As we approach our second summer of the pandemic, some of us find ourselves thinking about what has been and what will come to be. With vaccines becoming more widely available and restrictions gradually lifting, many may feel as if we have come to a crossroads. While some might feel relief, others are feeling hesitant and anxious about what life will be like in the coming months. The constant re-evaluation of risk versus benefit and of what we personally feel comfortable doing versus what others are doing can be mentally exhausting. Sometimes it may seem hard, if not impossible, to think of the positives that we might have experienced over the past year.
We hope the following twelve questions may help put things in perspective for some, and aid in reflecting on ways you might have coped, adapted, changed, and perhaps grown as a result of pandemic life experiences. Additionally, we hope that thinking more about these questions offers some insight, perhaps clarity and a sense of grounding in what still may feel like uncertain times. (Please note these questions were adapted from a Psychology Today article by Gregg Levoy, and the provided examples for some questions are not all inclusive).
We urge you to take some time to ponder the questions and your responses to them. Some find it helpful to write thoughts down in order to revisit and reflect on them further in the future. Ultimately, remember to be kind to yourself, have confidence in your choices, and remain true to what you determine to be best (given the information available to you at the time) as you continue to move forward in navigating life’s journey.
If you find yourself in need of additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend, clergy, or your Kesher worker. Tara Watkins, LICSW, the Kesher worker for Congregation Beth Sholom and Temple Emanu-El, is available at 401-527-7772 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Shana Prohofsky, the Kesher worker for Temple Sinai and Temple Torat Yisrael, is available at 401-619-2106 or email@example.com.
"Nearly 50% of people are anxious about getting back to normal, pre-pandemic life — here’s how to cope," CNBC Website, March 21, 2021.
"20 Questions to Clarify What Your New Normal Will Look Like," Psychology Today Website, March 24, 2021.
Samantha Clark is part of the Kesher Worker team at Temple Sinai. Kesher is the congregational outreach program of Jewish Collaborative Services of Rhode Island, funded by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and private donors. Katie can be reached at 401.415.8213 or by emailing