How far do you look into the future?
I don’t mean with a crystal ball, necessarily. I mean more in terms of a vision or a plan for the months or years ahead. It’s fair to say, after the last couple of years, it would be no wonder if you all you can manage is to get washed and dressed, and that’s as far as you want to commit.
Times have been particularly challenging of late for many, and not just in the aftermath of the pandemic. Whether it’s the cost of living crisis, or the unexpected grief that rose to the surface for many when The Queen died, we can sometimes feel like we’re walking through treacle. You get your cardigan caught on the door handle, you accidentally catch your knee on the coffee table and you find yourself on ‘hold’ with every phone call you make. Everything feels…complicated. Disrupted. And unnecessarily difficult.
It’s at times like this when well-meaning people tell us to “look on the bright side”, with a false optimism in the hope we can fake it until we make it, which whilst there is some benefit in doing, can be exhausting because of the amount of effort it might take. When there’s so much going on, we might need to take different steps.
Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Bring In Hope. It might start with taking a step back, looking at where you are and where you want to be. Planning for the future, and having things to look forward to – even if it’s only this week or this month – can be hugely motivating.
It might also include recognising the feelings you’re sitting with (you don’t have to do this on your own) and acknowledging the impact of everything you’ve been through. Sometimes that’s simply saying “this has been a lot” alongside the proper optimism (rather than the ‘just be positive” stuff) of acknowledging you will get through difficult times, because your success rate at coping with what life has thrown at you so far is actually 100%.
It might sound like a strange segue but adding colour to your life can help as well. Paint a wall in your living space a bright yellow, wear a bright green top if you have one or even just purchase or print a motivational quote to hang in your bedroom or space that reminds you why you get up every day. You could also remind yourself throughout the day of the little things – like a coffee that tastes just right, or the sun shine on a cloudy day – that make you smile and you appreciate.
Ultimately, as Rumi said “Be patient where you sit in the dark; the dawn is coming”. Light always follows the darkest moments of our lives, and you will rise to thrive another day.
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You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.
© Delphi Ellis 2022