I know that many of us were hoping to make this holiday season feel that much more wonderful, to push through the overwhelming feelings caused by the pandemic-fuelled fatigue, to finally usher-in more festive feelings and make beautiful memories with all of our loved ones well into the new year and beyond. Yet here we are again: another resurgence and reminder that the pandemic is far from over. Another dashed Christmas, season of gatherings and festivities with family and friends.
And just when we had a flitting taste of how nice it felt to get out and about: back to work, school, restaurants, travel and friends! After all, to want to get on with our lives is normal! Yet here we are, forced to retreat once more, and so many of us are finding it tough to see the light. Just when we thought we were somewhat done with uncertainty, this new variant now casts its shadow with its unprecedented community spread, blurring our resilience in its wake. Surprise! Particularly at a time in history when people are already feeling more anxious than before. And, in spite of it being “the most wonderful time of the year”, the mere thought of reaching out to friends leaves many of us feeling blah, unmotivated and fed up. Tell me, are we “languishing” yet?
After living in a pandemic for so long, our morale is indeed low. Recovery feels difficult. I often think of the healthcare workers trying to function under this unrelenting strain…omg, how do they even do it? Under normal circumstances, the holidays can be a stressful time. Today, even more-so for those who are also feeling financially-squeezed or tapped out. Like many attest, we have been locked down, smacked down and batted around. And as the pandemic marches into its third year, practicing self care feels somewhat morally suspect - closer to a comfortable betrayal by now. I’ll have another glass of wine instead, thank you:-) Mourning our bygone lives and living in prolonged uncertainty with no end in sight will do that to a human being. Without a doubt, things can be a million times worse but feeling this way is normal. We are lonely and tired and many of us are grieving. So, please know that you are not alone.
It’s important to remember that everyone grieves differently. Sometimes anger is grief. Sometimes quiet is grief. It’s okay to feel defeated or sad or exhausted sometimes. To have trouble concentrating. To go through the motions. To not be productive. To find it difficult to keep our chins up, keep calm and carry on. To mourn or “just be” is truly okay. As long as it’s some of the time and not all of the time. Whatever you do, don’t tumble down a dark rabbit hole…that’s unless you stumble while running wild and free in the woods, enjoying your daily exercise with Mother Nature- this alone can help reduce stress and ward-off depression. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not feeling festive but do pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Recognizing how you are feeling can help you emerge from the pandemic abyss. Creating a safe space for those feelings even more-so. Reaching out to supportive people can help us tell our stories, even reframe things in a more positive way; to put things in perspective, and even find solace through others, knowing they are feeling the same way. In essence, Hope is about knowing that we are not totally alone. Let’s always keep this in mind. By reaching out, we can connect more compassionately on our sense of collective grief. And, there’s always tangible hope in that.
Wishing you Peace* Hope* Love this holiday season,
Hi, I'm Lydia- a modern-day warrior of the heart with a mission to reconcile the mystery and mastery of Love.