Written by Yasmin Singh
If this year has knocked you for six, take ten and heed our five top tips for better living.
#1 — Identify your emotions to figure out how to act, non judgementally
Sometimes just knowing what emotions or the several emotions you are feeling can shift the uneasy state of feeling overwhelmed or on edge. Ask yourself, what am I feeling? Often emotions are attached to actions and lately, you might be finding yourself being more avoidant or shut off from things that usually bring you joy, which often is tied to the feeling of sadness and grief. Sometimes just identifying how you feel opens up a space for self-validation. This year is hard, given everything that you’ve been through, it makes sense.
#2 — Stay connected to yourself and others
Our emotions are there to communicate to us how we feel or what we might need. But, when things are hard, sometimes acting oppositely to what our brain is telling us is more effective in the long run. Withdrawing or shutting off because we feel sad and down is valid but it’s a well-known fact that spending time with loved ones promotes feelings of happiness through connection. The trick with this, is that it’s only useful to throw yourself into things when the emotion you’re feeling is encouraging you to act in a way that’s not helpful or making things worse. Calling or hanging out with mates or family is one of the few things that can’t be completely shut down by a global pandemic. Let’s hold onto it.
#3 — Stay informed with news and manage your social media intake
Staying up to date is important but do so mindfully. The news and social media can function as both a source and a sink and it’s important to manage how much information we consume. Schedule time to keep up to date and ask yourself, how is this making me feel? Checking the death toll in Europe every time you refresh your Instagram feed is probably going to be unhelpful and promote anxiety.
#4 — Look after your sleep, diet, exercise
Go back to basics. When things are hard it’s always going to be easier to make smaller changes that are familiar, as opposed to starting a whole new lifestyle. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating enough or is your diet unbalanced? Have you moved in a way that makes your body feel good? Are you doing the things or making the decisions that align with your values? Keeping consistency with your basic needs is going to give you a proper chance at managing stress and keeping on top of life. This is your bread and butter of self-care.
#5 — Mourn the loss of your cancelled holiday and set new goals
The amount of times conversations centre around a trip to France that didn’t happen is as about as common as the number of airlines that have gone into liquidation. Let’s face it, it sucks. Anyone who had any plans for the year probably feels pretty annoyed that 2020 got cancelled. It makes sense to feel upset and it could also be a time to set a few smaller obtainable goals before the years up. Save what’s left of a very bumpy ride. Find something that gets you excited, having and knowing your goals can help build a sense of purpose and direction. When everything feels so uncertain and inconsistent, creating your own sense of direction can be a really useful way to ease the feeling of hopelessness and loss. It could be as big or as small as you want or more importantly, what feels manageable? Regardless of what it is there’s still time to feel accomplished.