We have arrived at the end of the year, and while it may not have been the year that I imagined or hoped for, it was definitely a year like no other. Many events I was looking forward to were cancelled, social gatherings were practically non-existent, and I found myself living a somewhat groundhog day. Similar to many, I’ve been primarily working from home since March 16th.
In a career as a therapist, where my role is connection-based, I had to make big adjustments to how I worked. Boundaries quickly became blurred and as a therapist, that terrified me at first. Trying to find the plainest background, hoping my cat would take cues from me (she didn’t), I spent the beginning couple months of the pandemic navigating how to maintain these boundaries.
The stress of my work, the stress of my isolation and the lack of in-person connection definitely took their toll on me. That being said, I tried to shift my focus, honouring the parts of this pandemic that’s been hard, as well as trying to find the positive moments.
Here are some things that I’ve learned about myself this year:
- How people express and show their values is highly important to me – How people have responded to the different rules, and implications of COVID-19 has shown what I appreciate and what I do not appreciate.
- Geographical location doesn’t limit my social interaction – For some reason, none of my friend groups had engaged in group video chats before this pandemic. Celebrating birthdays and holidays online has been both awkward and a lovely game changer. That being said, I could go without anymore singing “happy birthday” over ZOOM).
- Saying no is healthy – I’ve said no when I didn’t want to do something, didn’t feel comfortable, or didn’t have the capacity. And saying no felt great.
- I love reality TV – Alright, this may not be a new lesson for me as I’ve known this about myself. However, I leaned into watching Bravo reality shows, which was (and is) an escape that helped me on the harder days.
- Walking helps my mental health – I noticed that the days that I walked outside, my mood was better, even if it was just a walk around the block.
What are some lessons you’ve learned about yourself? Comment below and let us know.
Written by Alana Kaplan, Project Manager for the I Am Resilient Project.