Over the past few months we have been faced with some hardships and some hard conversations. Some of these things similar to what the world has seen before. Some are the first in our lifetime. Some are hardships that people face every day.
The simple truth is life is hard. Life is harder for some more than others. Life is also a test, an exam that we don't quite understand as human beings, but a test nevertheless.
As we battle through these hardships, our fear and stress increases and our perspective on life can change. We seek information to try to calm our fears but sometimes that information continues to stoke our fears and concerns.
If you have found yourself scared, angry, tired, stressed, lonely or sad, you are not alone. With the things going on in the world right now we’ve all felt one or more of these feelings at one time or another.
Here are 7 things that have helped me get out of ruts in the past. Hopefully they can help you if you’re in one.
- Be self-aware- know if you are getting a negative mindset. Take it upon yourself to make a positive change. Do you find yourself easily irritated over unimportant things? Do you find yourself argumentative and short tempered? Are you fun to live with? Take a step back…understand your triggers and personal mindset. Do what you need to do to start being fun to live with again…both for you and for others.
- Get up and get going- I find that when I am most stressed I have a hard time getting up and going in the morning. Find a reason to get up and get going. If you need a reason find someone to meet for coffee or a walk and you’ll be more accountable to get up and get going.
- Turn off the phone/news/social media- I rarely watch the news anymore. I am so much happier. I seek out and read information I need to from sources I have vetted and trust the information as facts, but I generally stay away from television news and certainly try to stay away from commentary that is strictly opinion. This is also difficult because our phones, text messages and emails have us hooked. There’s rarely anything emergent that can’t be done tomorrow morning. Put it away and go have some fun.
- Do something physical or get some exercise- If you work in a physical job find a way to do some exercise. If you work at a desk job find a physical activity and also do some exercise. We feel better when our body moves. You’ll also be more tired at the end of the day so insomnia seems to go away.
- Be quiet and just listen- This can be difficult because we always want to interject and give our opinion. Sometimes when others are talking we are formulating our own thoughts and just waiting to talk…not listening. Be quiet and listen… with no personal agenda to persuade or give your opinion….start with those you love the most.
- Have a grateful mindset- Find those things you are grateful for every day. Make a mental note or jot it down. Gratitude for the things we do have help us become happier people.
- Look back at history – As bad as things are….human beings have always been in turmoil. Human beings have also found a way to persevere and move forward. I believe most people are good and I believe we’ll find a way to make it through the things we are seeing today and get better because of them. In the history of history, when has there ever been a better time to be alive? Prehistoric times? ancient times? Civil War? World War I? The Great Depression? WWII? Vietnam? 1960’s riots? 1980's farming crisis? Middle East Wars? 9/11? The Great Recession? The real truth is, as bad as we think things are, there has never been a better time to be alive and grow old in. With advancements in the world through technology and healthcare our quality of life is better than any time in history. As bad as the media likes us to think things are, there are a heckuva lot of good things in this world too.
Bonus: Smile…you’ll feel better.
‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.- Franklin D. Roosevelt.