Facing 2021 With Hope and Resolve

Turning the page on a new year typically involves making lofty promises for a healthier, more productive year ahead. But in 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those goals went by the wayside as life as we knew it came to a halt. In this podcast, Krista Moe, PhD, a Lexington psychologist, talks with the “HealthTalks Now” team about approaching 2021 with positivity and resolve despite 2020’s unmet expectations and amidst continued uncertainty. Dr. Moe explains the importance of self-reflection, especially after a year of loss and disappointment, and offers suggestions for recognizing our strengths and using them to help us stare down 2021.

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In this episode of Baptist Health’s Health Talks NOW podcast hosts Kerri and Kendra speak with Dr. Krista Moe, a psychologist with Baptist Health’s behavioral health services division whose clinical focuses are depression and PTSD.  She is inspired in her practice by the work of Dr. Mary Pipher, who emphasizes the need to apply patient strengths to solve patients’ particular problems.  Kerri and Kendra hope to learn how this positive approach can apply not only as general advice to foster mental health but especially as we collectively transition from a very challenging 2020 into 2021. 

Dr. Moe shares about her background and how she ended up in her current line of work before turning to the challenges of the current moment.  Dr. Moe explains the dilemma of expectations – especially overly high expectations – and the importance of replacing expectations with things like hope and curiosity.  Ideally, this shift will reflect an acknowledgement and acceptance that we lack control over many things in life, along with a change in focus from what we cannot control to what we can control.  Dr. Moe also notes the importance of belief in something bigger than yourself – something to which or to whom you can turn over things you can’t control.

Moving forward, Dr. Moe offers insight on navigating the transition into 2021 by replacing negative thoughts from 2020 in healthy ways.  This involves maintaining a broader perspective, choosing a proper mindset, and ultimately flipping negative thoughts on their head by focusing on a positive counterpart to each one.  People can turn in concrete ways from anxiety to action and from depression to hope; there is always an alternative to ill feeling, and there are always opportunities for growth.  It is also crucial to engage in self-reflection, which involves finding things that give you energy and joy, learning your strengths, and capitalizing on these things as a buffer against stress and a support for mental health.

As the conversation winds to a close, Dr. Moe advises listeners on how to set SMART goals, and provides concluding input on both moving forward with focus and the need for acceptance of reality.

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