Today is November 1st, which is normally the kickoff to one of my favorite holidays of the year, Thanksgiving. And while this weekend was full of safe, family fun with costumes, candy, and adding onto our Thankful Pumpkin (a little practice we do around the dinner table to cultivate gratitude in our kids), there’s just not the same excitement for me today. Honestly, part of it is the time change because it’s rough on people of any age when it gets dark at 5:30! But for me, the unsettled feeling goes a lot deeper than thinking about just how much Covid has changed holidays this year and the general pall that has been cast over much of 2020.
Recently, the conversations that I’ve found myself in have had this undercurrent of anxiety and tension in them. When I bring this tension up, most people’s answers have been that they are just very anxious and worried about the future, specifically of our country. This coming Tuesday is the 2020 Presidential Election along with a ton of other elected officials. I will fully admit that I am the voter that chokes back tears as I leave the voting booth. To me, voting is one of the most important and critical rights that we have as American citizens. It’s a huge responsibility to me. To live in a country where I have the freedom to vote is a privilege that I don’t ever want to take for granted and that’s what gets me emotional. And it was the same this year. But this year, part of the lump in my throat is because, I too, get anxious and worried about the future. Yes, you read that correctly. Even counselors get anxious!
So, I decided to practice some of the strategies that have come up over and over again the last 8 months of a high anxiety time for many people. Let me share a few:
None of us know the future. All we can do is take each moment of each day as it comes. I do know this for sure - the calmer and less anxious I am, the more I am able to extend grace, hope, and kindness to those around me. And those are 3 things I sure want to be able to give this month to each person I encounter.
I'm JoEllen and I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for visiting and let me know how I can best serve you!