares that may happen tomorrow. Instead, imagine yourself someplace beautiful, and peaceful. It takes some practice, but it works wonders.

2. Get a planner. Seriously, if you have anxiety this is the first thing you should try. Making to-do lists allows you to stop obsessively thinking about your obligations. A planner is just a year-long series of to-do lists. It's also a great way to track your personal goals.

3. Reject 'Diet Culture.' This is much easier said than done, especially for yours truly. Diet culture is unconcerned with your health or happiness. Its only concern is causing a problem so it can sell you a solution. Want to eat healthier, exercise, and get more fit? Do it! But yeet that guilt, those corny fake products and quite possibly that scale right into the heart of the sun. You are so much more beautiful than any photoshopped fantasy could ever be.

4. Do something for yourself, every day. For me, it's a walk with my dog around the neighborhood, creeping around for "For Sale" signs. Or maybe a nice slow, stretchy 30 minutes of yoga. Or even just setting aside time to really dork out on something (lately its been youtube videos about Tudor England, I have no idea why). This is called "self-care" and you gotta do it. It might be a bubble bath or a beer alone in the garage. But figure out what those relaxing, simple, pleasurable things are for you and do some or all of them daily.

5. Remember that you are loved. I am not an especially religious person, but I do believe that I exist in this universe for a reason, and I believe that reason is to love people. “For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.”

You are loved. You are the result of eons of events, the explosion of stars, an army on ancestors, and that makes you pure magic. How stunning that you exist, how gorgeous a creature you are. Don't ever forget it. You are loved.

Happy NYE to all of you. Make this next year amazing.

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