2020 has been one of the most challenging years in in recent history. We have experienced highs and many, many lows. Fear pours over the heads of so many people living in America and across the globe.
Unprepared parents had to learn how to teach overnight and their children continue to struggle with home schooling. Many parents are now seeking therapy for their children who are emotionally flooded by waves of guilt, shame, and lack of support. Parents are failing miserably and are watching their children fail as well.
Like the photo, the pathway to normal is barricaded by uncertainty and the waters of change are rising high. People are anticipating more obstacles like unprecedented home foreclosures caused by rent forgiveness, forced job loss and more collapsing businesses. The domino effect has barely begun, but the consequences for all this chaos will be felt for years. Individuals and families are all facing emotional trauma resulting by the choices forced on them today. Anxiety, Depression, and suicide attempts are rising and no one is talking about it. We are a nation breaking under the strain of change and the solution is not more of the same.
Take hold of what you can control.
What is happening across town and America is outside of your control. What is being debated in the news is designed to keep you fearful. Fear stops your mind from being able to function. You are trying to overcome that fear by controlling your environment and your loved ones are suffering from it. STOP! Follow these steps toward sanity...
Surrender. This means to realize you can't control everything. You have to let go of all the fear and live in faith. Get on your knees and find peace waiting for you in prayer. Focus on opening your hands and letting go of the stress and negative thoughts that are plaguing you and keeping you trapped on an emotional roller coaster.
Breathe. Take a deep breath. I would imagine it's been a while since you've done this. We tend to hold all our tension caused by our fearful thoughts in our body. If you feel tense, ill, or are anxiously waiting for the unknown, take a breath. Feed your mind oxygen and you'll make better decisions.
Move. Get up and get out. Staying home locked up in a prison of your own making is not healthy for you or your children. The outdoors are waiting for you to explore. When you are hiking through the woods you don't need a mask and you can be miles from anyone else. Ride a bike, go for a walk, or take a drive. Do something other than sit and look at technology. Your brain is not wired for it and your emotions are suffering because of it.
Pause. Be reasonable and don't expect too much of yourself, your partner, or your children. If they are getting "C"s let it be good enough. Don't think they have to continue to get straight A's because that's been their history. Mandatory homeschooling REQUIRES you to lower the bar of your expectations for yourself AND your children. Get off their backs, help them, support them, encourage them; don't yell at them. When I was in college a wise professor said, "C's get degrees," and it's true. No one has ever asked me what my GPA was in 8th grade. I was a C-student most of my life and still graduated with a 4.0 GPA with my Masters degree. Give them a break and you'll all be better for it.
Reset. Have a plan of action for each and every day. Start the day fresh, looking forward to a positive experience and not dwelling on the past struggles of yesterday.
Yes, the challenges are not going away anytime soon and rumors of continuing this insanity through 2021 is beyond reason, but YOU are still in control of the choices you make. YOU can have a wonderful Thanksgiving. YOU can make choices to praise and raise the expectations of joy. YOU can fill your home with laughter. YOU can hug your children and partner. YOU can focus on love and not hate. YOU have the power and no one can take that from you without your permission. YOU can be the greatest version of you and everyone around you can come out of 2020 better than who you were going in.