How to protect your sanity when the world is on fire
Nothing is as it seems right now. You don’t know if you’re coming or going. Life has been irrevocably changed. All is not right in the world and you don’t when (or if) it will be again. The present is uncertain and the future has seemingly been stolen. At times like these, our emotional health is vulnerable and it’s more important than ever to safeguard it. Here are 7 ways to stay positive in a crisis.
1. Turn off the news
It’s a dark, dark place and a principal sponsor of sleepless nights. The news bites that will actually nourish your soul are the updates from the people you care about the most, wherever in the world they are.
2. Be proactive about your enjoyment
Add a bit of what you love to every day whether that’s cooking, knitting, watching The Simpsons or working out. Practice feeling good. When you wake up, decide one thing you would like to accomplish that day. This can give you a sense of purpose. It’s OK if it’s exactly the same as it was yesterday, but it provides you with something to work towards. Have a range of feel-good exercises you use like saying “ha ha – hee hee – ho ho” out loud just for fun. Devote more time to the things that inspire you than to the things that drain your energy.
3. Enjoy the sound of someone’s laughter
Ask someone you care about who makes you feel cheerful to send you a recording of their giggle or listen back to old voice notes.
4. Worry less
Children are jovial because they don’t have a file in their minds called “all the things that could go wrong”. We adults, however, seem to love that file and carry it around with us wherever we go, downloading new material and data to back up our unease (stop watching the news). The fact that we as humans are cognitive beings is our greatest strength and also our greatest weakness. If we let ourselves, we could probably spend every waking moment in mental turmoil. There are a gazillion much more fascinating uses for your headspace than worrying. Remember that bad days don’t last. They can’t.
5. Let yourself be bored
Spend a few minutes each day doing sweet nothing. Lose track of time. Have a delicious stretch and allow yourself some time to relax in bed before getting up.
6. Notice the little things
Look up at the way the light glistens through the water while you’re taking a shower. Appreciate the majesty and tranquillity of water’s flow. Gaze at the sky outside and think about the shapes and colours of the clouds. Watch as they sway across regally.
7. Focus on what’s still going right
An abundance mindset will take you much further than being a doubting Thomas. Gratitude stops us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Gratitude is counting the rainbows and not only the thunderstorms. There are a million and one things we could be grateful for, little and big: catching a whiff of a cake baking, sunny days, so-bad-yet-so-good TV shows, Netflix, great books, soul-soothing music, your family and friends, access to clean water, a good night’s sleep, good health, blue skies, the stars. And the list goes on.