No matter the circumstances, as long as we have hope, we can survive them. And that is the most difficult thing that I have found during 2020, is that I had no plans, no certainty, nothing to look forward to, and all I was left with were feelings of hopelessness.
But coming into 2021, which is feeling a lot like 2020, the sequel, I needed a mind shift. I needed to find hope in hopeless situations. The pandemic is causing us to do some serious soul searching, it’s taking away the things that make us human, like our connections with other humans, our freedom to roam and explore our worlds.
I have decided that this year, I will try and focus on the silver linings. One thing that the pandemic has given me is the blessing of family time. As a working mom, I very rarely spend a lot of time with my children outside of the weekend, but I was lucky enough to have time with them at home. We were able to do yoga routines, and artwork together, and jump on the trampoline. I have been grateful to be able to watch them grow up and learn, and change as the year wore on.
I have also been granted more time to incorporate more reflective activities into my day. Last year, I started morning pages, which has been a great way to start my day, through journaling. It’s like clearing out my thoughts so that I can focus, and be mindful of the day ahead.
Because of the isolation, and uncertainty of the pandemic, I have suffered quite badly with anxiety and depression, but the silver lining here is that I have more time to practice yoga, and spend more time in meditation, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I was working from the office. And I’ve managed to incorporate these activities into my day so that I do at least 5 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of meditation every day, and these have aided in me being more mindful and remaining in the present.
Activities that really help me out when I feel numb and withdrawn from the world are reading and writing. Writing, particularly, because it’s such a big part of who I am, and because I feel so passionately about writing, and because I feel energized once I have spent some time writing. I have had more time during my day because I am not commuting as much, I have been able to carve out time to write more.
Because I do not need to wake up as early to get to gym, to get home in time for the school run to get to work in time, I have more time in the evenings, and have been able to spend more time reading. Admittedly, when my depression is really bad, I struggle with this, but my workaround for this is to either use audiobooks, or alternatively choose books that I am able to get lost in quite easily.
This year, I want to spend more time on creative pursuits, like writing, and photography, and also to just be in the moment with my kids so more dance parties, and more playtime. And this year, instead of being so isolated, I want to reach out to my friends, because even when I do not feel like surrounding myself with people, I always feel better afterwards.
No matter what you need to do to find your hope in what may seem like a hopeless situation, I encourage you to do it. it doesn’t have to be big. Some days, all it is is getting out of bed, or cooking a meal. Other days, it’s running 5km, or finishing the book you’re reading.
Let’s refocus this year, and find our hope.