How about you?
This moment can be an extraordinary opportunity. We’ve had to change so much about our lives in the past year, and a good bit of it has felt beyond our control. As hope greets us and we start to look ahead to what’s next, an intentional 3-step process can help us do so wisely.
Reflect on the past year. Self reflection can help you shift your mindset, cultivate self-awareness, and create more connection and compassion for yourself. Take time to reflect on the following questions. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, It can be helpful to write down your thoughts in a notebook or journal, so you can use your new learning to illuminate your path ahead.
- What are 2-3 things that have changed the most for you this year, and what have you learned from it?
- What is the biggest loss you’re grieving? Acknowledging it can help the healing process.
- Also, what have you gained from this year of unsettling change that surprised you most?
When we’re frustrated or overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget how much we’ve learned and grown, even in a short time. Intentional reflection helps us find compassion and strength for our journey.
Plan for what comes next. All of those balls you were juggling a year ago? You’ve dropped some, had others forced down, and picked up some new ones.
Which ones do you need to pick back up that you dropped? What others do you want to pick up again? Which ones, it turns out, weren’t that important after all?
As hope greets us, think intentionally about what you want to allow back into your life as restrictions ease. Will you take a carpe diem approach to reclaiming your world? A more measured one? Or something in between? Will you return to a life that’s as “busy” as it was pre-pandemic?
We get to choose much of what we allow in our lives, more than we often think. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to do things in a new way, if we choose.
Focus on your own vulnerability. You’ve worn a mask, washed your hands, and stayed physically distant from others outside your household – all acts of self-care for the benefit of others.
As hope greets us, we can continue with other acts of self-care that benefit us and ultimately also benefit others. This can be an opportunity for a health reset: eating more nutrient-dense foods, improving sleep, reducing stress, and building our own immunity. These personalized interventions, in addition to measures such as washing our hands and taking a vaccine, can lessen our vulnerability to the physical effects of a pandemic and other illnesses. And that can help us continue to care well for everything else that’s important in our lives.
To prevent overwhelming yourself, pick one of the four pillars of health – sleep, stress management, nutrition, or physical activity – where you feel even a tiny bit of curiosity or urgency to start, and brainstorm some ways you can begin.
- Which area have you had success with in the past?
- In which area do you feel most strong now that might have some ripple effects on other areas?
- Realistically, where would you like to be in six months?
- And what’s the first step you can take today?
By acting with intention, following this 3-step process of reflecting, planning, and focusing, we won’t waste this extraordinary opportunity.
Amy Hoogervorst is a national board-certified health and wellness coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. She helps you fit healthier habits into your life, for more energy, focus, and fun. You can schedule a free discovery call here and subscribe here for her free e-newsletter, the Well Check.