- Be prepared for short tempers, reactivity and well, anti-social behavior. Not only have we been isolated for a year (we forgot our manners), there has been tremendous stress, discord, upset, frustration, desperation and anger over the last year. This all has come from many sources: politics, finances, our jobs, quarantine, kids at home, health concerns, isolation….its been ON. Antidote: have empathy, compassion, patience and don’t react to their reaction. Keep your cool and walk in their moccasins.
- Honor your feelings and experience. Notice if a situation is too much for you. If 15 people plus kids at your Mom’s house for a gathering is too much, don’t go or duck out early. If the girl’s night out is at a crowded bar and that feels overwhelming, find a different way to connect, i.e. a walk on the beach. Antidote: Check in with yourself and your experience and emotions. If you are anxious or stressed, it may not be the best choice for you. Remember, you always have choice.
- Take stock of who you really resonate with. Many people have redefined their values and purpose over the last year. The Pandemic has “forced” us to make very conscious choices around who we connect with, how we connect with them and to actively nurture relationships that matter. Pay attention to who you have stayed tight with, who you resonate with, and which relationships are mutually empowering and energizing. No antidote here; simply continue your uplifting relationships and be ok with what falls away.
- Continue the helpful habits! Many folks (me included) got rigorous about healthy habits during this last year. Perhaps you began meditating, or breath work; some of us started in home exercise routines or yoga. Maybe the daily dog walk is sacred time now or you got serious about eating well. If you have begun some helpful habits, stay rigorous about continuing the streak. Adding to your dance card does not mean you have to leave out self-care:). Vitamins for the soul: Maintain these habits as non-negotiable.
- Extreme Gratitude. I won’t go into all the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of gratitude, you are more than familiar with these. If you are reading this, you are alive. Over half a million people in the United States are not, and millions worldwide have died. Living in a state of gratitude (FOR ALL OF IT) is the ultimate antidote. It’s the antidote for self-pity, blame, frustration, resentment…pretty much all disempowering thoughts. Feel your emotions, (ie sadness, grief) and be grateful. Especially during re-entry, I believe this will serve you well.
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” – Eckhart Tolle