What can we do to help ourselves during this challenging period?
In order to help ourselves through this period, we need to ensure that, as much as possible, our mindsets are in the open, optimistic and upbeat zone. This is as opposed to the pessimistic and negative zone where our thoughts can spiral out of control. Focusing our energy on feeding ourselves positive affirmations will help to avoid emotional breakdowns and allow us the time to support those around us.
It might sound too trivial to suggest that we need to maintain a level of positivity, but, essentially, that is the key to maintaining our mental wellbeing. I used to find that, when my mind was idle and focused on something depressing that I thought might happen, or when I constantly consumed bad news and media with negative headlines, it had a damaging influence on my thought process and, subsequently, my mood. I believe that it’s better to process the facts available from each situation, and then to give myself a positive affirmation and focus on what’s within my control. Creating this constructive habit and correcting myself when I’m drifting into a negative thought space really helps me to manage my mindset and mental wellbeing.
I appreciate that it’s not as simple as that for everyone, and that when someone isn’t feeling good about themselves or their prospects it can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been in that situation myself: staring at the bottom of the barrel, floating in the abyss and feeling as though there is no hope. I remember having to sign on at the job centre every two weeks and feeling like there were no opportunities for me – everything that could go wrong found a way to go wrong. The unfortunate reality for me was that, until I was ready to really want to pull myself out of that situation, I was going to use everything as an excuse for why my life was turning out this way. Sometimes, it’s easy to say outwardly that we are trying when, deep down, we know we’re just ticking a box. Until you take that step from within, find the courage and make a choice to want to change your outlook, you are likely to always default back to pessimism as soon as something goes wrong. When you hit rock bottom, where nothing else can affect you, that’s when you realise you can seize control again and are ready to find your way out. The more positive thoughts and ideas that you’re able to fill your headspace with, the better your opportunity to bring yourself out of the negative zone. Fortunately for me, my saving grace was that I had some amazing family and friends who didn’t give up on me – they checked in on me and did what they could to keep nudging me, until eventually things clicked back into place.
If you’re doing ok and have the capacity to do so, then check in on your family, friends and work colleagues – those that you know might be struggling or who you haven’t heard from in some time. The greatest gift that you can give someone who isn’t doing so well is your time. Listen to them, encourage them and support them.
Stay safe and manage your mindset.