It seems like just yesterday that we were running to the stores in search of toilet paper and hand sanitizer in a frenzy of being told we were all going to be staying home for the next two weeks. It’s kind of interesting now looking back, isn’t it? Two weeks? We’ve officially crossed the one-year mark and globally most of the world is still in some version of a lockdown.
There is finally a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel and I see people racing towards it with smiles plastered on their faces. As vaccines roll out the world over and restrictions steadily lift a little bit here and a little bit there, many of us are trying to envision what life will be like again.
In order to help you prepare for the possibilities ahead, I’ve compiled a list of three ways to let go and three ways to move forward.
- Journal: This is a powerful way to enhance cognitive function (thoughts), process emotions (feelings), improve memory, and grieve. Write a list of all that you lost during the pandemic and how it made you feel. Be raw. Be honest. Let it all out onto the page in a stream of consciousness. It may be difficult, but this is important.
- Meditate: Take 3-10 minutes a day to sit and meditate. This will help you to tune into yourself and help you reflect and gain awareness of your emotions, as you process your loss and move through it. If you are new to meditation, try a guided app such as Headspace or Calm.
- Gratitude: Practice gratitude every day. Start by noticing three specific things from that day. It can be as simple as having the ability to take a walk outside, having a warm meal, or a chat with a friend. When we force ourselves to look for the little silver linings, it can help us to grieve a loss and still appreciate what we have. It is said that what we appreciate, appreciates!
Three ways to move forward
- Dream: You don’t have to make solid plans for anything at the moment, just begin to think about what you want to do in a post-pandemic world. Do you want to travel to someplace new? Do you want to see your family? Relax outdoors with friends without distancing? Maybe you miss dance class or Pilates. There is no wrong answer. Allow yourself to dream; this is a form of manifesting your own happiness.
- Re-enter the world slowly: Take precautions, but start to release any fears that you have. Trust that it is okay to do things in baby steps, adhering to guidelines. If indoor dining is open in your area and you haven’t eaten anywhere but your apartment for the past year, make a reservation. Go by yourself or with a friend. Take a gym class outdoors. Start to ease back into the things you used to do. It’s like learning to walk before you can run.
- Know your limits: Each of us will have our own pacing and approach to getting back into the world. Know what yours are and have boundaries set in place for yourself. If something is too much too soon, it’s okay to say no to plans and take it slow. We’re all in this together.
I am so happy that there is a lot of hope on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean things are easy. If you are dealing with stress, anxiety, loss, or anything of the sort, we are here to help. Reach out today to book an online therapy appointment.