When it comes to your mental health and well-being, there’s a lot on the horizon as we near this next year.
When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, it does not mean that suddenly all our demons from 2020 are left behind, but it does mean a few things…
It means we will be living in the same year as when vaccines are widely distributed and we can be reunited with loved ones we may have kept our distance from for the past year, in fear of their safety. It means that many of the projects and endeavors we may have put on hold during the pandemic can be revisited and explored again. It means that we might experience a bit less anxiety going into schools, grocery stores, or other crowded buildings. You might finally get a rescheduled date for that concert ticket you’ve been holding onto for a postponed tour, or your cousin may be able to have her dream wedding with all of her loved ones in attendance.
For most, 2020 was challenging for mental health for many reasons.
This entire year has been about hunkering down, lowering expectations for when things will finally get better, and just doing what you can or need to do to get by. When you look back on 2020, my hope is that we don’t lose sight of what this year confined us in, and that whatever our accomplishments were, even if that means just meeting our basic needs, they were done in spite of that confinement.
Some of us have lost loved ones, more so than any other year. Some of us have lost jobs, livelihoods, and pivotal moments we deserved to experience. Many (most) of us cannot say we exactly thrived this year, but what we did do – is enough. Traditionally we look back on the year and reflect on how far we’ve come, or if we kept to that resolution we made at the beginning, but this was not a traditional year. It was an outlier. You did enough, I promise.
I think it is okay to be optimistic about this coming year, and I say this as someone that has very carefully curbed my anticipation any time I heard the word “vaccine.”
When we look at how mental health, well-being, and overall wellness can dip all the way into crisis, the hope is that after the crisis comes the post-crisis recovery, as we slowly incline toward wellness again after such a harsh decline.
For me, 2020 is our long drawn-out crisis period, and post-crisis recovery is not easy (especially with the trauma many of us now hold due to this pandemic), but I believe we are right at the start of that long staircase back up toward wellness. We are on the final stretch of this marathon. Keep the faith that the world’s longest tunnel does in fact have a light at the end of it too, stay safe, and hold on. We’ve got this.