A lot of people have already lost hope with the prospect of what may be coming this year. There’s more COVID restrictions for some, vaccine mandates for others, or the continued loss of being unable to see loved ones. Not to mention the everyday stress of work, finances, health issues and overall societal problems.
There’s always something around the corner leaving you unable to exhale; in a state of constant anxiety or stress. It can certainly feel overwhelming and makes everything seem hopeless. Times are changing and if you continue to try to persist with old habits, routines and expectations, you can end up feeling stagnant- constantly waiting for this period to pass so you can carry on with your life, with the nagging fear that two years on, this may not be temporary after all.
It’s so important to remember that what you’re feeling as a result of everything is completely normal. It’s important to take the time to process these feelings, talk to people about them and give yourself that chance to exhale and find some hope. Here are some strategies to help you do this.
Focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t
Feeling like you don’t have any control in a situation can make hopelessness worse for some. So, it will help to look at elements of your life you can control such as what routines you have in your day, how much time you spend on social media, how much you exercise or who you spend time talking to. These small parts of your life can help you feel in control because you can make small changes that can dramatically affect your life. Instead of watching for COVID numbers or scrolling social media on the weekend or after work, you can choose to create a more positive change by either going for a walk or taking up a hobby. Choosing who you let into your life at this time is also a crucial decision- look to people who lift you up and make you feel happier instead of enabling your feelings of hopelessness.
Maintain perspective and remind yourself life doesn’t stay like this forever
When you encounter the hard parts of life, it’s natural to feel like life will stay this way forever. But it doesn’t and it never has! Human civilisation has been through war, recession and other pandemics. These periods, while they are hard and cause harm, do stop or get control eventually. Gaining a sense of perspective is very healthy here- what do you have in your life that you are grateful for? Remember that there are people in this world who are experiencing war, poverty, terminal illness and isolation along with all that comes with this covid pandemic.
Remember what life was like pre-COVID and look to what it can be post-COVID
What was life like before the pandemic started? Were there aspects you always wanted to change? Restrictions and lockdowns can bring about positive aspects of life. A lot of people have found the time for self-care, whether it’s sleeping in, taking the time for a bath or cooking a nice meal from scratch. Being forced to spend time at home has sometimes been a positive change for people who had fast paced lives. Perhaps you didn’t have time to connect with family and friends? Without a doubt the importance of social interaction has been made obvious to those who took it for granted or didn’t have time for it. Focus on reconnecting those relationships that make you feel happy. Whether it’s a phone call or a zoom call, having the most basic form of interaction can make you feel hopeful for the future.
Feeling hopeful can be hard right now, and while you may be using these strategies and others to make changes in your life, you still can’t see the light at the end. If this sounds like you, don’t suffer in silence- see your GP and talk to them about where you go next. They may suggest a mental health treatment plan so you can seek professional help. You also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support or reach out to a trusted loved one and share how you’re feeling with them.
We have a team of highly skilled and experienced therapists at Nova Psychology who can support you through these challenging times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.