Believe it or not, we are more than halfway through 2020. “How are you doing?” may seem like a loaded question right now, to say the very least. However, experiencing times of uncertainty or tenuousness make it all the more important to ask ourselves this question. How are you doing, really?
If you are unsure how to even begin answering this question, consider some of the prompts below to guide your self-reflection.
- How are you different than you were a year ago? Instead of focusing on the acquisition or loss of tangible things, try to identify things you have learned and ways in which your perspective and mindset evolved.
- What things have grown to appreciate over the past seven months? Reflect on ways you can incorporate those things into your daily life going forward.
- What area of your life needs more attention? Consider how much time you currently dedicate to the following domains: physical exercise, learning, fun, spiritual growth, creative expression and fostering social connections.
- How did you cope when thing got bad? Think about a specific bad day or experience that happened this year—how did you survive it? Is there anything you could have done, realistically speaking, to make it easier on yourself?
- What are your top priorities right now? A good way to clarify the answer to this to ask yourself what your life would look like if you could wake up tomorrow morning and have everything be exactly the way you want it to be.
Taking a “white knuckle” approach to struggle only leads to more struggle. Self-care and compassion fosters resilience, which will be the more effective tool to achieving emotional well-being.
The key to this is being intentional about what you hope to accomplish when you engage in this self-reflection. It is easy to get distracted when you do not “buy into” the importance of recognizing where your focus needs to be. Hold yourself accountable by making small, concrete changes to your life right away (for example, taking walks or utilizing a specific coping skill more often). With practice, you will feel increased levels of control, focus and confidence as you square up to face the second have of the year.
– Carolyn Moriarty, LPC