Self Care: How To Have Hope Even In Difficult Times
The past year has been an unusually challenging one for many of us. As we do our best to navigate the coronavirus pandemic’s difficulties, it has been hard to remain positive and have hope for the future.
Hope is an integral part of living a healthy and happy life. While there may seem like fewer reasons to be hopeful over the last year of the pandemic, it is essential to remember that there are still reasons to laugh, feel joy and be optimistic.
Here are a few great ways that you could try and build more hope in your life.
Redesign An Area Of Your Home
Having a home improvement project to work on can be an excellent way to focus your mind and channel your energies during the winter. There is something very satisfying about having a project to work on in your downtime and the positive impact that a freshly redecorated home can have on our mental health.
You could redesign a room or area, landscape the garden or invest in some new furniture. For an added boost, you could consider getting some beautifully restored furniture from our ReStore shop. You can make this furniture your own and breathe some new life into your home.
Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in finding more hope in your life. Mindfulness helps us focus on the here and now and stops us from getting bogged down by overthinking, and being mindful means staying in the moment and focusing on what is happening minute by minute. You could try this out by eating some of your fruit or chocolate and concentrate on the taste and enjoyment you’re getting from them. This is an excellent first step towards mindfulness that you can then build on in your daily life.
Another way to be mindful could be to take a break from social media. This approach could be beneficial to anyone that finds themselves spending a lot of time scrolling through the latest headlines. A constant stream of bad news can be detrimental to our mental health and lead to hopeless feelings. Removing social media from your life for a week, a day, or even an hour at a time could help to boost your mood and levels of hope.
Use Your Hands
Creating things can be one of the best ways to bring hope and joy into your life. Even if you don’t think you’re going to be good at something, it can’t hurt to pick up a paintbrush or pencil and have fun. If you would like to develop a skill, then you could take some online classes.
The act of making things is a soothing thing and full of potential. It will help give you something positive to look forward to each day, and you could gift your creations to friends and relatives as birthday presents.
There are also ways that you can channel your creative energies into community projects so that even more people can benefit. Please look at the volunteering opportunities we have available at the moment for an idea of how you can use your practical hands-on skills to contribute to the Dorchester community!
One phrase that can be helpful when thinking of hope is, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” You could try flipping this phrase on its head by thinking about what you have got – often, there will be more reasons to have gratitude than you think. That’s not to say that you should minimize your struggles. It is still important to acknowledge the difficulties that you may face, but this should be done while also celebrating the things in life that you have and are grateful for having.
You could consider writing a gratitude journal, where you note down one thing each day you are grateful for receiving or experiencing. This could be as simple as nice weather or as profound as contemplating the importance of a friendship. Once you start seeing things to be thankful for in the world, it will seem a brighter, more hopeful place.
Many people associate hope with optimism and excitement for the future. With the future looking uncertain at the moment, when life will return to normal, it can be hard to find things to look forward to in the future.
You could consider making some plans for the future, even if you don’t know when you’ll be able to do them. You could make a plan with your friends and loved ones of what you want to do when the pandemic no longer constrains you. Try planning out a vacation or road trip, all the logistics, how much money you will need, where you’ll go and what you do. You can leave the dates blank for now and start saving. This will give you something to look forward to when things start to feel bleak.
Do Something For Others
The act of doing something selfless for others’ benefit can be hugely beneficial to your mood and outlook on life. You could do something simple, like go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor, walk a friend’s dog, or donate to a worthy cause like Dorchester’s Carpenters Club. The act of helping others can do so much good for our mental health.
There are so many ways that you could give back to others during this time. While some more traditional charity endeavors may be challenging at the moment, you can still find ways to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. An additional benefit to giving back to your community is that it helps you feel purposeful, getting you out of the house and connecting with people.
You could consider voluntary outdoor work, which can be done in a more coronavirus-safe manner, or maybe have an early spring clean and donate some items you no longer need. Whatever you want to do, there’s no better time to get in touch with non-profit organization Dorchester Habitat For Humanity to see how you can help spread a little hope in the world!