Wellbeing that works : How to keep going when the world feels so uncertain
I don’t need to tell you how overwhelming the world can be feeling right now, war, climate crisis, political instability, pandemic, it’s hard to get away from the constant bad news.
I’ve found myself having some personal struggles recently too and it has led me to think, how can I keep going, keep getting back up, working on my business again when it all feels very hard?
In the wellbeing space, especially online, there can be a lot of messages, sometimes conflicting, sometimes misleading, offering hope and quick fixes or hacks to happiness. I’d like to take a minute to debunk some of them and provide you with some practical things to take into your day to day lives, as well as a little hope.
Firstly no ‘Positive Vibes only’
As human beings we want to feel happy, safe and content, it’s an innate desired state. But pushing away, avoiding or not acknowledging uncomfortable emotions, is most likely going to lead to them arising again. Emotions tell us something about our current situation and give us a signal to act, whether it is a positive (happiness, leaning in to joy) or protective (running away in fear).
Sadness or anger at the state of the world right now is likely appropriate, and in a positive way might lead us to taking action, writing to our MP or searching out a charity to support.
So, when difficult emotions arise, it can be helpful to sit with them initially, rather than rushing to fix them (with food, exercise, a distracting binge of Netflix). Acknowledge that feeling or thought but then extend the sentence with AND.
I feel angry at the climate crisis AND I can find a local green space to walk and enjoy the sunshine.
I feel upset about the injustice and pain in the world AND I can still enjoy time spent with my family and friends.
I feel angry about the people in powerful positions in the world AND I can still work on my own business/passions.
Remembering that you can hold space for both can release some of the intensity and allow the difficult feelings to pass through a little more easily. It can also remind us of the hope we can find too.
Discover ‘self-care’ that works for you
Another phrase which I feel has been hijacked by consumerism, from bath bombs and face masks to stationery!
But taking time to work out what it is that actually re-energises you is really important. We aren’t often taught this in school or when we’re growing up, but I think it is a huge benefit to spend some time getting to know yourself outside of what we think we ‘should’ like based on our age/gender or other demographics.
Take a moment to reflect on these pointers:
- What activities make you feel most like you?
- What actually fills you up and keeps you going?
- What helps you slow down?
- Do you know when it’s the time to finally get stuff done so you can feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement?
- Or when you need to rest, when it’s time to let yourself, mind and body switch off?
Sometimes you just might not have the energy or capacity to put these in place, and other times you’ll remember one of these which struck a cord and try using it. Don’t add ’I’m no good at self care’, or ‘I can’t do self-care’ to the list of things to make yourself feel worse.
The most important point is to simply do what you can, when you can.
If you’d like to find out more about implementing self care into your daily routines, join me and Sally Harris at St Ethlewold’s House in Abingdon Sunday 26th June for a nourishing morning retreat. This is a gentle retreat and lunch to help you get back to what really matters. You’ll leave feeling revived and resourced for whatever lies ahead.