Embracing Life During Difficult Times
This year, our normal ways of being in the world and in our lives personally have shifted. Now, we are in the throes of the holiday season of a globally difficult year. For many, it has been a year filled with loss, fear, unimaginable challenges, struggle and uncertainty. We’re separated from friends and family, while possibly navigating unexpected grief, deep loneliness and impossible situations.
While the season is generally thought to bring joy, inner warmth, cherished memories and special time with loved ones, that has not always been the case for many. Various familial challenges, loss, grief and struggle can overwhelm the best of intentions, even on a good year.
Here’s the catch. Everything seems to be amplified at this time of year, from tv commercials to the news, year end pressures to realizing self-imposed or outer deadlines. While some are trying to make the holidays special for children, others are dreading the thought of being alone.
We must find the joy that is available to us every single day, regardless of current restrictions or circumstances. Sometimes joy may come in the simplest of forms, like a text from a friend or loved one, witnessing a kind act, seeing someone you love smile, or in comfort from your pet.
It can also be reinvigorating to find new ways to embrace life during difficult times. Some may enjoy starting new healthy habits and traditions. For example, learn to bake a new dessert, buy a new plant to care for and enjoy, or rearrange your room. Start each day intentionally. Incorporate elements of happy traditions or start new. Either way, change what needs to be changed and feel what needs to be felt. Engage in stress management through a nature walk or drive, listen to uplifting music, meditate or move your body. Sometimes it only takes a walk around the block or a drive through nature with music that you enjoy, to shift your mood. A change of scene can do wonders! Take a new route, buy a new kind of tea, or listen to a different genre of music. Thankfully, we have access to friends and loved ones through phone and text. Enjoy social media when it feels good to do so, but manage your time with it so it doesn’t become overwhelming. The same goes for managing your time with others. Maintain feel good boundaries, to manage your own space and moods. It is clear now more than ever, that we need each other in community, and we can show up for each other without diminishing our own reserves. Take care of you first! Remember to pay attention to your own needs and desires and do what you can with what is available to you. Wishing you a healthy and warm holiday.