I recently had lunch with an old friend and the conversation drifted to how quickly 2021 has passed and the hope we felt at the end of 2020. We both agreed that on December 31, 2020, our hope for a “normal” year was very high. We took a breath remembering that moment and then realized “normal” lasted only until January 6.
Keeping hope alive now as this year ends is challenging. The past two years have been more isolating, frustrating and confusing than most of us have ever experienced. I grew up hearing several sayings that I still hold near. One of which is, “If you cannot give to yourself, you cannot give to others.” But what does that really look like?
Since the pandemic, and especially since the racial reckoning emerged, self-care has become a catch-all to remind those entrenched in DEIB work to make sure they’re taking care of themselves. But each day now seems to be filled with more need for self-care than feels possible. Elections, verdicts, government and education are controversial topics.
To some of us, the world seems upside down. Right is wrong. Wrong is right. For those working towards right is right, some self-care thoughts...
Prioritize yourself. Try to feed your heart, mind and body with love, positivity, and stress reducing activities. All three are needed to feel strong.
Center yourself. Keep your family and friends close. Lean on them when you need to. Be there for them when they need you.
Challenge yourself. Seek out groups or create one where people can talk. That doesn’t mean a group where everyone agrees with each other, it means a group that can set discussion norms to learn to talk about difficult topics.
Share yourself. There is a lot of need around us – whether with an individual person or organization. They’ll be thankful for the time you can offer, and showing compassion renews us and helps us to grow. And if time is not possible and you are able to make a monetary gift, consider giving.
This year may not have been the year we wished for on December 31, 2020. But let’s help 2021 end on a hopeful note with each of us trying to make a little difference this month and committing to making a bigger difference in 2022.
Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating now, and Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to those who will celebrate later this month!