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It's officially 2022, almost two years since the pandemic began, and the world still feels disrupted. From supply chain issues and staffing shortages to evolving CDC recommendations, it's safe to say we're still actively living in "unprecedented times" marked by uncertainty and fear.

In response, some companies have scrapped their plans to have employees return to the office. Others are relying on vaccine mandates, masks, and regular testing to keep their workplaces safe. What is clear: Our relationship to work has been forever changed.

The same could be said about our relationships to ourselves and each other. The The Upside article "How to Enter the World Again Without Fear" explores how to stay true to your intentions and find purpose and meaning in year three of Covid limbo. While there are many things you can't predict or control, you do have the power to adjust your mindset. Here are three mantras to guide you:

1) Find your joy

Joy is integral to our being. Humans are wired to seek happiness and construct meaning from their circumstances. And if we fail to honor our need for small pleasures and carefree moments, the burden of our obligations can weigh us down. 

Try to remember what excited you or brought you unexpected joy during the early weeks of lockdown. Was it baking? Doing a puzzle with your kids? Taking long walks? Whatever it is, get back in touch with it, even if you're no longer sheltering in place. 

2) Honor your struggles

As human beings, we’re wired to hang onto negative and cautionary worries to avoid pain. Yet we’re also not great at risk assessment in our pursuit of pleasure (and everyone calculates personal risk differently). To balance these two, ask yourself: “What do I really need in this moment?” Your answer will help you identify your fears and gain courage to be intentional in your decision-making.

Sometimes you may be craving connection, while other times you might want to feel more in control. Whatever it is you are seeking, try to give it to yourself—and cut yourself some slack. There is no playbook to follow, and everyone (including you) is doing the best they can.

3) Make a difference

A big lesson from the pandemic is that the pace and self-centered way we were living was unsustainable. We were on an endless treadmill that brought us short-lived happiness that resulted in us feeling burned out and unfulfilled.

Instead of trying to restore the world that existed before 2020, what if we built something new? What if every person started every day by asking: “What will I do today to spread love? What will I do today to spread light?” 

These two questions are based on the core constructs of humanistic psychology: unconditional love and positive regard. When the time comes to step into the world again, these questions will be critical to us moving forward collectively. After all, we are our only hope.

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Read the full article here and join us on Jan. 5 for science-based tips on setting and keeping your 2022 resolutions!