These are trying times. That is still a fact. But what is the point in rummaging for explanations or for someone (or something) to blame? I know, it is tempting. But a better idea might be to avoid all the negative vibes that sometimes come along with playing the blaming game or by searching endlessly for explanations that may not even exist. So, what do we do instead? I mean, it is not like we can click on a magic button and automatically get sent to a world where everything is just fine. It doesn’t work that way. It takes, whether we like it or not, a bit more of an effort. And although not everything works for everyone, there are few things that have worked for me and thus I’d like to share them with you, hoping they may also help you out a bit. I call them "the three survival strategies for not losing my mind." They are:
Yes, you read that correctly. At some point along the way, somehow, many of us started believing that we were in control. What’s more, we even believed that having things or being in certain positions along the hierarchical totem pole, would give us certainty. I don’t mean to be mean or anything but, how is that coming along? As many of us have probably found out already, we are not in control of what happens outside. Little does it matter who you are or how much stuff you have; if you have been somewhat awake in the last three months, you can probably agree with me that nothing can be really taken for granted.
So one option is to fight that uncertainty (the first reaction for most of us). But what if instead, we just embrace uncertainty. I mean, our current reality (with the pandemic) might have probably lifted the veil somehow. Why don’t we just go all the way? Life is uncertain. And there is really not much we can do about it. The more we try to pretend life is not, the longer it might take us to realize the options we truly have. So I’d say welcome uncertainty with open hands and an open heart. There will be plenty to learn just from that simple act.
My second strategy is to maintain a positive mindset. And I obviously don’t mean the whole “I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy” delusional view on “reality”. No. I am referring, instead, to the state of mind, a belief if you will, that suggests that things are not permanent, and that they could (and probably will) get better somehow sometime. Having that mindset will allow you to see things and options that you might not be able to see otherwise. So it is a bit of a nonbrainer on this one: trying it might give you options whereas maintaining a fixed view on reality will definitely not. Try it and see for yourself.
You are enough.
You are who you are right now and that is fine. You are not perfect but neither am I nor anyone I know. And that is perfectly okay. And that is just enough for now. In other words, whatever expectations of greatness you might have at the present, just throw them away. Some of them might make sense in certain contexts but a lot of them don’t. In fact, a lot of these expectations might not even be yours to begin with. And that is OK, too; it is hard sometimes to successfully escape society’s gravitational pull.
Regardless, this is a great time to look within and maybe start realizing that whatever you see is just fine. Let go of all external expectations for a couple of days and see how that feels like. Try being yourself as much as you can for just a bit and, I don’t know, perhaps you can even try to enjoy it. Feel comfortable with who you are, ground yourself to that feeling. Say out loud that you are enough. Maybe you will realize that, in fact, you are enough and that you might have been trying to live someone else's idea of your own self.
To sum up, hard times, yes. But it could also be the perfect time to start practising long-term personal care. There are many strategies available out there; I simply hope mine are helpful. What are yours? Any other in particular that works best for you?