The new year is traditionally a time of celebration for new beginnings, as people look forward to a fresh start and positive change. The COVID-19 pandemic brings about an element of uncertainty as we begin the new year. As vaccinations start in many parts of the country, we are still dealing with the impact of the virus, restrictions, and changes from the crisis. Thinking positively and planning for the new year during a time of uncertainty can be challenging. However, remaining optimistic while staying grounded in reality will help you build resiliency as you face more challenges during recovery and beyond.
How to Cultivate Optimism and Hope During a Crisis
We may feel challenged to cultivate optimism and hope during the pandemic. Life as we knew it has changed and change of any kind is one of the most common triggers of stress. How can we feel optimistic during a time like this? How can we help others manage their stress levels during this time and stay upbeat?
We continue to learn more about the virus and public health measures.
The entire world has set out to solve one common goal: to end the virus.
While we do not know an “end-date” for the pandemic, we know that we are getting better and better at mitigating the impact and taking steps toward eradicating the virus.
In other words, life might feel confusing, but it will not last forever.
Adapting Our Goals and Expectations
The ability to adapt to change has made humans one of the most successful species on the planet.
We can adapt to the circumstances by altering our
As we adapt or try different means of achieving our goals and resolutions, we might discover new things that we would never have tried otherwise.
Maintain Social Support
As the world changes, one thing is for sure: we are all in this together.
We can find support through online forums or apps to help with sobriety or mental health issues.
We can reach out to one another through FaceTime, Zoom, or other video chat services.
Think of how this pandemic would have felt without this technology! We live in a time with incredible technology that keeps us connected, even when we are forced to be physically apart.
Gratitude Is Key
We might have a difficult time feeling gratitude during a crisis, as everything feels so much different.
However, practicing gratitude now might be more important than ever.
As our desires and normal conveniences have been stripped away from us, we can use this time to reflect on what makes us happy, whether these are things that we miss or the things keeping us going right now.
We might leave this crisis with a renewed appreciation for the small things in life that we might have otherwise taken for granted.
What Are the Skills That Help People Feel Optimistic?
When working with clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, building coping skills can be crucial, as many people are at risk of relapsing during this time. We can teach clients skills to help them get through the current crisis to help brighten their outlook for the future in the new year. We can focus on things like:
Ask clients to keep a gratitude journal to help prime their minds to look for the positive.
Clients can write a shortlist of about three items or events that make them feel grateful daily.
Recognizing simple things like having a place to sleep, a meal to eat, or access to movies they enjoy can help change a person’s perspective and outlook.
Keep a Routine
During this crisis, many people felt the weight of disruption to their daily routines.
Despite the changes, we can encourage our clients to maintain normalcy as much as possible.
Waking up and going to sleep around the same time each day, even if we do not have work.
Eating three regular meals per day.
Scheduling time to call or chat with friends and family.
Making time to exercise can significantly improve our mental health and perspective, even if only for ten minutes every day.
Take Time for Self-Care
We might feel the need to stay informed via the news and social media; however, these outlets can have a negative impact on us.
We can encourage our clients to stay informed as much as they need without getting too caught up in the information by focusing on self-care needs.
By focusing on these basic areas, we can help our clients maintain the positive perspective they need in order to look forward to the new year. When we care for ourselves in the moment and practice looking for the good in everyday life no matter what, we can be in a much healthier frame of mind to plan for the future post-COVID world ahead!
Planning for the new year during the uncertain times of the pandemic can be difficult for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Those with pre-existing mental health issues or addiction might struggle more than others to maintain or cultivate a feeling of optimism about the future. We can help those who are struggling by helping them keep perspective, maintain routines, practice gratitude, and maintain a support system. Creating excitement about the new year may be challenging this year; however, we can build resiliency in our clients by reminding them that we are in this together. Men might have a difficult time reaching out for help. They may feel that they need to get through their struggles on their own and not burden others. If you know a man struggling to get help for addiction, Safety Net Recovery of Atlanta, Georgia, is here to help. Call us today at (770) 432-9774.