This has been a rough year for millions of people and it can be hard to be optimistic and see the silver lining. A lot of people are working remotely and while it’s great in preventing infection, it can be incredibly isolating. Living and working in the same space just isn’t ideal. But here are some tips to help you cope with 2020 blues.
1. Get centered
I admit that I’ve never been one to recommend mindfulness but that’s changed since I started incorporating various practices into my life. Guided meditation, yoga, and visualization practices can do wonders for helping you to manage depression and anxiety. Many times anxiety tends to be centered around what has happened in the past or something you’re worried about in the future. Staying in the here and now can help to put things in perspective and to consciously gently challenge some of the negative automatic thoughts that precede anxiety.
2. Do something
While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break and having lazy days, there’s nothing like engaging in an activity that brings you joy. It could be an outdoor walk, trying out a new recipe, connecting with an old friend, or just sitting comfortably with an adult coloring book. Make it a priority to do three things every week that bring you joy. You’ll find that it will help you with managing stress and adjusting to change.
3. Take a break
Working remotely can mean that you don’t take as much time off work as you did before. Don’t neglect to take a vacation. Even if it’s just a staycation. PTO is available for a reason and while you might be tempted to save it all up until you can travel again, consider taking a few days off to give your mind a break. Schedule a day where you have nothing to do and stick to it. Step away from screens and stretch your body and eyes for a few moments. Take 5 deep breaths before sitting down to work. Don’t be afraid to make time for you and to step away from work so that you don’t burn out.
One thing I’ve taken the time to be deliberate in savoring small moments. Like many people, it’s easy for me to get caught up in plans for the future and literally live months and even years in advance because I’m planning that far ahead. I have plan A’s, plan B’s, plan C’s, plan D’s and even plan E’s. My mind is constantly going analyzing and assessing my current situation and strategizing about my next move and what work is needed in order to make it a successful venture. However, I’ve had people remind me that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. I’ve had the chance to take some time and appreciate the small victories and happy moments in life that are often overlooked through all the crap that comes along with living in a bad world. Recently I had an experience that I’ve waited about two years for. The great thing was that I can honestly say that I took the time to just “be” in that moment. It was one of those things that I knew I might never happen again so I took the opportunity to savor it. While I’m somewhat of a patient person, the fact that I waited two years for it made it worth it. I appreciated it more and also understood that the moment was fleeting. Therefore, I just decided to enjoy it without allowing my mind to be distracted by the underlying meanings and motives and repercussions of the moment. In order for this to happen I had to make a deliberate and conscious decision to live in the moment for at least a moment and just “be” without a million and one thoughts coming in a spoiling the special-ness of the moment. Was it worth shutting out distractions and thoughts to enjoy the moment? Absolutely.