Typically the anticipation of a new year is full of excitement and positive energy. It’s a time of new beginnings and people’s commitment to making changes. We look back on the previous year and take inventory of what lessons we learned and how we want to move forward. People feel hope and rejuvenation.
How do you feel at the start of this new year? Asking you that today might even illicit a different response than asking you on January 1st. Most likely this year felt different. We’re still in a global pandemic and we are a politically divided country. It is exhausting. For many people the start of 2021 was filled with dread rather than with hope. For some there was a mixture of both as they know of people getting the coronavirus vaccine and feel optimistic that we’re on the way to better days.
To everyone reading this, congrats on surviving 2020. You survived either some or all of the following: a global pandemic, working from home, homeschooling children, anxiety about getting sick, lost someone, a deeply divided presidential election, fear about having to go into work because you’re an essential worker, loss of socialization in person with friends and family, financial hardship, lack of personal space because you live with other people and are all home together all the time, and loneliness. These are just some of the complications that 2020 brought with it. In my opinion, surviving 2020 means you’re thriving. This has been a year like no other and you’re still getting by, even if it’s just hanging on by a single thread, it counts. Please stop and give yourself some credit. Use the start of the new year to see just how much you managed over the last year. At the drop of a hat, life changed dramatically and is still throwing everyone curveballs. Instead of making new year’s resolutions this year commit to continue doing what you’re doing: surviving.
As much as we want to process what’s going on, the truth is that we cannot fully process what has been happening while we’re still in it. It will take energy. It will take therapy. It will take support. It will take kindness and compassion for ourselves. And when we’re on the other side of this, whatever that other side looks like, you’ll have to give yourself the time to process. Until then give yourself credit for all the things you never imagined that you would have to accomplish but have.