As we begin a new year locked down and schools closed, it might seem difficult to imagine anything but stress and anxiety over the coming weeks and months. However, there are many reasons to be hopeful and believe that 2021 will be a better year. However, I think it’s important to acknowledge the great things we have all learned about ourselves in 2020 that will help rise to the challenges ahead of us.
The first thing that we all learned about ourselves is that we are a lot more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, Parents, Students and Teachers were challenged in a way that no one could have foreseen. Whether it was remote teaching/learning or adapting to the new health and safety routines in schools. We have managed to work together and overcome the immense challenges we have faced.
As we begin a new year, it’s important to remember that resilience is developed by overcoming challenges in our lives. One of the most positive things we can all take from a difficult year is that we have developed an inner strength that will help us all be more resilient in the future.
Many of us fear change, which can often be a limiting factor in our personal growth. Our routines provide us safety but sometimes we become stuck in negative patterns which can have an effect on our wellbeing. When the initial restrictions to our lives were brought in many people struggled to cope but as time went by we adapted and found new routines and ways of staying connected with others.
Although our collective experience has been difficult, we have shown how capable we are of adapting to change in our lives. Having lived through this experience we can look forward and learn to be more confident when it comes to making changes for the better in our lives.
We tend to focus on the negative situations and events in our lives, our minds often seek out the things we do not have rather than focusing on the things we do have. Many of us have adopted an attitude of gratitude throughout the last number of months. We have realised through necessity that we have a lot to be thankful for. Even though many families have suffered greatly, many of us have begun to take notice of the good things in our lives that we are thankful for.
Positive psychology states that practising gratitude can not only improve our outlook in life but also improve our relationships and have an overall positive effect on our wellbeing. When we do eventually return to normality, I think it is important to bring this new perspective with us.
Good relationships are central to our wellbeing and our happiness. Human beings are wired for connection. Through a time where we have been distanced from the most important people in our lives, many of us have become more connected than everyone to their friends, family neighbours and colleagues. The shared experience that this pandemic has brought with it has reignited a sense of community among us.
Helping someone else has benefits for the wellbeing of both the giver and receiver. For many years our lives have become more focused on ourselves through social media and other factors. The simple act of connecting has helped us all through this difficult time, let’s remember to stay connected and help each other out from now on.
Hope is at the core of the human spirit. It’s what motivates us to work for a better tomorrow, and comforts us when times are difficult. Hope is what has helped us through 2020 and as we slowly emerge from this crisis in 2021 remembering this sense of hope will allow us to overcome the challenges we might face in the future.
As Parents, Teachers and Students, we have shown ourselves what we are capable of achieving over the past number of months. Things might be difficult again at the moment but we will get through it.