Most of us have been affected by coronavirus in one way or another this year, and it’s had a huge impact on our emotional resilience.
As chartered psychologist Kimberley Wilson explains in this clever video, the pandemic is like a “burden backpack”: many of us have acclimatised to the weight of it, but it still exacts a huge toll – and in ways we may not be fully aware of.
So it’s not surprising that many of us have grappled to get to grips with various life goals over the past few months – including Miley Cyrus.
“Then by 27, [November 2019] I was pretty much fully sober. Then, like a lot of people during the pandemic, I fell off. It was really a struggle. Mental health and anxiety and all that. I lost myself there, and now I’m back on five weeks.”
Cyrus’ words are important because they normalise failure. Whether you’re getting fit, sober or want to write a book, it’s inevitable that you won’t live up to your own best intentions sometimes – especially in the shadow of a global catastrophe.
But the important thing is that you don’t dwell on the moment you failed, or beat yourself up about it. As many mental health experts have pointed out, with all that is going on right now – a fast-spreading illness, a recession, not being able to see loved ones – it’s enough to simply get through the day.
You don’t need to place pressure on yourself to learn the ‘cello, bake banana bread or generally “make the most” of any time off. And, as the pandemic continues, any goals you’ve set may be subject to a major wobble or two enroute.
Negative self-talk is unlikely to help you succeed in any good new habit or life goal. But a clear sense of purpose, along with the ability to focus in the short-term, will – and Cyrus brings both mindsets to her sobriety quest.
“A couple of years ago, it looked like I was living some fairy tale. It really wasn’t,” the former Hannah Montana star tells Rolling Stone. “At that time, my experimentation with drugs and booze and the circle of people around me was not fulfilling or sustainable or ever going to get me to my fullest potential and purpose.
“Right now I have been focusing on sobriety as I wanted to wake up 100 percent, 100 percent of the time, If I’ve ever learned to balance myself and to not take it too far, I would. But so far any time I’ve messed with that, it hasn’t gotten me what I want.”
“I think it [sobriety] is necessary for me to fulfill my purpose right now,” she adds. “I try to bookend everything for right now, because otherwise it becomes a statement [and] that pressure of maintaining.”
So the next time you feel like you’re failing at a goal you set yourself, take a leaf from Cyrus’ book. Accept what’s happened, remove the pressure and carry on – those falls are all part of the journey.
Are you struggling with your alcohol intake? You’re not alone: seek help and support with Drinkaware