Updated: Apr 30, 2020
When we brought in the year 2020 no one saw coronavirus, nationwide lockdowns, unemployment rates skyrocketing, and social distancing.
It was like the whole world was put on pause. New graduates wonder about the job market. Kids and parents wonder if the kids will go back to school this year.
With so much uncertainty I understand how easy it is to adopt the mindset of
“What’s the point?”
During times of great strain or difficulty its normal to battle with thoughts of hopelessness, anger, and frustration. Therefore, I want to inspire some hope in you and give you some tools to battle them in the future.
1. Get help.
You don’t have to deal with this alone. With everyone experiencing a pandemic you may feel like you dont have anyone to talk to. You don’t have to wait for the world to open back up to get help. Licensed professional counselors and therapists are available now for telehealth sessions.
During this time, you may find yourself overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety
or depression. Meeting with a therapist can help you process your emotions and thoughts, and help you discover coping mechanisms to manage how you are feeling. Have concerns about starting therapy or how to find a counselor near you?… see my post about 5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Therapy.
2. Get a mentor and surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do.
No matter how bad it looks right now the world is not over and eventually, we will eventually overcome this thing. When you find your passion and inspiration dwindling having someone that you look up to who has the maturity and life experience can be invaluable. No one in this life has lived it without experiencing difficulties. Having someone who has battle difficulties but continued to the other side can help give you the push you need to make it though.
Don’t have a mentor well put yourself in places and with people who are doing what you want to do. If you need joy, then surround yourself with people who are joyful. If you need discipline, then hang out with people who practice discipline. Who we surround ourselves with has a significant influence on our lives. If you find yourself struggling in an area look at the people who are around you it could be playing a part.
3. Pursue thankfulness.
This is one of my favorite points because being thankful shifts our perspective. People who are thankful find it easier to see the good in a situation.
Thankfulness shifts your eyes from all the things that are wrong to the many things that are right in your life.
I know that for some the situations and life experiences that you have had to endure make it hard to see the light. So, I ask that you start small and work your way up.
Thankfulness inspires hope in us and the people around us. Start by keeping a gratitude journal or writing a thank you letter or text.
Be intentional about living a life of thankfulness.
4. Start small.
If your anything like me you may find yourself paralyzed by perfectionism. Maybe you feel until that if you can do it perfectly then you can’t do it at all. Or maybe you get overwhelmed with the details and the work it will take to get where you want to be. So rather than start, you have placed your dreams and ambitions in a box labeled “impossible”.
Well, I encourage you to break down your goals into the smallest manageable pieces. Maybe you want to become a doctor but that’s not going a happen overnight. However, you can look at the requirements for applying to college. You can go to an interest meeting. You can make the first phone call. You can write down the ideas you have for a book.
Whatever it is do it I don’t care how small the step is. Maybe you feel so low that the first step for you maybe just to get out of bed. Every day try to take a small step and take another the next day. No matter how small the steps you are building something, and don’t forget to celebrate your victories.
5. Get your hopes up!
Encourage yourself. When I am struggling with my thoughts or want to believe something about myself. One of my favorite ways to do that is to flood my environment with what I want to see or believe.
Create a vision board, place reminders and encouraging words in your home, listen to messages and music that inspire you and give you peace, read or watch testimonials of people who have overcome challenges. The point of this is to get your hopes up, to believe that all things are possible, and that your dreams are worth pursuing.
Pessimism is easy but hope can be much harder. So, before you can give yourself the chance to talk yourself of out trying by listing all the reasons why it won't work or how you tried before, and it failed. I ask you to take a chance and try again.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
Latasha Baydar, M.A., LMFTA is a licensed marriage and family therapist associate at Agape Christian Counseling in Huntersville, North Carolina.