This has been a recurring theme for my clients (and myself) this year.
1) You're managing an unfolding situation with omicron that remains uncertain. This taxes our mental energy.
2) Our mental and physical reserves are lower than pre-pandemic times, so it’s easier for circumstances and events to tip us over into stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.
3) The groundhog-day feeling of lockdowns and school/daycare closures is triggering recollections of early pandemic stress. We can quickly revert to those early feelings of helplessness and fear, even though the realities of this recent variant and our protections are very different.
4) We often have a boost of energy at the start of a new year that feels fresh and full of potential. This new year feels like more of the same and is disappointing.
There is a lot we can do to counteract these circumstances. First, remember that all of this is temporary. This variant will pass, we will manage, and three months from now, things will feel different.
Second, gratitude and feelings of awe are protective and build our resilience. Try each day to focus on a source of gratitude and feel that deeply. It can be as small as the fact that your pinkie finger works well and has no pain, to as vast as gratitude for sunshine. Awe is available to us in the everyday miracles of nature, our bodies, and the world around us.
Remember what you have managed and overcome already in this pandemic. You have extraordinary strengths and capabilities. Name three of your strengths right now. How are you using them now, and how will they serve you throughout in 2022?
Finally, self-compassion for many of us is an under-used power source. Allow yourself to experience the warmth and care of self-compassion, and self-talk that sounds like: “I am doing my best.” “This is hard, and it’s okay to feel upset.” “I am entitled to rest and care.” “I am loved and valued.”
You will once again experience motivation and excitement and possibility. In the meantime, if you need support: reach out!