Wow! We’ve made it to October already. For many of us, we’ve felt like most of this year has been one BIG trick. For others, we’re finding some of the new pandemic realities to be a treat that we’re savoring. Either way, 2020 is nothing any of us could have planned for or expected.
As with most things in life, it’s not an either / or situation, but rather both. Regardless of which way you lean, seeing this year as more of a trick or treat, it’s important to acknowledge the losses we’ve experienced this year, and even more important to recognize some of the small moments of joy (especially when it comes to our mental health). Both are real and exist simultaneously.
Some of us may have known someone that’s become sick or even passed away. Some of us may be mourning the simple things in life such as gatherings, concerts or simple date-nights out with loved ones. Some of us may be resentful of new restrictions, for instance no visitors to celebrate the birth of a new baby. Some of us may have children who are unable to return to school and are feeling the parent burnout that is SO real this year. Many of us are feeling lonely, anxious or just drained from everyday life. Some losses might feel catastrophic while others are minor and each one is valid and deserving of attention.
Whatever losses or tricks you are navigating, you have made changes to your life to accommodate what this year has thrown your way. Many of the changes feel like “sacrifices.” By naming these sacrifices, we are more equipped to feel whatever comes up for us- anger, sadness, resentment, anxiety. By feeling these feelings, whatever it may be, we are more able to manage them in healthy ways as opposed to letting them spill over into other parts of our life.
Now, on the other hand and with intention and attention, we can also begin to recognize many ways in which our lives have been blessed this year. For example, many of us are now working from home, allowing more time with family and less time commuting. Some parents may love taking a more active role in their child’s education. Some families may enjoy less transitions and a slower pace of life with fewer extra curricular obligations. Some of us may be grateful for smaller and more manageable family get togethers or holidays.
Remember, this isn’t an either / or situation. We are all navigating both the tricks and treats of 2020 every single day. Identifying what your tricks are this year, naming them, feeling whatever comes up, talking to a friend or partner about them or even writing them down will help. To bring balance or maybe to to change the perspective for the day, week or year you can also bring attention and focus to the treats. You might do this with intention daily or weekly. You may notice that the treats are the simplest joys of skin to skin with your baby. Be present in these moments and bring attention to them. This will fuel you as you head into the next day, week or season!
Always with love,