'2021 is going to require us to be flexible': Triangle psychiatrist offers advice with moving forward into 2021

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Friday, January 1, 2021
Psychiatrist provides mental health tips as we move into 2021
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A local psychiatrist says it's better to start looking forward to a new year while also embracing the lessons and trials that 2020 has put us through.

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a year that felt like a decade, looking back at 2020 can be a bit overwhelming.

Doctor Mehul Mankad, a psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at Alliance Health, spoke to Eyewitness News about how we can look forward to a new year while embracing the lessons and trials from the previous one.

"The experience that we all had has some similarities, but the reality is that everyone has experienced something slightly different," Mankad said.

An ongoing global pandemic, civil unrest, a tumultuous presidential election, and natural disasters defined a troublesome year. Moving forward, Mankad says 2021 can be a symbolic next chapter for many.

While everyone will approach the new year differently, Mankad says we can slightly adjust our mentality when it comes to resolutions. "You know, with a resolution, you either get it or you don't. But, if you make something a priority, then it's not really about winning or losing. Then, you can take it a bit easier on yourself."

Meanwhile, for those who lost someone or something important to them, Mankad acknowledges there is no one right way to grieve or move forward.

"If it's something that you can process with your friends and family, maybe with your faith community, that's wonderful," Mankad goes on to say that another avenue could be to seek counseling.

As far as a 2021 mindset, the psychiatrist encourages people to be prepared to be flexible. "I think that the year 2021 is going to require us to be flexible in ways that we couldn't dream of in 2020."

Mankad tells Eyewitness News he reached out to his 14-year-old daughter on how she plans to approach the next 365 days. Her daughter and her friends came back with a list:

  • Prioritize mental health
  • Keep faith that things will get better
  • Get good sleep
  • Follow the rules, even though it's hard
  • Don't succumb to peer pressure.

While the fifth point may apply more towards teenagers, Mankad tells ABC 11 that he believes these are all points that we can apply to our own lives.

He also suggests that we evaluate ourselves inward and outward, making sure we prioritize making a positive impact in our community or personal circle.