Finding hope, peace and comfort in 2022
by Cheryl Dizon-Reynante
May a happy and blessed New Year be upon you! As we ring in 2022, some of us may be having a difficult time looking for the good in all the uncertainty.
This last year brought on continued COVID-19 pandemic concerns, natural disasters due to climate change, and countless effects on employment, finances, and health for many. As of December 27, 2021, the John Hopkins University coronavirus tracker reports over 280 million cases of coronavirus worldwide with over 5.4 million global deaths.
But do you know what else happened in 2021? Here are just a few good things:
- Airlines operated its first commercial flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel for one of the aircraft’s two engines
- The Oscars had their most diverse year in history, with Youn Yuh-jung winning Best Supporting Actress and Chloe Zhao winning Best Director
- Diversity in Hollywood was seen in blockbuster Marvel movies with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and (spoiler alert!) Tagalog spoken in Spiderman: No Way Home
- Electric vehicles outsold diesel for the first time in Europe
- On the planet Mars, a NASA robot converted some of the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen
- Human rights victories happened around the world with individuals and groups standing up for those who are oppressed, abused, and killed
- Journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov from Russia were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on reporting the truth and exposing misuses of power
So, as we look towards the future, one of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to practice good coping skills that can get us through uncertain times. Here are a few ways to do just that and build resiliency:
- Find a silver lining and look for the good things in your life (e.g., living in a first-world country, having free healthcare, having clean water to drink)
- Practice mindfulness/meditation and/or prayer daily, even just for five minutes. Self-compassion meditations can be found at https://self-compassion.org/
- When feeling overwhelmed, break tasks or time down into manageable chunks (Instead of thinking, “I have to exercise for 30 minutes today”, break it down into “I will put on my workout clothes” then “I will put on my shoes,” then “I will put on a workout video”). Thinking in terms of smaller tasks can increase motivation
- Distract yourself from stressful thoughts in a healthy way (e.g., cook or bake, do a craft project, watch a funny movie, work on a puzzle)
- Sit with your uncertainty for short periods of time by confiding in someone you trust or writing your thoughts down (you can choose to keep a journal or rip up the paper after you are done)
- My prayer is that 2022 brings you peace, laughter, joy, and love!
“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.” – Juansen Dizon, poet and writer.
Cheryl Dizon-Reynante is a licensed therapist with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.