To say 2020 has been a strange and challenging year for most is an understatement. We have all been disrupted by COVID-19 and unfortunately some people, families, businesses, and countries, have suffered devastating losses, and still face an uncertain future.
Victor Frankl, Psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, in his book ‘Man’s search for Meaning’, expressed ‘everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way’. Perhaps then, however much or little we have had to endure this year, we might have some choice, some opportunity to choose our outlook.
Looking out-ward, lockdown has in part highlighted the capacity that people have for humility, and unity, pulling together for the greater good in a time of crisis. Different communities have created COVID support groups, and, generally looked out for neighbours with small acts of kindness that can make a major difference in someone’s day. Frontline workers have been toiling hard, scientists have worked hard, and public money (some) has been made available where possible for some of those who have needed it. Things may not be perfect, and the hurts that have been felt are legitimate. However, many of those who could, have given of themselves and resources. That is nothing short of amazing.
Looking inward, we have an opportunity to be clear about what is meaningful to us in our lives and to be grateful for it. We may struggle with the amount of time spent in confinement, but have we reflected upon whether we are fortunate in having a roof over our head, heating, lighting, technology, loved ones, food and the process involved in it reaching our plates and stomachs, clean water, access to free healthcare, and, delivery services, if these are things that we have? If we know what is meaningful to us, however small, if we hold it close and truly acknowledge it, it can give us tremendous hope, and we can endure adversity.
Many simple pleasures in life can still be experienced in lockdown such as: –
- Connecting with those we love and care about
- Cooking nourishing food
- Helping others
- Walking and exploring the local nature spots
- Riding a bicycle
- Moving our bodies
- Gardening, including growing your own fruit and vegetables
- Completing one task on our to-do list
- Learning something that brings us joy
- Watching, listening to, or doing something which makes us laugh
- Sharing a trouble or concern with someone we trust
It remains so important to feel our feelings, and to take care of ourselves as we do so, but we might also remember too that most things are temporary, both good and bad. There are few things in life that remain permanent, including bad times. This year has brought uncertainty to the forefront of our minds, but uncertainty has always been a fact of our lives. It has perhaps, not been in sharp focus in the way it is now for some of us.
Despite this, understandably, poor mental health has affected a great number of people this year, and hope can be elusive at times like these. Anxiety and depression, ever present at the best of times, appear to have reached dizzying new heights. And so, if you are feeling overwhelmed, if you are struggling, if you want to discover what is meaningful to you and change your attitude to your circumstances, please do feel free to book an appointment with us. We would be happy to help you.