Approaching 2022 with hope | Kiowa County Press

If hope seems overdone this winter, you’re not alone. photo alliance via Getty Images

Molly Jackson, The conversation

Six months ago, it was easy for many Americans to think that COVID-19 was on the defensive. Vaccinations have been ticking like checked case numbers. The summer sun made getting outside really enjoyable, after a cooped up winter of socializing with only our pods. Maybe, just maybe, Zoom fatigue would soon be a thing of the past.

Today, that optimism seems miles away. Hospitalizations are reach new heights. Concerns about school safety amid rising case numbers, working parents and teachers are on edge.

If you’re not really feeling optimistic about the year ahead, you’re not alone. Here are five of our favorite stories highlighting resilience, healing, and yes, hope, to help you navigate 2022.

1. “Work with Hope”

Face it, poet and classics scholar Rachel Hadas writing: “We are in a prolonged period of infuriating and frightening bad news.”

But if you think that makes our company unique, think again. Since humans have been writing, they have faced crises, learned to adapt – more than we give our species – and maintained hope. And today’s readers can draw strength from yesterday’s literature.

Whether it’s Homer’s Greek epic “The Iliad” or American poet Emily Dickinson, writings on resilience often share key themes, says Hadas: learning to balance the present and the future. , the global horizon and the joy of the little things along the way. Quoting the modern Greek poet George Seferis, she writes of the need to “go back to sea with our broken oars”.

2. Before Healing, Remember

The pandemic has robbed people not only of joy, but also of ways to deal with their grief. While many people are taking “every opportunity to reconnect” and find new normals, others are still mourning lost loved ones, especially if COVID-19 restrictions have prevented the kinds of healing and commemoration that families once took for granted.

A fence along Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, covered in memorial art for those who died of COVID-19.
People mourn those lost to COVID-19 in different ways. Some express their loss through art. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Eventually, as the pandemic wanes, both groups can find happiness, but in different ways, writes David Sloan, which studies commemoration and mourning practices.

With normal healing interrupted, “daily memories“from flags and photographs to tattoos can help people “move from the depths of the pandemic into the reopened society by providing them with ways to grieve and remember.”

As we recover, joy and sorrow are often mixed together, he says, but don’t let “survivor’s guilt” keep you from finding comfort.

3. Lean into rituals

In all cultures, rituals can mark life milestones, strengthen social bonds and even promote hygiene – such as Wudu, ritual purification before prayers in Islam. Yet the pandemic has interrupted everyday rituals like handshakes and hugs, not to mention once-in-a-lifetime events like weddings or bar mitzvahs.

But this presents an opportunity to adapt, writes the psychologist Cristine Legare. People often rely on rituals to manage stress and exert control, which helps them deal with uncertainty — part of what’s so overwhelming about the pandemic.

“There are good reasons why people spend time, money and energy on rituals in the face of COVID-19 restrictions,” she writes. “They are essential for meeting our physical, social and psychological needs in the face of adversity.”

4. Hope versus optimism

Hope does not expect good things, psychologist Jacqueline Mattis clarifies: it is believing that they are possible, then creating paths to reach them. In other words, have a plan.

She offers five strategies for actively cultivating hope: having goals, exploiting uncertainty, managing attention, seeking community and examining evidence. Challenges like a global pandemic call for adapting, not giving up, and “uncertainty is not a reason for paralysis – it’s a reason for hope,” writes Mattis.

“Hopeful people don’t wish – they imagine and act,” she writes, emphasizing the importance of acting in community. Research on anti-poverty activists, for example, points out that their relationships sparked their hope and belief, giving them “a sense of responsibility, of recognizing that their work mattered and that they were part of something bigger than themselves.”

A man paints on canvas in a studio.
The flow can occur when you play games or engage in artistic pursuits, such as writing, photography, sculpting, and painting. Somyot Techapuwapat/Moment via Getty Images

5. Get in the flow

For people still crafting their 2022 resolutions, a cognitive scientist Richard Huskey has a suggestion: add flow.

It’s also on its own list. “Flow”, a term coined in the 1970s by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is that feeling of complete absorption, or intense focus, when someone’s thoughts “focus on an experience rather than themselves” . Huskey explains.

Intrinsically rewarding experiences, like those that put us “in the zone,” promote mental health, well-being, and resilience. In reality, a chinese study shows that people with more “flow” in their lives “had better well-being during the COVID-19 quarantine”.

Editor’s note: This story is a summary of articles from The Conversation archives.

The conversation

Molly Jackson, Religion and Ethics Editor, The conversation

This article is republished from The conversation under Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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