*Three Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)
A year ago the world was shutting down due to Covid. There was talk of only being shut down for a few weeks to reign in the spread of the virus but, as we all now know, the time was much longer than initially anticipated.
There has been so much talk over the last few weeks about all that has been lost over the past year. And while yes, we have lost a lot (most importantly in some cases people we love), there has also been so much gained.
Specifically for me, I’ve gained time. Time with my kids I would not have had under “normal” circumstances. We had almost two months of togetherness without extra-curricular activities or even social outings that can sometimes keep us apart or keep our attention with other people and not one another. We were able to have game nights, do puzzles, take long walks, make and eat dinner together, and even binge TV shows together, activities that our “normal” lives typically wouldn’t allow as regularly as we were able to over the last year.
I’ve also gained time with my dogs being able to work with them by my side or curled up at my feet every day. They have become more attached to having people home all day and enjoy the togetherness (and all of the extra treats!).
I’ve gained time with and by myself. I’ve had time to enjoy my own company. Time to really sit deep in my thoughts, and reflect on what I have achieved so far, as well as what I hope to achieve in the future. Time also to reflect on my mental health and patterns of behavior that may or may not still serve the life I’m trying to build. The past year has provided me with time to truly examine my actions and identify areas to celebrate and areas for growth.
The past year has given me time to really accept and embrace my gray hair, my weight gain, and another episode in my life battling depression and anxiety. I’ve worn less make up, have barely styled my hair, and worn something other than yoga pants or pajamas very, very infrequently over the past year. All of these things provided physical comfort and again time to focus on my mental health without as many external pressures.
I’ve gained a new form of therapy. I previously went to my therapist’s office, sat on a couch, and spoke face to face with her for an hour. We now meet over the phone and I typically walk or at least sit in the sunshine (weather permitting) during our sessions. Not having the face to face, direct eye contact has allowed me to go a little deeper into my thoughts. The ability to move around during my sessions helps my anxiety and restlessness. I don’t think I ever would have changed my style of therapy without Covid forcing us to meet remotely. And this new method has really been helpful.
Over the last year I’ve also gained clarity in some relationships. Clarity in where I want to put my energy and time. Our time and energy are truly our most valuable resources. Learning to allocate them wisely and in mutually beneficial relationships has proven to have long-lasting impacts in my life.
There is no longer a normal. There is no longer, “This is how it’s always been.” I’m seeing this time as the world begins to open back up as an opportunity to create new boundaries and visions for my time and relationships.
I can choose how much time and energy I want to spend in all of the various directions. I can choose which relationships I want to pull closer and which I want to create more boundaries. I can choose which activities I want to put time into and which have already taught me what I need to know, and maybe realize it’s time to start something new. It feels like I’ve been handed a clean slate.
So, yes, there has undoubtedly been tremendous loss over the last year. But we have gained so much as well. And as the world begins to open up again, rather than falling back into old patterns and habits of what we did before, can it be an opportunity to create what you want for your future?
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.