Happy New Year!
2022 is a welcome change in my life. This year is going to be different... right?? If I'm being honest, I'm really not sure. There are still so many things going on in the world. I have a mountain of debt from physical therapy school that I'll have to start repaying in May, COVID-19 continues to be a big part of our lives especially for those of us working in healthcare, and my hospital is unfortunately not the only one facing a nursing staffing crisis.
Last year at 12:00am on January 1, 2021, I found myself in tears. I was grieving the deaths of my COVID-19 patients over the last year, as if I had contributed to their death. I have since learned through an extensive amount of therapy that this was an irrational thought. I know now that I did everything I possibly could to improve the quality of life for these patients and increase their chances of survival. I gave them hope. I was simply not equipped to cope with this kind of stress or grief and I was holding it all on my own shoulders.
There are a lot of negative things that are out of my control that I could choose to make the center of my attention like I did last year. But in 2022, I am choosing to focus on the positive. I did not cry at the turn of the year. In fact, I took a nap on the couch until about 11:55pm and my husband woke me up just in time for a new year's kiss!
Almost every night, I am filling out a gratitude journal. I am writing down 3 things I am grateful for over the last 24 hours, specific to that day. Last night, I was thankful for having a good napping couch, working with wonderful people that make 40 hours a week at my job more enjoyable, and my husband knowing that food (specifically ice cream and cheesecake) is one of the best ways to my heart. This helps me to reflect on my day in a positive manner. No matter how great or how horrible my day was, I can always find 3 things to be thankful for.
So although life may not look a lot different for many of us in this new year, we have the power to change how we experience our lives. I am choosing to live the life I want for myself instead of letting COVID-19 dictate everything I do. I've been practicing self-care and learning how to separate myself from my work. I'm enjoying time at home with my husband and my dog, as well as enjoying some alone time where I may go for a swim, write in my journal, take a warm bath, read a book, watch a favorite TV show, or color an adult coloring book. My husband bought us a Hello Fresh subscription so I am learning to cook healthier foods, and my mom bought me an indoor greenhouse so I can start growing some annuals and herbs from seed this spring! Each of us has a desire to be happy and to improve our lives. It's a matter of saying "yes" to your needs and allowing for opportunities to live the life you want for yourself.
Let's say goodbye to 2021. Leave our negative habits and thoughts behind. There will always be negative things going on in the world, but we need to shine the light on happiness and positive experiences when we can.
Please comment below to share how you're going to create a better life for yourself and your loved ones this year!