Set an Intention to Reflect on the Past Year and Allow Yourself to Grow and Move On.

Guest Blogger Craig Dobson, Team Lead Beyond the Classroom

Reflection is a healthy, appropriate activity for you and your family to complete regularly. This might be something you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You may also find that you are too busy to even make dinner between work, school, and activities, let alone time to reflect on your day. But intentional, mindful reflection is so important and can have a big positive impact on your life.  

When we reflect, it helps our brain connect our memories to our emotions and provides valuable perspective on our experiences. Regular reflection helps us to understand why a situation happened the way that it did and what we can learn from it. This is all part of the learning experience. If you set an intention to allow your mind time for reflection you are more likely to have less stress, reduce resentment over past situations, and increase positive emotions. 

Thinking about life since the pandemic began until today, here are some powerful questions to ask yourself.

  • How often are you reflecting on your life?
    • Do you have a conversation with your children about self-reflection? Do you have conversations about COVID-19 with your children? Are you both sick of hearing about it?
    • What are your children sharing about how they feel? 
    • If your children are younger, do they remember before March 2020, aka “the before times”? Do you?
    • What strengths have they been using to cope?  What strengths has your family relied on this year?
  • As a parent, what is something you learned about yourself as a parent? 
  • What is something you are proud of from this past year?

Set aside some time to reflect on these questions. Use a journal or a notes app on your phone to jot them down. This allows you to be intentional about your reflections. Someday you also may want to go back and read some of your reflections 10, 20, 30, or 50 years from now and remember “What was it like to live through and experience Covid-19 in 2020-21.” Of course, you might not want to, as well. In fact, you may want to throw these reflections and the whole year right in the trash. The power of reflection time is allowing your mind space to sort, embrace, and deal with your emotions.

The past year has brought sadness, pain, anger and regret to many. If you are feeling this way, do this activity slowly, give yourself grace, and permission to step away from your reflection, and return when you are mentally ready. 

“Self-reflection is scary but necessary for growth.”