2020 has been a YEAR to say the least! I don't remember the last time I experienced so many emotions, so much uncertainty and anxiety over the state of the world (and the state of my own life) in such a concentrated period of time.
I definitely had a phase during this pandemic of coping by shutting out the outside world, numbing myself with lots of Netflix, lots of wine, and lots of cookies. Who can relate?
To be honest, I don't regret any of it. But I was rudderless and knew that while the world pressed pause on how we lived our everyday lives, I couldn't persist in that state without suffering the consequences to my body, mood, priorities and connection to a higher power.
After I accepted that we are going to be here for a while, existing in the seeming alternate reality that is this year, I knew I had to make some changes to make sure I'm not pressing pause on what is truly important to me. Here is how I pulled myself out of my malaise and recommitted to myself:
Seeing the gifts within my circumstance - It's funny that before the pandemic I wished so badly that I had the time to go on a long intensive retreat where I had tons of time to reflect and be with my thoughts. Welp I didn't want my dreams to be fulfilled by a quarantine, but I decided to give myself the ME time I always wanted and be intentional about doing the inner work I've wanted more time to do. This work has been incredibly healing for me and helped me feel more self-love, and feel more whole and complete with who I am. What a gift! Are there hidden opportunities in the circumstances in your life right now in which you can find the silver lining? Can you see the opportunity in whatever is challenging you?
Getting realistic and resourceful with my goals - We all saw goals we had for the year get canceled during the pandemic. So while some of my dreamed-about goals are completely off the table for the moment, I have pivoted many goals to ones that are possible to execute, while also still giving me a sense of momentum and progress. For instance, the way I work out now is completely different because it's gotta get done one way or another! And a goal I had walking into 2020 was to network a ton in Chicago to get more engaged with the wellness community in my home city. Because we're not gathering I've leaned into networking virtually, which I was pretty uncomfortable with initially tbh. But I'm so glad I pushed through that. The new relationships I've initiated as a result have crossed geographic borders, and they have been fruitful both personally and professionally. How can you adjust your current goals to be realistic in the context you're in while also getting you closer to where you want to be?
Making plans I can look forward to - Having something to get excited about has made a big difference when time doesn't seem to exist and each day kind of feels the same. This is where creating fun, joy, pleasure comes in. These plans should not feel like another thing you HAVE to do, but something that you GET to do. For me, these plans have ranged from having a night of spooky movies/shows and my favorite candy to watch on Halloween (which I was really bummed to miss out on this year), to a virtual game night playing Actually Curious with my family, to a nature hike, to classes to learn something new (DIY candles anyone?). What mini-celebrations can you plan for your favorite occasions? What is something you always wanted to learn but never had the time too? What are activities you had fun with as a child that you stopped doing as an adult? What are new ways you can explore pleasure that you haven't tried out before? If there is any time for experimenting to see what can make you your happiest, the time is now. Pick something and make a date with yourself or with others.
Keeping my vision in sight - My dreams and yours still matter. The life we aspire to maintain or attain still matters. Even though we may feel discouraged or even depressed by what's happening to us and in the world at large, it's important to not lose sight of the vision for what we want in our lives. Delays or setbacks don't mean that your vision is not still achievable. People are starting new businesses or changing their business models, reinventing themselves, and creating things that never existed before; shifting their lives in a positive direction despite the odds. When I'm in a funk I meditate by visualizing what I ultimately want for my life. Imagining myself in that space and what it feels like to be there gives me the extra dose of energy and optimism I need to keep going. I seek out inspiring stories of other women to expand my view of what is possible for me (I mean, have you heard of Cardi B??). Set aside time to meditate on your vision and feel your way through it. Then find others out there who have shifted their lives to something amazing to believe it's still possible for you.
Giving myself grace and lots of rest - I'm not always going to be in the mood to make lemonade out of lemons, and that's ok. Sometimes I need to be in my feelings, then get over it and move on. And sometimes I just really need a nap, and that's ok too. This year has been jarring for our nervous system (and physical health for some). Self-compassion and rest are some of the best things we can give ourselves in a time of collective chaos. Are you letting yourself rest when you're tired physically, mentally or emotionally? Are you being compassionate with yourself when you haven't done all the things you think you should have?
More than ever I've heard the universe tell me loud and clear that nothing changes until I change. It starts with me, a decision and then a commitment that I keep. Are you ready to make a shift in your life going into the new year? Are you committed to making the most of where you're at and making some magic happen?