As I make the transition into a new year after nearly two years of pandemic and lockdowns, the idea of making resolutions and goals for 2022 comes with different expectations. The world has changed and so have I. Boundaries between home, work and school have become blurred. Burnout seems more widespread, and some are observing how we can be distracted, unfocused, overwhelmed and lose the plot of a simple task.
Trauma, uncertainty and isolation take their toll together with current messages on keeping safe.
Just a few months ago, we experienced relief and joy as we began to resurface from lockdown, meeting face to face, heading towards a new normal with a sense of let’s get out and do everything we want to do. Everything ramped up. The world was trying to make up for lost time.
Our brains and bodies are tired, and recalibrating to new circumstances is a challenge and we rely on our surge capacity, a collection of adaptive systems both physical and mental, for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations. It's designed for short-term action only and eventually we deplete our surge capacity so we need a break to recharge.
How do you make space for recovery and recharging of batteries?
What does your soul need to fill your tanks and depleted soul?
I'm so aware after the solitude of lockdowns how important it is for me to carve out time for stillness and when the world re-opens to not rush in, binge and be drained with what's going on, both globally and personally, without space to fill up again.
We must consciously seek space to restore ourselves, and we all rest in different ways. As we experience colder weather and dark evenings, what's your prescription for this COVID-19 marathon that can bring kindnesses to your soul?
What does intentional rest look like? We're taking in information all the time and facing changes, but can we allow ourselves to flow with the changes and relax with the uncertainty?
At the end of a working day watching box sets, for example, can help but we can still feel tired and unrefreshed having not done what our body and soul need.
How can we take time to listen to our body, to be present? To withdraw for balance and to pause for a renewed presence in the next task.
It may be that simple encouragement is needed to recuperate. It may be a run, walk or to find a safe and beautiful space that nourishes you and gives your active mind a rest that helps? Maybe alone time, meditation or connecting with others? Offering compassion to self to refresh, revive and fill our souls - it’s so easy for these to be edged out with the demands around us.
Whatever it is, we're living through a unique season and all are adjusting in our different ways.
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.