The pandemic has certainly made our lives more complex and harder than it was pre-pandemic. Given the fact that we are so closely huddled together with our gadgets more than people, it is no surprise that we have been struggling more and feeling emptier. However, this fact does not excuse that even before the pandemic changed the course of our lives, there were still many of us who were in this constant pitfall of troubles: Many of us felt exhausted and burned out while the ones that aren’t? They are in the path to feel like it.
Higher rates of clinical anxiety and depression have been observed before the pandemic, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). With that, people are addicted and have been abusing harmful substances more and more with “increasing rates of alcoholism” as well as the opioid epidemic. And with the onslaught of the pandemic? We fear that it has worsened these problems even more.
End of the Pandemic
But as we are approaching the end, or the end as we can define it to be with higher vaccination rates despite the evolution of multiple strains, we can only be hopeful to become better than how we naturally were pre- and post-pandemic whether this may be our relationships or just ourselves. Being grounded and having the internal courage and confidence will help us navigate through the new beginning of our lives so that we may leave an ever-so passionate but peaceful lives; one that seeks strength, integrity, and honesty.
1. Accept yourself.
Each one of us has just had experienced two of the most confusing and troublesome years of our lives. We feared for our lives, our loved ones, and our jobs. We had no idea what was going to happen for the next few years because suddenly, there’s this pandemic. It affected everyone, and we were locked inside of our homes. The news raged on with the rising cases, and you feared that the moment you stepped out, you would get the disease. And now, the world is finally opening up. But this moment, we dread that we might feel lost and that we have not done so much as to feel proud of ourselves.
Accepting where you are will be the beginning to achieve this mental fortitude even if we may not currently be in a good place. Acceptance and commitment will be key to battle the intrusive thoughts so that we can take counteractive, productive actions and be a step closer to what we want to achieve. According to a 2020 meta-analysis of more than 130 studies in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, acceptance and commitment has helped with a number of problems such as substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
2. Leave what doesn’t serve you.
Make a new space for yourself; indulge in new scenery. It might help to leave the things that no longer serve us anymore at the current points of our lives because then, these things will only mentally tax you more and more. Do not be afraid to release the emotional baggage that should have long been released. You might feel more accomplished to be somewhere different than where you were pre-pandemic. Leaving people can also be beneficial even if it might seem hard. But of course, there will be people who constantly degrade you and bring the worst out in you, but once you leave them? You will feel a big relief and the wounds you didn’t know were there may begin to heal.
Not seeing visible progress does not mean you are stagnant; everything takes time. Patience is a virtue or as the saying goes, and you’ve just overcome the pandemic. Be patient. Do not feel too afraid of what might the future bring you because you’ve just survived the pandemic. Trust in yourself as long as you’re putting in the work, do not be afraid of where life might take you.
There will be obstacles, but hey, you’ve been able to overcome it all. You’re here now, much farther than where you started. Big gains only came to fruition because of the small steps you’ve consistently taken.
4. Support System.
A stable and strong support system will definitely help you in the long run. Being overly productive will risk you more of a burnout which is why it is important that you surround yourself with the people who trust and believe in you no matter where you might be in life. As proven in the studies of John Cacioppo, a University of Chicago psychologist, that loneliness is associated with depression, anxiety, and burnout. It is essential that you rest and feel a sense of belonging with the people around you to help you as well as to fulfill our psychological need to belong.