In part 3 of this blog series, I will be talking about overcoming the first 3 months of 2021 as a whole. This will be different to part 2 of this series, where I talked about how I specifically dealt with bad days. Here I will be considering the period as a whole, and discuss 4 things that helped me overcome this period. Note that the things I mention are what helped me, but everyone is different, and different people would have had different coping strategies.
Visualising the light at the end of the tunnel
One of the most reassuring things about tough times is that they don’t last forever, and that things do get better. Constantly reminding myself of this allowed me to put things in perspective, as well as helped me find motivation when I desperately needed it. When the governments roadmap (in the UK) was announced in mid-February, it essentially became a counting down the days exercise until things opened up. In other words, I could visualise the light at the end of the tunnel, and that light became brighter and brighter with each passing day. When things get tough, usually we need something to hold on to for us to cope, and for me the light at the end of the tunnel was that thing I held on to.
Almost forcing myself not to give up
When troubles seem unrelenting and never ending, it can be hard to stay motivated all the time. That is understandable, and whilst it is almost impossible to be motivated all the time, the last thing that you would want to do is give up. There were many times where I had to be strict on myself and force myself not to give up, as I knew the consequences of giving up would not be good. Giving up would have only lead to regrets when I looked back on it, and it was better to pull through and find a way when I felt like giving up. I know that everyone says to be kind to yourself which I totally agree with, but I do feel when it came to ensuring I didn’t give up, I did have to be harsh on myself to an extent.
Being selective to who I open up to
This may seem like a controversial point, but important nevertheless. I hear all the time that we should be open and talk about our mental health struggles with others. However, we need to be careful in who we open up to, and we certainly cannot open up to everyone. I am very prone to bad anxiety, and this was heightened during a stressful period like this. I knew that if I opened up to the wrong people then my anxiety would have gotten worse. Therefore, I was selective on who I opened up to when I was having a bad day or when I was struggling motivation wise. Luckily, I was pretty confident in the family and friends I had that I knew I could trust, and my trust was justified in every single case when I spoke to them.
Being realistic on how I would feel and what I could get done
I talked about this in part 2 of this series, and I will mention it again here. Being in a strict lockdown and being restricted to our homes meant that it was unrealistic to be happy and productive 100% of the time. I knew that I was going to have bad days and days that were not productive, which meant that I put lower expectations on myself to be always happy and productive. These lower expectations helped reduce the pressure on me in a way, and meant that I wasn’t too hard on myself when things didn’t go my way.
What things helped you overcome this difficult period? Comment on the comment section below!