“So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.” – Haruki Murakami, ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’
So here we are. 2020 is coming to an end. Did you have a good year? Well, it has been a bit of a rocky twelve months hasn’t it? This year has been a challenge for us all. Although much has been lost, much has been altered and much has been argued over, there might be a few good things to take away from this collective experience.
This year has required everyone to accrue an extra dose of emotional robustness. This resilience is something that must be remembered and reflected on in the future, and used to our advantage when there is a storm that need weathering.
So, what has 2020 taught us about emotional resilience. Well…
1. We Will Find A Way
With rules in place such as social distancing, mask wearing and isolation, many of the comforts of everyday life that we take for granted have been stripped away from us. Social distancing has removed the possibility of hugging and shaking hands, indeed, isolation has meant that many people have not been able to connect ion person at all. A mask wearing has made us realise how much joy there is to be had, and clarity there is to be gleaned from communicating with a person whose entire face is visible.
2. Vulnerability Is A Path to Healing
Many struggle to be venerable, but the extremity of the strain mant of us have been under this year has, I think, led to people talking about emotions and how they are feeling in a way that they didn’t before. I think it is, conversely, helpful that so many of us share similar experiences this year, as it removes the potential worry that we will be misunderstood or not taken seriously in our concerns.
Being open, venerable and verbal is a path to healing. This often helps to release the emotional pressure on yourself and to get a view on things from another persons angle. This is a habit we should all aim to keep.
3. Emotional Resilience Can Be Built
My sister has had an interesting journey this year. Our family has been hit hard by this pandemic, and we have sadly lost people. My sister found it especially difficult to cope, and as a result of discussion and reflection she has attributed this to a life of relative ease up until this point. My sister has always been popular, intelligent and successful, and thus has not weathered many emotional storms in her life so far. The pandemic bought her sadness and stress that she had not yet come close to experiencing; a situation that required metal and resilience to deal with.
Resilience is a muscle, and can be developed. If you are a person who found this year hard yet has come out the other side feeling stronger, as my sister has, then perhaps you have gained something very valuable from a situation that has otherwise been, well, lets say ‘not that great’.
4. Don’t Fret About What You Can’t Control
I think its fair to say that we’d all the like the pandemic to be done now. I think we’ve had enough pandemic for now, don’t you? The thing is, there is nothing most of us can do about it. This reality has pushed many people to replace the uncertainty of this year with hobbies and projects; putting emotional energy and physical effort into something that they can control. The nation has never had so many neat gardens, highly decorated cakes or pending publishing deals! This displacement is another thing to keep, a good tool for those times when the thing we are worrying about is out of our hands.
5. We Can Make It
If you are reading this, then you made it this far. You re still here! Sometimes terrible situations are so emotionally ruinous that we wonder if we will ever stop feeling this way. We wonder how we will get through it. But hey, it turns out that humans adapt, they get on, they tolerate, they find a way to get through. If you got through 2020 and are still relatively sane, you can get through anything!
By Chris Thomson
Worry is not always unfounded, but it certainly isn’t useful. Here are some thoughts on keeping your concerns under control… 6 Tips for Dealing with Worry
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