YIPPEE! 2020, the most horrific year the world has experienced, is over. Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief from the repeated traumas inflicted by the virus, by deaths due to abuses of power, by the creation and exacerbation of mental health issues, by increased domestic violence and suicides, and by the economic devastation of the shutdowns.
How were you affected in 2020?
2020: Let’s Not Repeat This History
Although we are happy that 2020 is history, it is a history we must be mindful to not repeat. It’s so easy to wish for something negative to go away or to get out of a painful situation like a bully boss or troubling neighbor or living with overbearing parents. When you wish, hope, and long for the absence of some problem without consciously intending or visualizing a more loving, more joyful, more meaningful experience, you actually invite in more of what you wish away. And that is how history is repeated.
Resilience Creates New Beginnings
The best way to create a new beginning instead of repeating the past is with resilience. It is so much more than getting away from unpleasantness. Simply wishing for 2020 to go away is not effective in moving toward a more positive, loving, and joyous experience of life. More than wishful thinking is required from each of us to move forward.
“[Resilience] is bouncing back and rising to a level higher than that prior to the issue. This malleability is about thriving, not just surviving.”
–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex
You Are Resilient
You have the capability to be resilient. It’s innate. And when you tap into it, you transcend your pain and trauma to move toward thrive. Even in response to the depression, anxiety, and stress evoked by 2020 events. Your resilience enables you to engage in life more fully, to experience successes and challenges and joys and love.
“Resilient people turn the tragic into a learning experience. They collect valuable information from their suffering so they may live better, be better, and move on and upward.”
–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex
In order to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.
Use ACASH to be Present and to Tap into Your Innate Resilience
You are naturally resilient. Here are a few tips for tapping into this innate skill set.
Instead of denying or avoiding the reality of your situation, acknowledge it. Ignoring the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain imposed by 2020, or any tragedy for that matter, only amplifies it rather than make it go away. Avoidance does not work longterm and is not healthy. Admitting to yourself that you are in debt, are struggling to provide for your or your family’s basic needs, or have to close the business that you worked hard to establish is a crucial step in achieving mental and emotional stability enough to move forward.
Acceptance is not failure nor is it an indictment of your character. Rather, you simply see what is as it is.
Many depression and anxiety issues arise from lack of control. Depression involves looking backward in a way that either glorifies or laments the past while anxiety is about fear of what’s to come, which is gloomy and scary. Both depression and anxiety are about being out of control. However, you can’t control the past or the future. Your only power and control is in the here and now. So it is imperative to recognize that your control is in the present moment and focus each day on what you do control.
Though this may seem elementary, focusing on these elements of control are empowering and will enhance your mental and emotional health:
Make a list of what you do control
o What you eat and consume
o What activities you engage in
o What TV programs and movies you watch
o Who and what you listen to
o What you read
o The organization of your living space
- Engage in a mindfulness practice like meditation or Glen’s Gratitude Gaze (see November 2020 Gratitude blog)
You can still be active even though gyms may be closed and group activities cancelled. Available choices for moving your body to increase circulation, to expend nervous/anxious energy, and to retard depression include:
- Mask up and walk/jog/hike a trail where permitted
- Walk/run up and down the stairs in your home or building
- Engage in free workouts on YouTube or other online sources
- Dance to your favorite music
- Sing along to your favorite songs
- Work out in a park within safety protocols
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There is no shame in needing assistance, we all do from time to time. More than that, you cannot use the same mindset and behaviors that created your distress to resolve it. Keeping to yourself maintains or intensifies the negative patterns that led to your anguish. Therefore, getting input from someone who cares about your wellbeing can improve your outlook and open you up to a new and constructive mindset. And there are many virtual platforms available to receive therapy as well as free hotlines to speak with someone anonymously.
Even during times of economic upheaval, you still can help those less fortunate. Sadly, there is always someone struggling more than you…foster children, displaced abused women and children, veterans with mental health issues, those homeless. Donating goods and clothing in good condition is very helpful to those in need. So find a 501(c)(3) charity that speaks to you or connect with someone you know personally and give away what you no longer need.
Resolve to Thrive
You have the natural ability to recover from the traumas of 2020. So set yourself up to thrive in 2021 by tapping into your propensity for resilience with ACASH—Acceptance, Control, Activity, Seek Help, Help Others. Doing so reconnects you to the present moment which empowers you to make real-time, conscious choices to restore your control and lead you to thrive in 2021.
“…to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.”
Create Your Best Health in 2021
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