It’s a brand new year!  Thank goodness!  Last year was a very difficult year, full of many sorrows.  A lot of us struggled with sometimes overwhelming feelings of fear, frustration, anger, grief, and loss, as the pandemic spread across our world.  Some of us grew sick with the virus, or our friends and family members did.  Some were lucky and had few symptoms, and quickly recovered.  But many didn’t survive, and others have had long-lasting, negative health impacts.

The rest of us did whatever we could to avoid exposure.  We were too often alone and lonely, struggling with our emotional responses to frightening new details of how our world had changed, and how people were suffering.  It wasn’t safe for us to maintain our regular routines, our normal way of life.  It wasn’t safe for us and our loved ones to be physically together, to comfort and sustain each other.  We were told to stay home whenever possible.  When we did have to go out, we were reminded to always wear a mask, to socially distance, and to carefully wash our hands.  A large number of people lost their jobs.  Many business owners lost their businesses.  Many sadly lost loved ones.  It was a very hard year!

So now, it’s a new year.  The year of 2020 has ended, and 2021 has begun.  We have so many hopes and dreams for things to be better this year. But the pandemic is still with us!  Even though our scientists have come up with vaccines that hopefully will, in time, bring back some normalcy to our world, there aren’t any quick and easy answers.

This year is going to present us with continued challenges, but I’m hoping that it will also bring us new opportunities to grow and shine.  Humans are capable of incredible resiliency!  Think about how you can deal with whatever comes your way, and truly be okay.  How can you focus on what gives you hope, what sustains you, what you have to be grateful for?  There are great strengths in turning your focus to those things!

What decisions do you need to make, to improve your overall health and well-being?  What about learning how to be more self-compassionate?  What about learning how to be more gentle and patient with yourself?  Don’t you owe it to yourself, and to those who love you, to be the best version of yourself?  I’m not talking about achieving some huge external goals.  I’m talking about learning to find joy, comfort, and strength in yourself.  When you are doing your best to live with integrity, and you’re being true to your own core values, then you are worthy of your own, and others, love, acceptance, and caring.  I promise you that if you do those things, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself, and feel a lot more hopeful of the future.  If you need help in learning to make those changes, reach out to a professional for guidance and support.

Until next time,

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