If you are reading this, congratulations! You have survived 2020, the year infamously tagged as the worst year ever, and that had people wishing on social media for it to just end. In all
sincerity, 2020 has brought about loss like our generation has never seen before – of lives,
health, jobs, freedom, sanity, and even hope.
Now that we have entered not just a new year but a new decade, the communal prayer is for
2021 to be kinder, especially given the news of the COVID-19 vaccine being available and
already administered in some countries. But as reports explode about a new strain of the corona virus spreading even before the original strain is defeated, this question comes back on an indefinite loop: when will all this end?
If you are like me, you probably had a handful of challenges already even before the virus
dropped a ton more to your plate. And the scary truth is, some crossed over to the new year with us. While I cannot assure you on when and if they will ever be gone, what I have for you is a three-piece armor you can wear to make you stronger and to keep you sane as you face your old struggles, and even new battles, moving forward.
1. Feel the feelings
Negative feelings are not sin. As the famous K-Drama title goes, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.” God created human beings with emotions, even the undesirable ones. You may feel sadness, fear, frustration, confusion, or a mixture of all these and more. Whatever those feelings are, what matters is how you handle them.
Instead of ignoring, denying, or sweeping them under the rug, face them. Acknowledge the
anxiety and the anger, like how you would welcome the joy and the excitement. Identify what you are feeling – call them by name. This is the first step to overcoming them. You cannot fight an enemy you do not know, or an enemy that you deny.
Once you are acquainted with your feelings, channel them out in a healthy way. You can speak with a person you trust, write in a journal (or type it, if you are the more digital type), punch your pillows, scream, sing your heart out at karaoke, or better yet, pray to God. Do this as much as is needed, until you feel better. Then incorporate the best ones in your routine. Just be careful not to hurt yourself or other people, nor dwell on negative emotions for long. Face them, then say farewell.
After you have let them out, prevent them from coming back by filling up your heart with positive feelings. You can do this by finding a hobby that sparks joy for you, spending time with people who inspire you, or making a daily list of things you are grateful for (I know of many people who are doing this and are blessed). Master your emotions instead of letting them master you. Your feelings are part of you, but they are not you.