Despite the voracity of new variants like Omicron, we have gotten smarter about masking and maintaining social distance--although I still see friends posting things like club pics and concerts on social media. "Together even when apart" seems to have gone by the wayside but self-righteousness is at an all-time high. And I include myself there. True, Omicron's symptoms appear less lethal so far, but it looks to be 100% transmissible (regardless of vax status) based on the Hong Kong Quarantine Study (available on the CDC's website)--as opposed to Delta, which study results showed had only a 25% transmission rate with vaccination and 38% without.
Much better odds, wouldn't you agree? Ah, the good old days....
The one thing that hasn't changed in the last 22 months is that AVAILABLE VACCINES STILL DO NOT PROVIDE STERILE IMMUNITY. And yes, you may consider that yelling....
So, while I spent more than a decade helping my beloved readers navigate self-sabotage, relationships, life, and love, it now appears that we have to go back a decade or so and focus on survival. Again.
My column for Psychology Today, "Survive Anything," took a hiatus in the last year so I could focus on my clients. But you will see new writing every month here among other places, along with a new podcast I've been invited to do at a studio based in Atlanta. Whether or not I ever make it to the studio wholly depends on how things go as we continue to push through the seemingly never-ending obstacles with hope in our hearts that we can use the word "endemic" in the near future.
Meanwhile, here we are. Stuck. Sad. Frustrated. Angry. Yet grateful to be here. That sense of gratitude is important to hold on to. Without gratitude, we lose our sense of purpose. It's only then that we risk losing ourselves.
I know it's tempting to lash out at people. To isolate yourself. Maybe isolate others, too. But we can and will rise above what is a temporary situation. No, COVID-19 is not temporary. But we are making headway in our fight for normalcy. Humanity has prevailed in the past and will again. True, narcissism has increased along with our exposure to technology. But as the Stoics remind us, we control our thoughts and emotions. That means we have the ultimate power in how we make it through however long it takes to get the other side of this pandemic.
When you're tempted to let jealousy or envy rear its ugly head, take two deep breaths--breathing in through your nose then out through your mouth. Try to stay present by asking yourself what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, smell with your nose, taste with your mouth, and of course, touch. Keeping something like a smooth stone, glass marble, or piece of satin in your pocket may help serve as a reminder to stay present.
If you want to work on things like your confidence and/or developing more of an abundance mindset, you can call my office (978) 307-8221 or email email@example.com; I am accepting new clients this month in honour of the new year but slots are always limited. New pricing is going into effect on January 15th, so you may want to secure a few sessions online now.
Otherwise, work on your mindfulness through meditation. Keep visualizing the life you want. Don't let people's negativity affect you or stunt your progress. One day, you will wake up and though COVID will still be here, life will feel "normal" again. That's why we must all stay our course and keep moving forward, no matter what.
When people around you can't seem to get out of their own way, move on by moving yourself forward. As my grandmother used to say, "Always keep the door open for friendship--even if it's just a crack." We're all suffering. So don't take social resistance personally. Hold your head high. Find a cause. Help yourself and others. And things will eventually find a natural balance.
Get out in nature as much as possible. Keep eating anti-inflammatories and drink your Kava tea! Fennel tea is very good for mood. Kava works for just about everything else. And, of course, green tea with raw honey, fresh ginger shavings and a slice of lemon is always a good idea. As are berries, dark leafy greens, lentils, cinnamon, and a plant-based, gluten free diet. Talk to your doctor about any health or lifestyle changes and please, please, please be honest about ANY substance use.
I'll leave you with a few affirmations to repeat to yourself throughout the day as you move through the new year--it will help you stay mindful and begin to reprogram negative self-talk that keeps us in a stuck-cycle. Changing your life is really as simple as changing your mind set. I believe in you--but you have to believe in you, too.
1. Positive energy surrounds me at all times.
2. Compassion for myself and others is the basis of self-love.
3. I am worthy of consistency in all my relationships.
4. Unconditional love of the self is a gift no one can limit, abuse, or take away.
5. I will honour myself and those I love by making daily efforts to move my life forward.
6. Mindfulness is my mantra.
Until next time, dearest readers....