I would guess that most of us were pretty happy to say goodbye to 2020. However, given how 2021 started, right now it’s hard not to wonder whether this year will really be that much better, which is why it’s more important than ever to hone our coping skills and learn new ones.
There is no doubt that change is coming, and perhaps, there’s even the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but right now, we’re still stuck in the “messy middle” of what I hope will be a transformational year on a lot of different levels.
A recent article in the Washington Post addressed how we can cope with the messy middle of the pandemic. Christine Carter, the author of the article, argues that “everything’s hardest in the messy middle. Here’s why: When the pandemic hit, we were collectively freaked out — and energized. We bought groceries for our neighbors … We massively changed the way we work, educate our children, shop and socialize. … It’s a lot to tackle at once. For many of us, our surge capacity became depleted. The adrenaline is gone. We need a hug — from someone outside of our household.”
I couldn’t agree more with this assessment. The longer the pandemic drags on, the harder it becomes for me to remain hopeful that things will get better again. And I can’t tell you how much I miss hugs!
Carter suggests that “instead of just waiting for it all to be over, we’ll do better to reengage with the things that bring us meaning.” I think that’s good advice. I don’t want to look back on 2020 and 2021 as years when I just sat around waiting for things to get better.
I encourage you to read the full article and spend some time answering her questions. I found that to be a very helpful exercise, and maybe it will help you feel just feel a little better about things, too.