New Year’s Reflection – Moving from 2020 to 2021 in Midst of a Pandemic

As I write this, I am sitting in front of my fireplace, looking out the window at the freshly snow covered ground. I’m reflecting on this new year’s and moving into 2021. I have a lot to be thankful for, as many of us do. I have my health, my family’s health, financial stability in the face of my husband being furloughed a few times this year. I’ve gotten to support more people throughout this year in my practice and in my personal life. And yet, there have been challenges this year that I didn’t understand while they were happening. I depended, at times, on new coping skills that weren’t always the healthiest. It has been a year of tremendous growth, and tremendous pain.

As we move into 2021, I would love to say – new year, new me. I would love to say – I am completly back on track with being consistent about my self-care and growth routines. The truth is, I know that this change in year means more of the same right now. Continued isolation, not getting to be around my support circle, being home a lot. And, that’s hard.

It’s okay to not be okay and if this change into 2021 feels different. It’s okay to not have a long list of goals and resolutions. This new year’s looks different.

Last year I made a vision board on the first of what I wanted 2020 to look like. This year I am forgoing this to try and be a little more flexible with how much is truly out of my control right now. You can put some of the things aside that don’t feel right in this moment. Instead of vision boarding, I’m doing some light reflecting. Asking myself how to be more present in my weeks, what I can do to support myself in the coming winter months. Re-structuring some of my schedule to allow me more time for some self-care.

I’m doing what I can, and giving myself a lot of grace and compassion in knowing that 2021 isn’t filled with the same level of motivation. We all have seasons of different emotional wellbeing. Sometimes, we have high motivation and other times we feel like we are constantly falling down. It’s okay. Do what you can – push yourself a little and give yourself compassion. A big question for me in the past few months has been this: If I felt worthy, enough and whole today how would I treat myself? Often times the answer is – I would give myself more time to be instead of doing. So as challenging as it is – for right now – this is the year of giving myself time & patience.

Give yourself permission to be in a different place emotionally, mentally, physically than you expected yourself to be. If this new year isn’t feeling the same – it is because it isn’t. The pandemic isn’t over yet, the fear is still real, take care of yourself in smaller and maybe some new ways.

There is often so much pressure, shame and guilt with the new year. Give yourself permission to let the pressure go. Remind yourself we are still amidst a pandemic, this isn’t supposed to be easy. We are all still in a lot of fight vs flight moments in our day to day lives. Maybe this new year’s can be more about slowing down, giving yourself permission, checking in more and allowing yourself to feel the uncomfortable, stuck, irritating feelings that come up.

So here’s to hoping that you are able to slow yourself down, not fall into the new year’s pressure and take care of you. Remember – support is available.

Patrice Flanagan-Morris, LCSW

Empowerment Within LLC

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