So much has been said about the desire to “reset” 2020 as we face the ache and angst of the pandemic.
I understand from having survived a succession of deaths of loved ones in my life that the coronavirus can truly create an opportunity for us to retune and reorganize our souls. We just have to make the effort to grab this brass ring—the gift, or what some call the “silver lining,” of this global affliction.
My personal epidemic of grief occurred a few years ago when a sweeping series of loss—which included my life partner, my only sibling, my parents, and my best friend—invaded my peaceful and contented life. Some deaths were sudden, others drawn out by disease. No one is immune to the agony of grief.
Devastated and broken, there was no time to grieve, as my codependent self had to shore up strength to help other survivors in their sorrow.
After months of depression, darkness, and despair, I knew I had to pull myself from this quicksand of misery. I started to write a manual of self-care that included daily exercises—mental, physical, emotional—that would repair the heartache.
The self-imposed isolation and social distancing today feels comparable to these past bereavements. It was that time spent alone reflecting on the inner strength I had left that helped me to survive.
No one is coming to save us. However, we all have a superhero inside from which we can draw amazing power and strength.
Here are 10 of the battle-tested steps I used to once again refuel hope and enthusiasm into my shattered world. We can’t reset this year, but we can regroup, reshuffle the deck, and embrace change.
Ten steps to jumpstart our own inner healing superhero during these pandemic times:
1. Let the self-revolution begin.
Put the emphasis on “evolution” and believe that you can change. You can commit to becoming your most you-tastic self.
Breathe in the belief that you have worth and value. Envision your ideal self. Make the pledge to do something every day to move your life forward.
2. Become your own cheerleader.
Don’t let self-naysaying derail your goals at this tender time. You deserve to be happy, and you can rewrite your script. Cultivate optimism by being grateful for what you do have. It might not be all you want, but most of us are lucky to have what we need.
3. Purge the poison.
Start taking care of yourself. Find the like-minded people in your group and connect with them. Get rid of the weeds that are preventing the flowers in your garden from blossoming.
Examine your dietary indiscretions. We’re all indulging in comfort food now. Strive to cut back. Diet and exercise play a key role in our outlook on life.
Gradually incorporate smart changes into your routine. Check your posture, too. Stand tall. Carry yourself with the respect you deserve—and don’t forget to breathe. Cultivate a walk of confidence with every step you take.
4. Focus on yourself.
Try to choose yourself every day. It might be hard to put “you” first. It is difficult to be ourselves. Everyone else wants us to be what they want or what they need. Work on polishing the gem that you are.
5. Brighter, breezier.
Stop clutching your body and your mind. Your emotions are in a knot. Try learning to relax and destress through meditation.
Start with five minutes. You owe this respite to yourself.
Make the decision every day to live in a positive mindset. Practice changing the channel when dark thoughts begin to creep into your sunshine. Avoid the shadows that take you to bleak places.
6. Get out of your pothole.
Have you been stuck in a deep hole? If your routine has been stealing joy from your life, you must recognize that you have been trapped in a rut.
Shake it up. This is the time to reevaluate your life: your job, your circle of friends, your habits, your needs, your look, your goals. If you are stuck in uninspiring and demoralizing situations, make changes in attitude that can offer big dividends in how you see the world. You can climb out of the pothole and experience a new standard of life.
7. Manage your muddle.
We’re all familiar with the joy of getting rid of clutter. Untidiness causes chaos. It keeps us stuck. No one can move forward in life surrounded by disorder. We must organize to feel in control.
Start with your home, your computer, your car, your basement, your attic, your playlists. Re-structuring is healing and positive. Take it slowly, if the task seems too vast. Set smaller goals to clear the clutter. Watching chaos evaporate is empowering.
8. Locate your True North.
We are bombarded 24/7 with messages, data, intel. We need to time to download in order to find new direction. You need to locate your True North to guide you. Your True North is your rock.
Ask yourself two questions: What am I good at? What do I enjoy?
Where the two lists intersect is your True North.
9. Break the people-pleasing habit.
Start listening to yourself and to your own desires. You need a quiet place to discover who you are. This is the time.
Take a walk. Visit the sea if you can. Even a five-minute stroll can inspire.
Taking this time alone during the pandemic can make us see who the energy drains are in our lives. Make the resolution to cut them loose. They are preventing you from living your full life. You don’t have to explain yourself.
Go online and start taking classes in new or former interests. Discover yourself. Cultivate the art of saying “no” in a graceful fashion.
10. Welcome and empower your superhero.
You have accomplished a lot in your life. Even the episodes you recall as “failures” presented you with a learning process.
Grow and heal from the defeats. Review your voyage in life and take time to study the lessons you’ve learned. Make the effort during this quiet time of social distancing to evaluate who you are and who you want to be.
Ask yourself, who am I? What three words would you use to describe yourself? What three words would others use to describe you? How would you like to be remembered after you’re gone?
Envision yourself as the person you really want to be. Delve within to find your inner healing superhero who is ready to take on the task of helping you become that very person.
You can live a magnificent life. Take this time to explore and emerge anew.