I don’t know about you, but for me walking into 2022 feels like staring down the barrel of 2020 all over again. Hospitals and schools scrambling to juggle every demand, workplaces switching to remote or bumping back the ever-receding “return date”, isolation, anxiety, unpredictability, zoom fatigue, and stress around every corner.
So, what do you do? How do you set intentions for a new year while in a marathon of “unprecedented times”? Slowly, mindfully, and with acceptance.
My answer might annoy some people because after two years of being told to be “mindful” by all the corporations in the world so you’ll be more productive and less stressed is incredibly frustrating. I completely understand that annoyance. But this mindful intention is for you, not for your boss or co-workers. You. In a time of such destabilization, grounding ourselves is critical.
- Slow down – Slowing down can seem impossible as we whirl from one activity to another or make yet another “pivot” to accommodate the pandemic, but grounding works best when we are intentional with the energy we do have.
- Be mindful – The pandemic isn’t going away. The juggle isn’t going away. The best we can do is to control what we can. It is easy to get caught in the churning wheel of anxiety and “what-ifs”. Take time to return to the present and focus on the now. You only have control of the present. Ask yourself: “what can I do to support myself right now, at this moment?”
- Acceptance – I’m not saying you need to accept that life will be this way forever because that’s just not true. Everything changes and your life will continue to change. But, can you accept your feelings? This is hard. Emotions are a natural part of being human. Can you allow them? Acceptance of our emotions or frustrating circumstances eases the pain of being in them. It also allows us to move through things (or let them move through us) without getting stuck ruminating. This is not easy, but it is worth it.
These past years have been hard. It’s ok if you’re not ok. Remember you don’t need to set any intentions for the year if you don’t want to. Don’t add more to your to-do list if you don’t have to. At the end of the day, find a way to incorporate more support, predictability, and self-acceptance.