Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) After the year we've experienced, how can you make the adjustments you need to get back on track? Health experts say that taking time to rethink who you are and reevaluating your goals is part of the healing process.
Are you frazzled because the pandemic has shaken your lifestyle? Has it left you with muddy goals and a scary feeling your life is off track?
If so, you’re normal. All of us must reconnect with our vision of who we are.
Most of us would like to be our best self. But, during our national crisis, it’s been difficult to hold onto that vision.
Being thwarted by health threats, financial pressures, and a foggy sense of losing contact with family and friends feels strange.
So how do we get that clear picture of the path we want to be on?
Taking time to rethink who you are and what goals are still important to you is critical. Reflecting on what’s transpired in your life is also necessary.
You can take a hard look at healthy adjustments you need to make.
To create your best self, these techniques can help:
– Take time to review what you’ve done right. Maybe you spent two years in the military, took care of your aging parents for four years, or raised three children as a single parent. Give yourself credit for the hard things you’ve managed to accomplish.
– Keep a journal of your physical health issues. Document what is working and what is not. If you’re not getting in shape, try something a little different. For example, could you ride your exercise bike in front of the TV for an hour every day? Could you increase your speed slightly each day?
– Review your professional contacts. During the pandemic, it’s easy to let certain relationships slide. For example, if your goal is to engage investors to support one of your business goals, be sure to text or email key people. Let others know you’re still serious about your goals.
– Identify your needs, even if they can’t be met right now. You’re going to be sad and lost, if you forget what’s important to you. Keep a list of personal and professional needs you want fulfilled. Honoring the “self” helps us all avoid depression.
“To gain a vision of who you want to become, and how you want to live, pretend that money is no object,” says a career counselor we’ll call William. William says this helps all of us get to the heart of what matters. For example, his own grandmother wanted to start a food bank for babies four months ago.
“I asked my grandmother to make the plans, outline her strategies, list the needs, and so forth,” says William. “When she had a viable plan in place, plus volunteers, I asked a civic club in our town to find the financial support. It worked. They used their own club treasury, plus donations from large businesses in the region, to fund it.”
It’s amazing how other people will support you, once they know you’re determined to soar. It’s easier for your friends and family to champion you, if your vision for yourself is clear and powerful.
A 70-year-old grandmother we know verbalized her dream of finishing college. We’ll call her Lola. Lola’s grandson took the ball and ran with it. He got information to help by talking with advisers on campus.
“Our state college in my hometown allows people over 65 to take classes for $70 per semester,” says Lola. “This is the total tuition for all classes. Then, my grandson found out, they only charge $150 for each class. This works for my budget! I’m going to graduate with my grandson in 2023!”
(Judi Light Hopson is the Executive Director of the stress management website USA Wellness Café at usawellnesscafe.com. Emma Hopson is an author and a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.)
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