As I cautiously step into 2022, I am aware that I am now equipped with a set of buzz words all designed to keep me safe. Words like social distancing, isolate, hygiene, masks, sanitise, check in are now common to me and give me a sense of protection in an uncertain and everchanging environment.
I have to confess; I seriously resisted these buzz words and the actions that went with them at first. I forgot my hand sanitizer, I protested wearing a mask (a downside of being a glasses wearer…constant fog!), I resented being kept away from friends and family and I questioned the need to monitor my every move… mostly because it was a reminder of the number of times I go to Woolies! I felt uncomfortable for most of 2020 and well into 2021. It’s like a knew that these buzz words/actions were ‘good’ for us all, but I couldn’t get on board with the ease I expected. Perhaps it was because it was new, perhaps I didn’t want to have to be so conscious all the time, perhaps I doubted if it would all work or would it just be an inconvenience. Mostly I think it just meant that my bubble of plodding along unconsciously had been popped and I was very uncomfortable with this!
Two years later…
I am only mildly uncomfortable with the changes I/we have had to make. I stopped fighting it, I now have a stash of supplies in every handbag, I have perfected the technique for ensuring my glasses don’t fog as much, I enjoy that people give each other personal space in the supermarket, I have thrived working from home and being able to engage with clients on a new platform and I welcome the awareness I have now for others.
This growth has prompted me to reflect on other areas where I could place more awareness. Other areas where I could develop a suite of buzz words and actions that help me not only to cope with life’s ups and downs but to spin them and make them something that serves me and others.
Resolutions! To make or not to make?
So as much as I resist making resolutions, I am aiming to make a conscious commitment (let the buzz words begin!) to myself in 2022. Here is a pandemic inspired list of commitments I am working towards.
- Check In with myself- what’s is happening for me? Am I at ease or am I stuck somewhere?
- Check In with others- Having meaningful connections with people in my life- quality over quantity
- Creating distance from thoughts, memories, emotions that cause me discomfort, not shutting them down, not avoiding them, but allowing some distance between them and me…mental 1.5m!
- NOT putting on a mask (the pretending-to-be-ok type of mask)! Being authentic to who I am and what is happening for me. This includes letting people know if I’m struggling.
- Accepting the constant change, external and internal. Not approving of it or necessarily liking it, but also not putting up obstacles that fight it and create more distress for me.
Like I said, I am not really in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, however, I am aware that 2022 has arrived and I am aware that I have pangs of discomfort still sitting in me. What will the year hold? will I get to see friends, family, colleagues soon? and the most uncomfortable, will I or someone close to me become unwell?
In a time where it feels we have very little control; I am hoping that developing some psychological buzz words that help us navigate the uncertainty may provide me (and possibly others) with a little relief.
Our beautiful Provisional Psychologist, Allira Power, penned this blog.
Allira is available for therapy via TeleHealth.