Pause. Breathe. Reflect.
Claire McGowan

As we find ourselves entering a new season, it seems essential to reflect on the last year and also spend a little time thinking about what lies ahead. Every year we are gifted with the opportunity to recharge over winter and experience new bursts of energy as spring makes an appearance. The sun is out longer, the plants and birds and animals are all reawakening with us. New life. But this year might feel a little different. Pause. What are some things that feel different to you now?

           The quiet offered to us this winter may not have been as recharging. For some, it was overly isolating with the burden of safety (both for ourselves and for those we love). Some may have felt trapped in chaos. Others may have forgotten what it feels like to be happy, be around friends and family, or in services with their church community.  And maybe, for some, this winter truly was the quiet that was needed, a forced time to slow down, to be alone, to finally feel underwhelmed by the mere memory of an endless to-do list. Reflect. What has your experience been?

           Despite what this winter was for you, this spring will likely feel different in a whole new way that will require, yet again, adjustments and self-compassion as we figure out what it looks like to reemerge and enter a world that we have never experienced. Pause. What do you imagine this new spring will look like? Feel like? Sound like?

           Know feelings of joy, sadness, anxiety, and fear, or being overwhelmed, are all going to be normal. Know that you are not alone in adjusting to this change. Be aware that some friends may feel frozen by that endless to-do list that now feels not only possible but necessary. And know that social anxiety and discomfort may emerge if you had a year to yourself in comfy clothes with visits over zoom or the phone being the predominant or only form of socialization. Reflect.

           Give yourself grace as you reemerge from a very dark winter. Reach out if you need, to your church, your family, a friend. Know that there are resources available. And know that we are here to help you navigate them. You are not alone as we discover, once more, a new normal. Pause. Breathe. Reflect.

Claire McGowan
MSW Intern
Baylor University

*Photo credit- luke-leung

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