The path to recharging is led by you

I am feeling fully recharged today. If those words trigger you with jealousy, I don’t take it personally, but maybe you should. It might motivate you to prioritize your self-care. I’m not just talking about taking a five- or ten-minute break. While that’s helpful, I’m talking about something more significant. And what could be more significant than carving out time to prioritize your personal ambitions and well-being?

Taking a step back, I’d first like to share why I feel so recharged. All things considered, it doesn’t logically make sense for me to feel this way. For months, I’d been dragging with the heaviness of the pandemic. It’s been nearly a year since beginning to limit contact with others to protect my husband’s health as he has an underlying condition. As a homebody by nature, I’m always in my element to live low-key, but this past year taught me that community is necessary and so is in-person interaction with friends and family. My normal turned into something of a pandemic house-arrest.

There have been days where I’ve teared up just watching a music video that had crowds of people together enjoying a concert and living normal pre-pandemic lives. What surprised me most was that I was somber not just for myself, but for everyone who’s been robbed of life experiences. I think of those who weren’t able to say goodbye to loved ones dying in their hospital beds. I think of health care workers exhausting their energy limits and risking their lives to care for others. I think of parents who worry about their children (school age or young adults) who are either at home limiting their social activity or at school with higher risk of exposure to COVID. I think of my 17-year-old niece who may not get a high school graduation ceremony or party this year. I think about my father and stepmother who have been living in pandemic house-arrest like me also because of an underlying condition.

I had to feel all the heartbreaking emotions of loss to get through and past the melancholy emotions. It was really hard to face, but I did it. What came next wasn’t an immediate sense of happiness, but it was rather a sense of making the best of the life in front of me. So, I started on my immediate goals this year. I figured if I was still going to be living in a state of pandemic house-arrest, I may as well make the most of it and not squander my days away. At the beginning of 2021, I had made a list of three goals for this year on a post-it that I put on my bathroom mirror. Seeing it every day had put this at the forefront of my mind and helped me begin to establish habits to chip away at making progress.

I hadn’t realized how much this worked u