Resolutions as we step into the New Year

It is hard to believe, but are already at the end of January. It was just a few short weeks ago that the talk of New Year’s Resolutions began.

COVID-19 continues to remain a concern, as is how we maintain our health and safety, while returning to school and work environments.

It is a new year, but we still have remnants (and at times, considerable remnants) of 2020 and 2021 in our lives.

How do we keep going and ensure that we are staying connected with others? Our extended families, friends and co-workers.

How do we re-energize our families and ourselves during these challenging times?

How do we create normalcy (on some level) for our children who have disabilities and may not fully understand what we are facing at this time?

Lots of questions and not many definitive answers. 

Here are some suggestions of ways we can all keep going:

  • We need to take care of ourselves and find ways to recharge as individuals
  • We need to take care of our familial unit and find ways to connect and engage in re-energizing activities
  • We need to explore if there are ways to connect with extended family members or friends, while putting forth all effort to remain safe and healthy

Everyone’s comfort level is different. Each family should define what their comfort level is and then move forward, keeping that definition in mind. 

It can be challenging to find time to take care of yourself if you are a single parent or your children require a considerable amount of assistance and supervision. 

Consider the following:

  • Can you set aside some time (even if it is only 30 minutes) to create a quiet space to breathe, have a cup of coffee, tea or even just slowly drink a cup of water?
  • Can you do a 15- minute meditation? Or some sort of exercise, yoga?
  • Can you read a chapter in a book or even just look through a magazine or newspaper?
  • Can you write down a few positive thoughts for yourself such as something that makes you laugh or smile?
  • Can you picture yourself in your happy place for 10 minutes?

Creating positive experiences as a familial unit can be beneficial, but especially during these times. It can also serve as a break from the stress that we are all facing due to COVID.

As a familial unit, can you consider doing any of the following?

  1. Going outside for some exercise whatever that might be –as a familial unit
  2. Playing a game outside with family members
  3. Going for a drive –maybe with a question associated with it—where do you think we are going? –giving out clues throughout the trip (winner can pick a special treat for everyone)  
  4. Getting take -out food from a restaurant and doing a “picnic” meal back at home
  5. Planning some family activities –such as cooking as family for an upcoming meal or snack or dessert
  6. Playing games at home (something that may not occur often due to having many activities and commitments during “normal” times)
  7. Creating some art projects as a family –using craft supplies that aren’t usually used (beyond markers and crayons)
  8. Watching a movie as a family —with popcorn or some other treat

Having space by yourself at times and creating positive experiences with everyone within the family can result in feeling recharged and re-energized. Holding onto those positive experiences during other times that are stressful may soften the intensity of that stress. 

Recalling the funny times, the highs and lows can also bring renewed energy to the family. 

Above all else, be kind to yourself and to one another. Let’s assume we are all trying our best! An extra dose of kindness and patience can go a long way!