GENTLE WAYS TO EMBRACE THE PRESENT WHEN THE FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN
Here are some gentle ways to embrace the present when the future is uncertain. Self-care and mindset tips for when life feels difficult.
A DIFFERENT YEAR
As I’m writing this post, we’re heading towards the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Under normal circumstances, it would be a time of festive fun, Christmas chaos, plenty of family, good will, love and laughter. Then followed by a few days off work, off school and a chance to reflect on the past year and plan for the next.
Yet, this year feels (and is) very different. The year has seen many ups and downs, challenges and uncertainties that have tested us all in different ways. It has made us question our norm, the things we take for granted and the things that we treasure and hold most dear.
A DIFFICULT YEAR
I must admit that this year I’m struggling to feel festive. I have stayed away from publishing new Christmas posts and can feel my body and mind reacting with trepidation to what I see in the news.
I feel a little more anxious, unsettled and frustrated by our new Covid-style Christmas but I also know that in times of difficulty, it’s even more important to focus on our inner selves as well as the outside world.
So many of you who were kind enough to complete my little 2020 survey referred to our topsy turvy year and the impact it’s having upon you and your family, the emotional and wellbeing aspects as well as the health and logistical side.
If this is something that you’re struggling with, or you’d just like some ideas and encouragement to embrace the present when the future is uncertain, here are some self-care tips and resources you might find helpful. Just choose what works for you…
SELF-CARE AND MINDSET TIPS WHEN LIFE IS UNCERTAIN
1. Be selective with what you try to control
There are so many things in life that we can’t control. I find the sooner that I let go of that control and stop trying to change the direction when I can’t possibly be in the driving seat, then I’m better able to focus on what I can do something about. Which leads me on to…
2. Focus on your inner work
When I’m feeling unsettled or unsure because of my external environment, I find it helpful to work on the inner me. I check-in with how I’m feeling and give myself some grace to accept nothing is perfect. I try to shift my thought patterns, mindset and the way I think about things, because this in turn usually affects how I feel about them.
3. Prioritise self-care
In difficult times, we may push self-care way down the priority list but this is really when we need to bump it to the top. Taking care of ourselves may look different from person to person, but doing things that make us feel calmer, safer, healthier and stronger in both body and mind, builds strength and resilience to tackle that topsy turvy outside world.
4. Connect with others
We may not be able to do this in person, but reaching out to others by phoning a friend, posting a letter, writing an email, checking on a neighbour, facetiming, zooming, skyping – with family, friends and loved ones, can help us all support one another and remind us that we’re not alone, despite how we may feel.
5. Maintain routines
I love having flexible routines to structure my day. When I’m feeling out of control with the rest of my life, having a little framework to my home and day-to-day life, helps maintain a little normality. Some examples could be to book-end your day with morning and evening routines, stick to healthy and regular meal times, a little bit of housework, exercise and time for yourself each day.
6. Consume information in moderation
Keeping up with world events is good but information overload isn’t. Learn to switch off when you’ve heard enough. For example, I sleep better when I haven’t watched the news last thing at night and I try to detox from social media and my phone at weekends.
7. Make plans
Difficult times come and go. If you’re feeling stuck, housebound, alone, or in limbo, make a few little plans for when this season passes. Plan your next holiday, something to add to your wardrobe when you can next go shopping, a meal plan for next week, a list of books you’d like to get from the library, further training for your job, a new hobby you could learn from YouTube or a project around the home like decluttering your books or old photos. These plans will set your sights on a horizon beyond where you are now. They’ll be something to look forward to, get excited about and to give some purpose to this difficult time right now.