In the past year, our bodies have carried us through so much stress and uncertainty. We’ve experienced difficult trials that have made us stronger. We’ve opened our minds to new perspectives all while learning to adapt to life in a global pandemic. As we begin to transition back to in-person experiences and a more "normal" day-to-day, it is important to realize that our whole self has undergone change in the past year. All of that is real, raw, and powerful change. While we have written about how to care for your body in times of uncertainty here, today we are focusing on how to embrace changes while adjusting to life after a pandemic year.
4 Ways to Focus on Positive Changes
1. Use journal prompts to reflect on change
Write down 3 new skills or perspectives that you have learned this year and celebrate them. Is your mind in the same place as it was prior to covid? Have you learned anything new since the pandemic began? Those changes matter.
2. Focus on new relationships
Remind yourself or new friendships or relationships you’ve made. This might even be someone who has inspired you even from afar. Maybe you became closer to your family and friends through quarantine with phone calls and zoom calls. Maybe you got to know yourself better. What does that look like for you?
3. Celebrate a new skill
Think about an opportunity you took advantage of this year. Did you try the sourdough bread trend? Did you enjoy baked goods with your loved ones? Did you learn how to cook since restaurants were closed? Maybe you found other skills or hobbies that you still incorporate to this day.
4. Create a mantra
Remind yourself of this: If we wish away our present body, we also wish away all of our gained experiences and relationships that came along with it.
I challenge you to focus on ways that you can nourish your mind, soul, and body as you adjust to life after a pandemic year. Try your best to be present in new opportunities, new food experiences, and new relationships. Remind yourself that the changes in your body are just one small aspect that does not change your value.
Now, maybe some negative change comes to mind and that is okay. Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, there is always a glimmer of good. I challenge you to find that. If you can’t think of anything, try journaling at least one good thing that happened this past year.
Maybe you need to take some time to mourn the loss of a past body size which is okay. Body acceptance is a process and it may take more time than we realize. All we can do is choose to love, respect, and nourish our body each day. With one choice at a time, we can choose to love our body even if we are not completely happy with how it looks. Feeling sad for a body change is valid and there is no shame in that. When that sadness comes, let yourself feel it but also remember that there is joy available to you even in this body that may not feel totally comfortable.
Your body, right here and right now, has brought you through so much and you are here to tell the story. How will you respond to your body? Your body may not stay the same, but that’s okay because neither will you.
Think about this: Every caterpillar turns into a butterfly at some point. How do we view that change? We see the beauty of a butterfly’s wings without focusing on the fact that it no longer looks like a caterpillar. You see, when we focus on just the changing body, we forget what else has changed along with it and the beauty that comes from that change. I challenge you to see it.
We know that adjusting to life after a pandemic year may be overwhelming. You are always welcome to reach out for more support from our team, or schedule an appointment with us for further support during this time of transition.