2021 finally draws to a close. Looking back at 2021, it has been a year of many losses. The continued pandemic has forced experiences of losses in many forms. The loss of the lives of family, friends, and acquaintances has left a huge void. Prolonged social isolation has left us with the loss of connections and belongingness. Lack of face-to-face contact has left us with a loss of opportunities. Our struggles to cope up with the many losses have made a huge impact on our emotional well-being. We start 2022 unsure of how different the year will turn to be. As we look back at 2021, do we feel we have enough to be grateful for?
The times of uncertainty brought about by the pandemic have increased our capacity for resilience. Bestselling author and pediatrician, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, proposes 7'C that make up resilience – competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control. What if resilience is the only thing we are grateful for?
2021 could have been one of the stressful years that we had to go through. Yet the fact that we made it through the year is a testament to our ability to face challenges. Our competence to have handled the pandemic effectively so far is something that we can be grateful for as we close this year.
Competently facing the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, we have developed our confidence to face our biggest fears and greater challenges. Confidence in our capacity for resilience is also something that we can tap into and feel grateful for.
We bridged the lack of face-to-face connections by gravitating towards online connections. The least tech-savvy ones from amongst us were connecting and socializing digitally. Being connected led to decreased feelings of stress and loneliness. Technology that helped us to nurture our relationships in spite of the isolating effects of the pandemic is a sure thing for us to be grateful for.
Self-Care became an important process to cope with the grief and losses of the pandemic. For many of us, being self-reflective became a part of the self-care process. Paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and responses as we moved through 2021 was a gateway to understanding who we were. We learner much more about ourselves this year and that is something that we can also be grateful for.
Reflecting on the ways you were able to contribute to your family, neighborhood and community is something that you can be grateful for. Going through hardships ourselves opened our eyes to be compassionate to the hardship of others and support and help others as much as we can. The pandemic brought out many stories of the goodness of humanity which added much-deserved warmth to living.
We all found out unique ways to cope up with pandemic stress. Be it in creating an at-home routine, signing up for online classes, meditations and fitness trackers using apps, limiting social media intake, we were resourceful enough to find a coping mechanism that best helped us tide 2021. That resourcefulness of ours is something to be proud of and grateful for.
The pandemic continues to uproot our sense of being in control. Lockdowns, curfews, and closures have shifted out the locus of control to very many external factors which have resulted in prolonged feelings of uncertainty and helplessness. Gradually, we have also come to realize what we can be in control of and what we have to let go of. This lesson of resilience is something that we can be grateful for.
Knowing that we have borne witness to these 7 qualities of resilience within ourselves this past year, may we close 2021 with lots of gratitude. Let us have compassion for the struggles that the pandemic has put upon us and usher in 2022 with the belief that our resilience will continue to move us forward..stronger and wiser.
About the Author
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