17 Dec REDiscover Final Thoughts: 2020 REDflections
Written by, Christine Chanel
Last year once the clock struck midnight, the sounds of champagne bottles popping filled our ears. We were gathered with friends and loved ones as people cheered, celebrating ringing in a new year and a new start. Little did we know what would be soon coming our way. COVID. Let’s rediscover the final thoughts of 2020 and remember what we have to be grateful for.
Instead of continuous positive momentum, this year has presented challenge after challenge. As a matter of fact, 2020 has had some of us feeling like we’ve been living inside a real-life horror/action/thriller/comedy movie (that’s a new genre of film, right?). To others, it’s been a complete dumpster fire. 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions, but it’s not too late to REDflect on what matters most to you—what you have to be truly grateful for.
Acknowledging Mental Health
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. Whether you have lost your income, or you are simply just missing your friends and family.
CDC studies show that mental health has increasingly declined since the start of the pandemic back in March, and sadly, it may not improve anytime soon. Communities, with little resources, have faced many mental health challenges related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It has been an extremely impactful year for mental health. The pandemic—substance abuse, anxiety, depression, seasonal depression, trauma, and stressor-related disorder symptoms have been at an all-time high. If you have experienced anything along those lines, you’re certainly not alone.
Evaluate Your Year
While it may be a hard topic to think about, it is still important to look back on this year as a whole and think about all that you’ve accomplished. Physically, mentally or personally. There is no right answer when it comes to this. We’ve been through a lot—sometimes just getting out of bed is considered a win. In addition to those reflections, re-connect with your tribe. Discuss the year as a whole, or reflect back on those first funny Zoom meetings that we all once upon a time looked forward to. What did 2020 make you feel grateful for? Without a doubt, we’ve all learned some lessons this year in 2020—speaking about our experiences is all we’ve got to keep us going.
Set Realistic Goals
Take a moment. Remind yourself of the goals you wished to accomplish in 2020—if you’re like most people, most of those goals likely were not successful. And, no, it’s not your fault. This year has been extremely difficult and nearly impossible to hit those goals we all once had our hearts set on. Now let’s transfer them to next year. What would you like to accomplish as we move into the future? Of course, there is no way to know if the pandemic will continue to affect the future—but, we’ve got to be hopeful. Where would you like to see yourself this time next year? Reflecting on your goals will keep your mind motivated, although, it is important to keep it realistic and acknowledge the reality that we are not out of the deep end quite yet.
REDiscover Final Thoughts and Yourself
The holidays are a perfect time for self-evaluation, while also practicing self-love. Now is the time to set a self-care goal for the new year, and fortunately there are many ways to achieve this.
- Join self-care programs, or seek a support group
- Exercise daily
- Reduce caffeine
- Explore tea
- Eat the rainbow (veggies!)
- Go outside
- Reduce sugar
- Relax with your favorite show or podcast
- Take a moment of self-indulgence
It may sound silly, but taking a moment to enjoy a little indulgence could make or break your entire day. Chocolate has been there through our times of celebration and also our times of sadness, from our birthday parties to our anniversary dinners, our childhood to our old age. Chocolate research continues to reveal health benefits all the time—and, the experts have a lot to say about our favorite sweet treat. Chocolate is beneficial magic that we still have a lot to learn from.
In these uneasy times, if one thing is important; it’s taking the appropriate steps to love yourself.
Give yourself some love when your body needs it.
Pause and take a deep breath. Safely immerse yourself in nature. Reach out to loved ones. Take a break from social media—lose yourself in a moment of bliss.
A review published in the May 2017 edition of Frontiers in Nutrition analyzed the evidence that flavanols, found in dark chocolate and cocoa may be beneficial to mental health.
Flavanols are part of a distinct sub-group amongst flavonoids. They are typically in foods such as apples, grapes, red wine, and cocoa and when we consume them they are thought to be a helpful antioxidant that can help with our blood pressure, skin, and overall well-being if consumed in proper moderation.
Cacao flavanols may help our brains in various ways—improving blood flow and improving insulin sensitivity to the brain. Chocolate contains a number of psychoactive ingredients that produce those feelings of glee that we all know and love. This delicious food also contains Phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that is believed to play a role in enhancing people’s moods and thoughts.
The bottom line is that dark chocolate does reign supreme with a higher concentration of flavonoids—Most chocolate is chocolate for the soul.
It Gets Better
2020 has been quite the year of uncertainty. We’ve still got a lot of time left. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold us in its grip, this new way of life has a lot of us feeling down or even downright hopeless due to the many factors at stake. Chocolate for the soul may be exactly what you need.
In a time where forced inactivity is completely unavoidable—it can be a struggle to find positivity in these trying times. Whether it be from the cabin fever, facing challenging financial issues, or simply just feeling the stressful tension in your local grocery store—the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and insomnia are at an all-time high.
The stressors of the health risk that the pandemic presents while combined with social isolation, inability to access normal daily activities, or even facing that dreaded conversation with the kids about how vacation has been canceled has put all of us on edge — these issues may be especially challenging for those who already experience mental health conditions.
Stress can surface in many different forms both physically and mentally.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feelings of being overwhelmed by events or social situations.
- Negative visions.
- Feelings of sadness, anger, instability, etc.
- Increased use of substances.
- Headaches, neck tension, aches, and pains, etc.
- Lower energy.
Take a break. Breathe. Taste. REDiscover final thoughts of 2020. REDflect on what you have to be grateful for.
RED is crafted with all-natural sweeteners derived from melons all while delivering buttery, creamy flavor without the added refined sugar. 40% less fat, and 35% fewer calories than other leading chocolates. RED is low carb, reduced calorie, reduced fat, gluten-free, Kosher certified, and vegetarian. RED is also Weight Watchers, Whole30, Keto, and Atkins friendly.