Jan 11th 2021
Welcome to 2021! New year, fresh start... right? As the global pandemic continues to wrap its icy grip around society, a lot of people are asking themselves what this year will actually look like for them. Plans and dreams have been put on hold indefinitely, families and friends haven't seen each other in months. Confined to their homes, social isolation, anxiety, and depression to name a few have steadily been on the rise. Covid-19 is taking a big toll on people's mental health, and the clock striking midnight on December 31st did not magically erase the difficult reality being faced. Recently, I have heard a lot of people describe that they are living in a state of limbo. They are tolerating their current circumstances, often dissatisfied with many aspects of it, while waiting for life to go back to normal. If you are following the news like many, there is no clear or defined end in sight. So what now?
Whatever you are feeling and experiencing in this moment is completely valid. This drastic lifestyle change has impacted everybody in a different way, and there is no need to compare yourself to others. It is very common for people to downplay their emotions or discomfort by stating that "other people have it worse". Having a job, or being able to afford groceries does not take away your right to be unhappy or sad. I think it is really important to acknowledge the privileges in your life AND allow yourself to feel the negative emotions that have been brought up by the pandemic. In fact, this concept applied long before Covid-19 was a part of our vocabulary. Every human has the right to feel their emotions, regardless of their circumstances. They are yours and nobody has a right to take them away from you or tell you what you "should" feel. Give yourself permission to reflect on your feelings and acknowledge the emotions that arise.
Getting through these uncertain times is challenging to say the least. Take some time this week to do one thing that is comforting to you. Watch a movie in your comfy pajamas, order in your favorite food, enjoy a video with a friend, or snuggle up with your furry companions. Whatever you choose, let it be a gift to yourself rooted in self-compassion. Take a moment to slow down and be kind to yourself. So many people spend so much of their time giving to others - whether it be their job, families, friends, volunteering - that they forget to give back to themselves as well. Let this be the way you start the new year - making yourself a priority and taking care of your needs. Tune into your inner self and access the resources you need to help you move forward on your journey, and remember... you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Jessica Landry, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)