Whew! This past year has been one for the books. Overcoming this pandemic has not been the easiest. From the lockdown to the toilet paper shortage, making it out alive seemed like a distant achievement. This pandemic has brought devastating changes to many of our daily lives, and many of us have transitioned to a work from home environment. Let’s not forget to mention trying to breathe through a mask as a new norm. The impact of the pandemic has brought forth a new lens. As a collective, we need to be reminded of what is important during this time.
Be Present with Yourself
Being present is listening to yourself and being heard. We fill our daily lives with work, school, and so many activities that we often don’t realize life is passing us by. Now is the time to take yourself off of the back burner. It’s important to take a moment for self care and check in with yourself. Be present within your own life and value how far you have come. It’s like realizing that you are anxious about the next part of your life without realizing you are in the life you used to look forward to living. Enjoy the person you are today. For me, being present is getting off my computer and phone at the end of my day. Disconnecting from technology allows me to mentally destress from work and the outside world. I like to pull out my rusty dance moves and blast music while cooking dinner. Being present comes with being mindful of the important areas in your life. That important area for you can mean something different for everyone: getting an extra hour reading a book, meditating, or practicing art. Focus on what makes you happy and healthier.
Be Present with Your Family
Being present also includes showing up for your family. There are many changes and emotions taking place within families today that often get overlooked. Although you may be in the same household, it’s easy to detach yourself from family. We’re so wrapped up in routine activities that we don’t take the time to think about our family’s well being, especially when work is brought into the home. Be present by talking to your spouse/partner. Simply asking “are you okay?” goes a long way. They might be going through something you did not notice by being consumed with daily tasks. Crank out the board games and have a family fun night. Homemade pizza nights are awesome for young kids to feel special creating their own dinner. Let them feel like they are present in your busy life. Be mindful of where you can lend a helping hand to those close to us. It sounds silly but check on your pets. Sometimes they need the extra ball toss, I mean, they are part of our families too.
Be Present with Your Community
Doing your part is being present within your community. Be a listening ear to those around you in your community. Pay attention to what others have to say and give support in any way you can. You can be present in your community by volunteering your time or even joining a local class. Do your part to be present with keeping up with safety precautions and social distancing. We have brave essential workers in our communities who would benefit from the support of their local community. Go the extra mile to donate supplies or meals to your local hospital. All in all, acts of kindness show how present you are in the lives of others within your community.
Be reminded to be present through our chaotic lives. Every day we hear “stay safe” and “stay healthy”, but taking time to be present is important for mental health just like washing hands. Making sure you don’t lose yourself while you are in your home. We know the kids are loud and dinner isn’t always ready on time. Take it day by day and put your mind to the task at hand. Time management can make it easier and will help you remember to incorporate outdoor play dates and date nights.
Do a little more than you could before, challenge yourself, and hold yourself accountable for anything you plan in this present day.