How are you doing, really? Sometimes we need to a do our own health check – how am I feeling physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? For some of us, life has sped right up again and there seems little time or opportunity to assess.
Collectively, we have been through trauma with the pandemic, and now with the Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis, we are constantly being bombarded with depressing and scary news. We can feel guilt, or helplessness, or worry every time we pick up our phone or watch the news.
We weren’t designed to carry the weight of the world’s problems. But with technology, we can know what is happening around the world instantly, adding to our stress.
Here are some ideas to help us to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Spend less time on our phones. As our lives become increasingly dependent on our devices, we need strategies to keep in control! Most phones can show us exactly how much time we spend on apps and websites – a good place to start would be to assess our daily intake. We can then place timers on apps, to limit time spent per day. How about muting emails, WhatsApp groups or conversations so that we decide when we check in, rather than being constantly available? It is possible to filter our notifications so that only the important ones come through. Encouraging phone free times, for example at mealtimes or just before bedtime, can help us live in the moment and connect to others.
· Get out in nature. Even a 20 minute walk in a wood can lift mood, and release endorphins. Spend the time listening to the different sounds, the wind through the leaves, birdsong, the snap of twigs underfoot. If you have faith, spend time in worship.
· How about some stretches to counteract time spent in front of a laptop, or on our feet all day.
· Instead of scrolling through social media, read a book, or listen to your favourite music. Too often we end up dissatisfied as we compare ourselves to others, or use it as a distraction.
· If you are feeling helpless in the face of overwhelming need, just pick one difference that you can make. Whether it’s phoning a friend who is experiencing loneliness, or supporting a charity, or volunteering – just pick one thing that you know will improve someone else’s life. Often when we help others, we feel better ourselves.
Have you any strategies that you’ve tried? Share them below!