Adapting is my lifestyle. Having changed countries and packed up houses within three weeks has taught me to pivot plans, ideas and goals. Has it always been fun? No (with a capital “N”). Have I survived? Luckily, yes.
Here YOU are again in Canada with another set of restrictions. What can I say that hasn’t been said? Not much, so let’s DO something. This will move your brain activity into an area where action and thinking are being handled, away from the primal, reactive part of the brain where “oh no’s” and your favourite swear words are stored as well as feeling panic, sadness, aggression or completely overwhelmed.
Why? Well, 2021 started similar to this year with lots of uncertainty, changing plans, and canceled vacations. Nevertheless, here you are. You made it, and looking back, there were some good things in between all the bad stuff: some little, some big, some only “feelable” to you. (I just made that word up!) Try to actively focus on those moments, situations and things and realize that they actually existed.
Let’s make a list: 21 of 21
Make a list of 21 things that happened in 2021 that were positive for you or that you are grateful for. This can be, for example, friends you made, a great painting you finished or an academic accomplishment. Nothing is too small if it was meaningful to you. Your brain will most probably remember the last ones first (this is called the “recency effect”), so go through the year thinking month-by-month. Can’t think of more than five? What about how you learned to blow dry your hair, stuck to your studying schedule or tried out X sport and actually liked it? You can either make a list by hand, print one out or design one online with added photos and stickers.
Whenever you have a bad day and think this will be another horrible year, take your list out and look at it. I am sure it will make you feel better!