In the year 2021, life has thrown some heavy punches at us all. As an Australian, for me, it all began in 2019 with the devastating bushfires. Following that, we had a drought and, finally, COVID-19.
That was awful enough, but then the riots happened and the world seemed to be in chaos. With so much hatred and violence globally, I wondered why I ever agreed to participate in this enterprise called life. Do you share my sentiments?
Coronavirus wreaked havoc on my life in 2020, and it is a year I wish to forget, but rather than dwell and share what happened, I prefer to offer some tips on coping when life is throwing you punches. These worked for me. By the way, life turned out fabulous in 2021 despite the COVID-19 lockdowns and setbacks.
Exercise is an incredible way to lift your spirits. Whether you choose to go for a walk in nature, run at the beach, go for a jog, join the gym, practise some yoga or dancing, move your body, and you will feel better. Apart from mentally feeling better, the other benefits are a healthier and fitter body, which is a mood enhancer in itself.
Contribute to others
Meaning, do something for someone else or the environment. It makes no difference what it is; for instance, you could:
Pick up trash
Pay a visit to an elderly neighbour
Volunteer at a charity
Make your art available to the rest of the world via social media
Let someone know how much you value them
Buy a friend a cup of coffee
Become a great listener
Volunteer at a bush regeneration group
The list goes on and on.
Stop right now and consider what small thing you can do to help and make a difference.
Whenever I'm feeling down, I go out into nature. If you live in a city, what are your options? You could visit a botanical garden or a park. Perhaps even a garden centre? If these are not an option, try watching nature broadcasts or listening to a nature meditation. Even if you start creating a small garden, you are still spending time in nature.
Consider looking up at the night skies on a clear night and ponder on the vastness of it all. Did you know we are a small solar system in a large galaxy, The Milky Way, and tiny little Earth is minuscule in the scheme of things. There are trillions of galaxies and planets, and when you contemplate it, it makes our problems seem so insignificant. Spend some time on Youtube and investigate the size of the Universe. It is incredible.
Spend some time to declutter and spring clean your home. Having an ambient home that smells beautiful, has candles for ambience, is clean and tidy and has beautiful pot plants is a way to lift your spirits. It is bad Feng Shui to live in clutter and an unclean environment, so even if being a neat nut is not your thing, creating an ambient home or space within your home is a definite mood lifter.
Mindfulness and gratitude
Gratitude and mindfulness, according to every spiritual teacher, are the keys to happiness. Simply writing this post has lifted my spirits after a long day because I've 'contributed' by writing it and sharing my feelings and experience, and if it inspires just one person, then job well done!
Writing down and contemplating on what you already have is a way to bring you back to Earth, especially if you look at other people worldwide who don't even have clean water. If you are reading this then be humbled by realising that you have a computer and/or phone with access to the internet. You have also been to school to learn to read and write. Millions of people on our planet do not have such luxuries.
When things seem harsh, practice some of these tips, and even if it makes you only feel a little bit better, it is progress.
It's a beautiful life, if you make it so.