4 Journaling Prompts to Help You Reflect on the Pandemic Anniversary
This month marks a full year since the World Health Organization offically declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
And you're not alone if your levels of grief, burnout, anxiety, or loneliness are feeling overwhelming.
“Pandemic wall” is a catch-all term created by WNYC radio host Tanzina Vega, and it perfectly encompasses the mental, physical, and emotional weight of this moment in time.
For an entire year, we've all been working overtime to cope and find ways to manage added stress and fear, as well as the tough emotions that come with things like losing a loved one, getting sick ourselves, and job loss.
It'd be easy to ignore this one-year anniversary—especially since it's not something worth celebrating. But it's important to take this time to reflect and show yourself compassion for what you've been through and appreciation for what you've endured.
We all deserve a moment to breathe and reflect.
Grab your journal and complete the four prompts below as a way to reflect and thank yourself for showing up over the past year. Some of these might stir up difficult emotions—so be sure to be kind to yourself.
1. Thank you for embracing uncertainty when...
At every turn of 2020, uncertainty was waiting in the wings. While that feeling of the unknown can trigger anxiety and be an uncomfortable one to sit in, you made it to today—and there are lessons to be learned in how you navigated the uncertainty of the past year.
Reflect on the moments where it was difficult to manage and the moments you surprised yourself. What’s something you’ve learned about yourself and your needs during the pandemic?
2. Thank you for adapting when...
Whether it was changing your habits or routines or even your mindset, reflecting on how you adapted in the face of change can be a great way to build trust with yourself. It's proof you can do hard things.
What routines did you incorporate that helped you? How did you switch things up to cope physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually? Asking yourself these questions will help you start to better understand yourself and look back at how your needs have changed over time.
3. Thank you for being strong when...
Resilience is a muscle that we build over time, and in 2020, so many moments tested our strength and ability to flex that muscle. But you were resilient in the face of so much.
Honor that by reflecting on what it looked like to trust yourself over the course of your past year. In what ways did you have to be strong? How did you move through moments when you felt stuck or unmotivated? Who did you lean on when you felt low?
In your reflection, don’t forget to make space to thank yourself for continuing to show up, in big and small ways, with courage.
4. Thank you for resting when...
Our bodies and minds have been through the wringer. Reflecting on the ways we did—or didn’t—prioritize time to recharge can help us better understand what role rest plays in our self-care practice.
How did leaning into rest (or not experiencing enough of it) impact your mental health? In what ways can you prioritize rest today? What kinds of rest have you learned you needed to thrive?
While we’ve grieved together in the face of so much change over the past year, we’ve also grown together in really remarkable ways. Don’t forget to make time to honor that growth.
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