Dr. Christina Greer (115266)
Dr. Christina Greer

Spring is around the corner, we can all see it in little ways. The birds seem to be getting a little louder. The snow is beginning to thaw just a bit. The temperature is getting warmer each week. People’s spirits seem to be rising just a little. For most, this week marks a full year of lockdown, quarantine, sheltering in place, working from home, home schooling, or whatever you want to call it.

For many, we have seen how resilient we can be in the face of adversity, trauma, extreme loneliness, or overwhelming exhaustion. Others have had to deal with the loss of loved ones and acquaintances without being able to properly grieve and get closure from traditional home going services.

As we gain an additional hour this year and “spring” our clocks forward, I hope we can use this as an opportunity to take stock of our current circumstance and plan for the upcoming months. First, there is an immense level of gratitude many will feel this spring. Just being able to usher in a new season and watch leaves sprout on trees, flowers slowly bloom, blades of grass emerge from the dirt, and see birds begin to return to their northern homes should feel like an enormous gift this season.

Second, hopefully people will begin to make a plan. We have now experienced this virus for an entire year. What can we plan for ourselves for the next year? Even with a vaccine getting into the arms of Americans, it will still be quite some time before herd immunity is reached and we return back to the way we once were, if that’s ever even possible (or desirable). So, what is our plan personally, spiritually, emotionally, and professionally for the next year? We have clearly been able to be somewhat resilient in the face of a global pandemic. With this foundation, what more can we do to prepare ourselves for the year ahead?

Lastly, even though life has slowed down considerably we must still pace ourselves. Most people are not traveling and going out and seeing friends and loved ones on a consistent basis, it is still important to recognize many of us are working harder than ever right now. Some of us feel like we live at work. Others are de facto teachers, counselors and caregivers while also trying to work from home. The level of exhaustion many are feeling is real. Some of the feelings stem from the additional work inside of the home and some of the exhaustion stems from the shadow of a global pandemic that has taken over a half million Americans and counting. Therefore, this daylight savings, treat yourself to an hour just for you. Find something that is for you, even if only for an hour.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and also What’s In It For Us podcast.