“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” Good question.
Hogmanay seems to always be the saddest celebration of the year. A time to reflect on those who have gone. With the ringing of the bells we ring in a new year. Change can come with fresh hope, maybe things will get better, changes can also be cruel, especially those we did not choose.
We can reflect on who and what we have lost this year. Nostalgia is prevalent. Some quietly reflect while others loudly celebrate. We all look back on the year, I don’t think 2020 will be missed but events that have happened within it may still be raw and perpetuate that vague sense of loss.
Holidays, weddings, graduations and a multitude of weekly celebrations with friends or family have been denied to us or restricted in some way. We have also been robbed of necessary rituals that keep us connected. Funerals, being with loved ones who were desperately ill or who died. A disconnection that no one signed up for has left us feeling socially and emotionally distanced. A numbness and lethargy have us all fighting our own war without the usual support systems in place. Unlike the World Wars, we are not hunkered down together, seeking comfort and solace in community air raid shelters. We are, instead, stuck in our own socially distanced bubbles as the days and weeks merge into one another. Reliant on technology for our social fixes then back to monotony for who knows how long! It’s a bleak vision but one many are living. So what can we do?
We may not have rationing (thank goodness) but we are all feeling a little under siege. Be kind to yourself. Make tasks manageable. Have that bubble bath when you need it. It’s not selfish to see to your own needs. Journaling how you feel can be helpful. Write a letter to a loved one who has died. Repeat that it’s okay not to be okay! Put the new Netflix series on. Bring out the adult colouring book. Accept that sometimes your mood is going to be low. Choose a few playlists of music that lift your spirits and accompanies your melancholic mood. Stop beating yourself up for things not accomplished. Think of something you want to achieve and imagine it as a ladder with however many rungs you need. Get lost in a new book or visit old friends in one. Replenish your hope however you can. Have a good cry when you need one and put on your favourite comedian when you need a good laugh. It’s up to us to regulate our own emotions. Not by avoiding or suppressing them but by choosing activities and allowing ourselves time to express them. Care for others, look up places to visit in future times, start a scrapbook that means something to you. Honour a loved one with a plan to help others or embark on a charitable endeavour.
Whatever you do, know this, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We all feel changes in our well-being. Be kind to yourself and others, You have so much more to do.