Reflections for the New Year
Irene Gonzalez, LSW
The beginning of the new year often has us looking back at what we “could have” and “should have” done throughout the year. We tend to look back on the end of the year as a way to reflect on what we could have done better to prevent us or ease us from experiencing the challenges we faced throughout the year. As we reflect on society entering the pandemics 3rd year, consider looking at your approach to your past challenges and personal experiences to help nurture you to become more resilient, for yourself and your loved ones.
What is Resilience? Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and adapt to difficult personal or life events. When reflecting, consider the following questions:
How were you able to pull through the challenges you faced? Were you able to lean on friends, family, colleagues, church or spiritual leaders or community groups for additional support? Thinking back, were you able to have the strength to reach out to anyone to share your experience?
How were you able to practice self-care or “me time” when pushed to your limit? Knowing your limit and being self-aware can relieve physical and mental anguish. Reach out to loved ones, friends, neighbors to help aid you in cultivating self care strategies. If unable to leave your home, set time aside during the quietest time of day to do what you love best or do nothing at all.
Experiencing loss through the pandemic (related or unrelated) can leave an overwhelming sense of grief and doubt. Grief helps us acknowledge what was once lost so that we don't forget what should be remembered. Practicing self-care strategies to channel our grief can aid in resiliency.
Some strategies can include:
Cultivating creativity (writing/journaling, crafting, scrapbooking, painting, dancing, playing music).
Cultivating spirituality (Meditating, yoga, prayer, exploring other cultures/religions).
Nature therapy, gardening, going on walks.
Honoring the loss of a loved one in your own personal form/way.
Rest (taking time “away” from demanding responsibilities).
As you reflect on the past year and how it has shaped you, consider these strategies to help build resilience and guide you through the New Year.