Almost two years into this pandemic, enjoying -30 weather right now, and trying to find a routine for this current normal. Just when it feels like we are pulling out of things, we have to roll right back again; these are the moments that feel really hard. The sacrifices we have all made to make it through things, the time we have given up with our friends and family, the events and social experiences we aren’t having anymore. It all feels really hard sometimes.
So what have I done with myself through all of this to keep my mental and physical health intact? I continue to workout 5-6 days a week, at home. I think this has been one of the main things I do every day to help myself so I can help others. I find my workout is what helps to relieve the daily stress so I am a happier person overall; that time in the morning when it’s just about me and what I am able to do is all that matters. I’ve had a couple of setbacks this year that has led me to make less progress than I would have liked; one sprained ankle, one sprained foot – one on each foot just to balance it out! My recovery from that took way longer than I expected it to – you are much more aware of what your feet do for you when you don’t have full use of them for a while. Even with the injuries, I’ve still stayed on top of it and my body is able to do moves and go further than I ever could before. This movement and growth is priceless for my mental and physical health.
I stepped away from other obligations and freed up my time a bit more so my personal time is just for me. I found myself really taxed for personal time due to other non-work obligations and finally realized I needed less of that so I could have more time for myself again. This was a hard decision because I like to be a part of my community but I suppose you really aren’t doing anyone a favour if you aren’t enjoying the time you are volunteering. My job switched up a bit this year as well, new role with a different region to support and that requires a lot more travel time. Stepping down from these other things is helping me find a new balance between home and work finally. These big life changes aren’t easy and they require a lot of resilience and strength; being able to fill my own cup is absolutely crucial for me and I have learned over the last couple of years that if I don’t put myself first nobody else will either.
And then I dove back into other hobbies that I enjoy doing. I still have some work to do with this – I haven’t done much photography this year and I have a deep urge to get into that more again. So that will be my focus for the new year, to learn some new skills and push myself out of my comfort zone. I need to remember that feeling when you get the perfect shot, when you compose that picture in the tiny little window, press that button, and capture that moment. I think it starts with doing a little bit every day, or at least during the week if that’s all I can fit in. So that’s a goal for 2022.
I hope for anyone reading this, that you have found some joy and some enjoyment in this really hard year. I keep reminding myself that this will be over one day and we will be able to do all the things we really miss and in the meantime I will keep doing my part to keep this world turning and put others needs before my own desires. Giving up a little more time isn’t going to hurt me but could make all the difference for someone else. Enjoy these last few days of 2021, think about the good things you want to create and be a part of for 2022, and jump in. We only get one life <3.