There are times when life feels overwhelming, scary, or uncertain. In times such as these, you may ask yourself, “How am I going to get through this?”.
If you’re feeling a bit helpless this year, you can reflect on how you got through past experiences to help you move forward with hope this year. While the past may be different from what you’re facing now, it can be beneficial to consider new skills and strengths you may have acquired from other situations. Reflecting on events from the last two years of the pandemic can be one place to start.
Consider the attributes that you have:
You are resilient.
Resilience, by definition, emphasizes our ability to recover from setbacks. Over the past few years, nearly all of us have experienced some setbacks, whether a change of plans, health, job, finances, or something else.
Even if you could go back and change the way that you responded to a setback, the fact is, you’re resilient. You’ve pushed through and made it this far. Along with resiliency, the setbacks you’ve encountered have given you more knowledge and experience, making you even more equipped to handle future setbacks.
You have wisdom from past mistakes.
We’ve all made mistakes. While they’re never fun to make, any mistakes that you’ve made or watched others make have become great learning opportunities. From them, you’ve gained wisdom so that you can appropriately respond and move forward.
You can adapt.
You adapted when your plans changed, and routines got disrupted. Whether trying to coordinate working from home and virtual school or adjusting plans and holiday traditions for social distancing, your ability to adapt helped you get through it.
You have the ability.
You have core competencies that have helped you through past challenges and will help you through any current or future obstacles. Consider the resources that you have inside of you. Problem-solving, creativity, and perseverance are all examples of attributes you may have that can help you move forward and persevere.
You have the power to choose how to move forward:
Although you cannot control all situations, you CAN control how you respond and move forward. No one and no situation can take that away from you. Life may throw some curveballs, but you have the power to get through them.
Here are some ways to help you stay balanced so you can effectively manage any situation:
Be kind to yourself.
Part of being kind to yourself is having self-compassion, which means non-judgmentally accepting yourself and your feelings. Don’t be discouraged or upset with yourself if you feel sad, worried, or angry. These are normal feelings. You can help counter these emotions with unconditional love, understanding, and acceptance for yourself.
It’s important to regularly practice self-care and to make an intentional effort to do things that make you feel happy. Self-care may include:
- Ensuring a healthy work/life balance
- Practicing relaxing and meditating
- Journaling feelings
- Exercising (choosing a form that you enjoy)
- Not saying “yes” when you really want to say “no” (don’t overcommit)
Finally, please know that you’re not alone. There are people in this world who want to help you. It’s important to reach out to family, friends, community resources, or a mental health professional if you feel overwhelmed, helpless or discouraged.
For more information on ways to move forward with hope, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
Danielle Matthew is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who helps adolescents, adults, couples, and families who are in pain due to issues such as anxiety, severe stress, low self-esteem, or depression.
With over 20 years of experience and as the founder The Empowerment Space, Danielle also treats bully victims and their families and educates schools, medical professionals, and the community about the bullying epidemic. Danielle frequently writes about various bullying topics on The Empowerment Space blog.