Today while I was out running some errands I took note of the misty gray sky and the chilly temperatures. My stomach kinda pulled in as a familiar feeling of low dread began swirling through it. With a heavy exhale I realized it was my body remembering the winter blahs. The short, dreary days where everything is gray and brown outside leading to an evening of early darkness that seems to drag on and on.
I'm not the only one feeling this way. Somehow, the entire world seems to be on an exasperated negative energy shift. I was not aware that this kind of restless melancholy could be shared with so many on a global level, but for the majority of people I know, it seems to be.
So, what can we do with all this stress and turmoil we're finding ourselves reeling in from day to day? I certainly don't have any answers that will be applicable to everyone, but I have do have some suggestions to try, and possibly tweak to fit your own life.
Find Ways To Connect:
During quarantine this is hard. As a matter of fact, quarantine/social distancing is probably a huge part of why everyone is out of sorts. Humans are social animals, even as introverted as I am, I need to have some kind of social contact with others, even if it that contact is different than that of an extrovert.
If you're someone who really misses socializing in person there are some volunteer opportunities that may be available in your area. In my area there is still a soup kitchen that runs on volunteer work as well as people needed to help with the food bank. I'm sure there are more activities than that to choose from, but those are two that I know of.
This one might be a little counter-intuitive, but I absolutely think it's helpful to many of us. Lean into social media selectively. Find groups to join on topics you like. Share your passions with others and encourage them to share theirs. I belong to more than one group on social media where the people are positive and supportive. If you don't have this, or can't find one, create it! Find apps that link like-minded people together from around the world. I have personally used some of these apps and it's so much fun learning about other cultures and people.
Be nice. That should go without saying, but for real you guys.... whether it's in person or online maybe skip the negative comments and leave positive ones. Sometimes I will see something that is just super rude or out there on the internet (no way, right?! lol) and I will begin typing my angry response with zero fucks to give about how it's coming across, but then I will ask myself if I would say that very same comment to the person's face. Usually, I admit to myself that I would probably either word it differently or just say nothing, so I choose to do that online, too. It takes a lot of practice and I'm not really great at wording things the best irl, but I'm trying. With that being said, be liberal with your kind words to others.Kindness costs nothing. Give others encouragement and recognition frequently. By building others up you will also feel a positive boost in your own mood.
Learn or Do Something New:
You might learn a new skill, language or instrument. Maybe you might decide to start a new fitness routine, or genre of books. You could foster animals or learn a new video game. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Changing up and expanding our lives and routines can lead to a greater sense of well being.
I know this phrase has been overused. I'm including it anyway, because self care is important. It's not always obvious, though. Self care can mean monitoring our own thoughts and behaviors and modifying the ones that have a perpetually negative outcome. That is hard, takes practice but necessary for happiness. Maybe you don't sleep enough, drink enough water, feel a certain down kinda way after talking to a specific friend. See how changing these influences and behaviors might contribute to a more positive mindset.
How have you been coping lately? Have you ever tried any of these ideas, and if so how did they work for you? Let me know in the comment section. I am genuinely curious.