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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Dear Mum: New year, same pandemic


Dear Mum,

As we scramble our way through the first month of 2021, you may be feeling some type of way. There is a rush to resume pre-pandemic life. However, travel plans still aren’t coming through, weddings have been drastically minimised and you may still be far away from your family and close friends.

You may have been hoping to be unstuck, but here you are still feeling the same stuck you felt in 2020. Who knew the ticking of the clock on New Year’s Day wouldn’t take away the trouble of 2020 with it?

Last year was undoubtedly a tough year, and it is okay if you continue to feel a mix of emotions or harbour upset feelings that you may find difficult to navigate even on this side of the calendar.

Transitions are never easy, and you may also feel disappointed because you had high hopes that 2021 would erase the exhaustion, worries, and fears that the pandemic brought with it.

Dear Mum: Even ‘strong mothers’ need a listening ear

It is okay to not feel happy with the circumstances, but for the sake of your wellbeing, it is important to gravitate towards some sort of peace. Perhaps, this peace comes in the form of acceptance.

Considering the majority of people slowly began to grieve their daily routines and lives once the pandemic became an unwanted reality, it may also bear fruit to go further by accepting that this global crisis – and all its challenges – will eventually pass.

The truth is, the quicker we accept the realities of this pandemic, the easier it will become to adapt.

Rather than struggling to thrive through the uncertain, acceptance is a tool that assists you in getting through difficulties a bit more easily. It helps you survive through difficult emotions because through acceptance you are able to sit down with your feelings and process them.

From there, you can gradually adapt to your emotional needs and get through the moment a bit more peacefully.

Sure, 2020 and beyond was and continues to be undeniably mentally draining, especially as a mum when you cannot help but worry about the present and the future.

It is okay to want life to return to the normal you once knew, but what assures you that it might actually feel normal if it were to suddenly return?

Read also: Mummy brain: Scientific truth or the perfect excuse?

Circumstances changes and we change with them. A return to previous pre-pandemic life may sound like the familiarity you need right now, but think of how much you have changed as a person and whether this new you has a space in that previous life.

So maybe it’s more important to accept how you feel: that this situation is tough, you’re doing your best to survive it, and that you can’t help but hope for the pandemic to disappear.

For now, it’s clear to see this New Year is walking in the footsteps of its predecessor, but hope is not lost. While things may not change overnight, they will eventually get better. However, until that time comes, we must continue to hold to the two understated tools that are acceptance and survival.

The you of 2020 would be impressed, trust me.

Kind Regards,

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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