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 our mental health will be perfect. It doesn’t mean suddenly all our demons from 2020 are left behind. However, it does mean a few things…
It means we will be living in the same year as when vaccines are widely distributed. Consequently, we can reunite with loved ones we distanced from for the past year in fear for their safety.
It means many projects and endeavors we put on hold during the pandemic can be revisited and explored again. Additionally, we might experience a bit less anxiety going into schools, grocery stores, or other crowded buildings. And we might finally get a rescheduled date for that concert ticket you’ve been holding onto for a postponed tour. Likewise, your cousin may be able to have her dream wedding. You know, the one with all of her loved ones in attendance.
For most, 2020 was challenging for many reasons.
This entire year has been about hunkering down and lowering expectations for when things will finally get better. We did just enough to survive and get by “for now.”
When you look back on 2020, my hope is we don’t dwell on what this year confined us in temporarily. Instead, we should focus on whatever our accomplishments were,,, even if that meant just meeting our basic needs. Especially, since those accomplishments happened 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.