IT'S been 10 days since the Hunter rang in the start of 2021, but there's been no reprieve from many problems plaguing the world.
COVID-19 didn't disappear, borders didn't reopen and families weren't reunited.
Clinical psychologist and University of Newcastle Associate Professor Lynne McCormack said many people would have seen things they weren't able to do in 2020 move further beyond reach.
"It's just the next day really, isn't it," Associate Professor McCormack said of heightened hopes for the new year.
"A Swedish colleague and I were talking about the Spanish flu and how long it lasted, and how many waves it went through before it finally died out, and that went on for four years.
"So in my mind I'm thinking we probably need to learn how to have, not resilience, but stickability, because there's no quick fix.
"We haven't got the longevity studies about how people cope with these sorts of things yet, so I suppose we can only reflect on other times in history where people had tenacity and were able to put one foot in front of the other daily."
Associate Professor McCormack said there was a range of responses to COVID-19.
Some people became ill, lost loved ones or jobs, while others relished having more time to themselves or to strengthen relationships.
But almost everyone experienced some sort of upheaval.
"There's grief in losing what we knew to be a way of life, there's a grief in losing choices, I think that's been one of the big challenges for people, a lot of choices have been taken away from us," she said.
"I suppose this is where acceptance comes in for a lot of us, we've lived in a time over this last generation in which people could think the impossible and do the impossible, when now there are so many boundaries around what we can do now.
"It's like stepping back in time when such choices weren't there for our parents and grandparents and having a contented life that revolved around where they settled... and I suppose for some people that is very hard."
She said while it was normal for people to be upset about not being able to do things in the way or timeframe they wanted, it could be helpful to focus on what they could control.
"For example we can't get on a plane and plan a holiday and go overseas in the same way... but that doesn't mean I can't have a holiday or enjoy life or do fun things - it's that curiosity and exploration of resources that we have within us, that perhaps we didn't have time to think about or challenge ourselves to develop in the past," she said.
"I think individuals have to find their own way of 'If this is not what I can do, how do I redefine my life in a way that gives me contentment, that gives me joy, that helps me share and engage with people I care about in a way that can be fun?'"
Associate Professor McCormack said many may find it useful to try to live in the moment.
"Instead of that 'Oh I'm going to go on that holiday in three months', that projected happiness, living in the moment is not going looking for hedonistic things to bring us happiness," she said.
"It's 'forget that, what is there today I can do, how can I smell the roses and the flowers today, what can I enjoy in my very environment today', because we don't know we've got tomorrow.
"It's about being able to take a deep breath, be in the moment and just go with what is for now, and what is for now can be exciting if people actually go 'You know what, I've never tried that, I'm going to go horse riding today' or 'I'm going to sit and read a book today'.
"Contentment for the here and the now... instead of always looking to the future to bring us happiness."
For those who want to plan, she said, it was still possible amidst uncertainty to set small and realistic goals.
"If you only have one egg in the basket you're going to be disappointed if something happens to that egg," she said.
"But if you have several eggs in, they might not be the first choice, but they might be the second and third.
"We should be like that anyway because life can be unpredictable, but I think in times like this it's even more important people have contingency plans that are also possible."
She said COVID-19 had made people more adaptable in the ways we live, work and communicate and helped us innovate, create and learn things we didn't think were possible.
She said adversity could lead to growth, in personal direction, valuing of relationships and existential thinking.
"Gratitude and empathy and kindness, these are all domains of psychological growth that usually come about after some sort of traumatic or confronting event," she said.
"People then start to reflect on the adversity and then redefine the way they live their lives."
It's called purposeful rumination.
"People start to purposely ruminate about how come this has happened, why did this happen, how come this happened to me and how do I take this and build it into my life story and move forward with it in a way that helps rebuild my life in a positive way," she said.
"One of the great things about adversity is that it often brings with it a life journey path that we would not have planned for ourselves had the adversity not happened.
"We learn from these experiences if we open ourselves to that... we learn little from the good things that happen to us and we learn a great deal when adversity happens to us."