2021 has been a year during which we have all been reminded of the importance of well-being and resilience in our lives. Times of adversity and challenge can teach us a lot about ourselves and what we need to thrive. Here are seven lessons we hope can help you make 2022 a year of meaning, purpose, connection and joy.

Human connection is the key to our hybrid future

Whether we’re back in the office, working from home, or doing some combination of those, fostering human connection is essential — in companies, in teams, and in our own lives. Close relationships are the single biggest factor in our happiness — more than money, fame and other outward forms of success. While technology allows us to virtually connect in our hybrid world, it’s human connection that allows us to thrive.

I’m sorry, but we need to stop saying “I’m sorry” all the time

Apologizing is part of our very human instinct to seek acceptance and belonging. There’s nothing wrong with it — when it’s appropriate. But over-apologizing weakens the sentiment when it’s actually warranted. It also makes us appear less confident, which can in turn make us less confident. There are going to be plenty of times when we really do need to apologize in 2022, so let’s not be sorry about maintaining the power of such an important tool by not overusing it.

We need to build in time for recovery, not just on our vacations, but between vacations

Many people in 2021 have spoken of their need to “escape” from the stressful or burned-out lives they were leading. Why don’t we put more of our time and energy into designing the sustainable life we want, instead of accepting one we need to escape from.

A sustainable life requires a sustainable relationship with technology

A great place to start is getting rid of reply-all emails. We need to create a more mindful relationship with technology. The goal is to make conscious rather than unconscious choices about what to do with our time and attention.

Bringing our whole selves to work means accepting — and not avoiding — our emotions

2021 was a year in which the line between our work lives and our home lives blurred more than ever. It’s been a time when we’ve been most in need of our humanity, much of which is defined by our emotions. Let 2022 be a year in which we create a more human centred workplace by accepting our emotions and practicing compassion for others to do the same. We’ll all be better for it, and our workplaces will be, too. 

We can’t practice self-care without self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is essential to self-care and our overall well-being. If we can’t accept ourselves, our well-being is going to suffer, regardless of how diligent we are about our other physical and mental health practices.

Don’t let well-being become just another item on our to-do lists

2021 was a big year for well-being. But one trend was that well-being can become just another stress-inducing task we feel guilty about. The whole point of bringing more well-being into our lives is to lower our stress, not add to it. Well-being shouldn’t be a benchmark but a mindset, something we design into our day. As we start the new year, define well-being in a way that works for you.