It is wild to me to think about how, one year ago, I had no idea what all of us were going to be dealing with for the entire next year. Like everyone else, my family and I had plans. My team and I at Thrive had plans - big plans. We had no idea that so many of them would become absolutely impossible and that our daily lives would become as difficult as they did.
During each one of my client sessions, this topic has come up more recently as we reflect on just how amazing it is that we have been living in a pandemic for just about a year. The topic of reflecting on the year we have just experienced. While for some, this reflection might feel a bit morose, I think it can be helpful for us to reflect and take note both of the challenges but also of the silver linings we have experienced.
Here are some questions (and my answers!) that can help guide you and your family in this reflection. As we have gone through this year as a family, I think it can be helpful to discuss this together particularly if you have older kids who are very aware of the pandemic and changes in their life.
1. What was an unexpected outcome from the pandemic that you didn’t expect or were surprised by?
For me, learning to live my life more slowly has been certainly challenging but necessary and a huge improvement overall. I was definitely one of those parents who took my kiddo everywhere and had lots of plans all the time and being forced to slow down has been nice in some ways. Granted, my goal now is to find more of a middle ground between being out and about and staying home.
2. What is your happiest moment of the past year?
So who wrote this question? Oh, I guess that was me but still, that is seriously a tough one! I’ve really focused on practicing gratitude for small moments daily so it is tough to think of just one happy moment when my life has been filled with enjoyable moments with my clients, snuggles with my toddler, and truly appreciating small things like delivery and coffee! I’m going to go with the day we got our kittens as that was truly joyful but I’m sure there have been many more.
3. Have any of your relationships changed as a result of the pandemic?
Yes for sure. I feel closer to my husband and our son despite the fact that being home so often has led me to also be more irritated with them and feel I need time alone in a cabin to recover! When I think about it though, I do feel that we are closer and understand each other better. I am also so much more appreciative of my friendships and relationships with my family who live out of state. It has been a solid test of how we maintain communication and relationships without plans to see each other and I think it has helped us be closer in some ways.
4. Have you felt more gratitude about anyone or anything in your life as a result of the pandemic?
1000% yes. Absolutely. I am so grateful for both the people and things that remain in my life and the things that I am missing out on (travel, friends, etc.). The saving grace for me during this time has been that after fearing everything would be taken away from me in my business and fearing that our family might not survive the pandemic, I feel grateful daily for both my career and my loved ones health. I also feel more grateful to be working in a field where, while talking about covid and what we have experienced all the time is not always fun, it definitely has helped me understand myself and the world more.
5. Have you learned anything about yourself during this time that you feel you might not have learned otherwise (or perhaps that was accelerated by the situation)?
Learning that it is okay not to always do more and to be grateful for maintaining my business has been a huge lesson for me. I had very big goals last year of adding on a lot to my professional plate and it was so sad for me to give that up in the first months of the pandemic. However, since that time, I feel happier, more balanced, and more able to appreciate what I have rather than always trying to do more. I also think that I have been more present and able to just play and relax with my kiddo, which has been a true joy (most of the time, he is 3 and it’s not all sunshine and rainbows over here!).
6. Bonus question - what little conveniences are you thrilled to have and hope stay even after the pandemic?
Target and other places who allow pick up from your car! It’s amazing!
I hope these questions help you and your family reflect on the past year and exactly what we have gone through and how we have changed, hopefully for the better. If you or your loved ones could use some support during this time, we are still accepting new clients at Thrive!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy via video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child or teen psychotherapy services in San Diego by Thrive Therapy Studio.
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"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."