Looking inward and onward to 2022

THE ESSENTIALS During the pandemic we all learned what our desktop essentials are. What are yours? Sosie Casteel

Sosie Casteel | Head Editor

December 10, 2021

We have learned a lot over the last couple of years with challenge after challenge. With a new variant threatening our peace once again, we can only hope for a smooth 2022 as New Year’s Eve grows closer. 

Among many consequences of the pandemic, mental health decline has been one of the most prominent. The lasting effects of months spent without the ability to get outside, see loved ones, and go about normal daily have translated to increased difficulty in maintaining a positive outlook on life.

One of the most difficult truths regarding the pandemic has remained since the minute it hit our shores: no one is safe. True, there is a “removed” class of people who have temporary immunity after having the virus or getting vaccinated. However, the antibodies and vaccine wear off, rendering us susceptible once again. Additionally, with the emergence of the Omnicron variant, it is clear that we have not yet overcome the pandemic.

If there is one common experience across the world over the last two years, it is probably worry. However, this unification is not all bad. The moral of the story is that we’re all in this together. Disaster will strike, there’s no way around it. The only thing we can do is take care of one another and power through. With that in mind, 2022 can provide a fresh start for us to overcome adversity together. 

The common New Years’ Resolution list will need a few additions this December. We have seen the negative impacts of misinformation and media, but it has only provided us with more encouragement to be well-read and stay up to date on current events. This brings us to our first New Years’ Resolution:

1.Read at least three reliable news articles a week.

Reading up on news can help us keep a level head amidst the chaos and confusion of the pandemic. It’s especially important to seek out reliable news sources as well as acknowledging potential bias, checking the references within the articles, and fact-checking with other sources. While reading may not be everyone’s forte, many news organizations have podcasts both on their websites and on music platforms. Essentially, there is no reason to not be informed. Reading Triton Times articles every Sunday is a great place to start. 

2.Designate at least one day a week to complete a self-care routine.

It’s easy to mistake self-care with a specific trendy routine of early wake up times, yoga in the sun, healthy breakfast, and constant journaling. Self-care is far broader than this, however. The term simply refers to the process of attending to one’s own physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial needs. It is certainly not one-size fits all and should look different for everyone.

“During the pandemic I learned the importance of focusing on myself,” junior Tessa Campbell said. “Mental health comes above everything else.”

3. Practice gratitude, either verbally or in writing.

GRATITUDE FIRST Practicing gratitude, either verbally or in writing, has shown to have beneficial effects on the human brain. Sosie Casteel

With so many challenges, it can be difficult to step back and be grateful for the things that are going well in our lives. However, gratitude has shown to have psychological benefits as well as creating observable improvements to relationships. Simply showing appreciation for what we have, both big and small, can bring people together and make the pandemic hurdle look just a bit shorter.

“Reaching out to friends and family for help is a great way to stay sane,” senior Jason Herrmann wisely commented. 

It is difficult to come to terms with fact that we are bound to face more obstacles in the impending new year. However, we can use what we have learned as a rock to stand on when we feel ourselves sinking, especially keeping in mind that no one is alone in experiencing hardship.

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