The world has been an unfamiliar place over the last 18 months and it has felt very different. We find ourselves in a world where the wearing of masks is ‘normal’, the word quarantine is used frequently, free and spontaneous travel is not permitted and a cough or fever can cause a range of feelings amongst family, friendship groups and ‘close contacts’.
The journey that we have all been on, through this global change, has had its ups and downs. We are all learning new rules, new routines and new approaches at the same pace as each other - walking through a world that we have never known before, but now feels as if we have always lived with restrictions, frustrations and disappointments.
So, 18 months in, we can reflect on what we have developed and learned from all of this. In school, we have learned lots…alongside our usual learning! We have learned more about how to keep healthy. We have learned how to be more considerate and thoughtful towards people. We have learned what the feeling of freedom is and the impact of having it, or not having. We have learned how adaptable we can be. We have learned that when we cooperate, we can achieve many things. We have learned how to cope with feelings that we haven’t felt so frequently, or ever, before.
Dealing with our feelings is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. We all feel, and we all feel a range of feelings, often on a daily basis! Some are more comfortable than others. We teach our children how to acknowledge, communicate and regulate feelings: such a powerful tool to have! As well as being able to manage our own feelings, we also teach children how to recognize and support other people with their own feelings. It is this skill that builds connections. And it is the connections we form that build confidence, give relief and promote happiness.
With all these different feelings flying, bouncing, sitting, growing and developing inside us, is it any wonder that being able to deal with these, and help others deal with theirs, is a healthy habit to have? So, while we continue to navigate through our current world, and feel all the feelings it brings, know that when you say these three little words to yourself or someone else…
‘How are you?’
…and the response is honest and is listened to, you are forming a healthy habit. This healthy habit - being open with our feelings - allows happiness and connections to grow.
This is one way that we can look after ourselves and each other.