2020 refocussed much of our energy and routine with us being overwhelmed with global multifaceted problems like the pandemic, climate, and conflicts. But it also simultaneously shifted much of our appreciation towards the little things in life.
It is finding the balance between these that can help you feel more stable, collected and prepared to face any challenges you need to overcome.
For many people, the news itself now is negative energy, persistently presenting 'the next problem' and therefore a common coping mechanism is to ignore it altogether. This can work but is essentially short-term as inevitably there are bigger problems at play that are only unavoidable individually for so long.
As aforementioned, it is the balance that is key, setting boundaries on how much information you take in and recognising your own boundaries (you are only human after all), in order to look after yourself.
For some, the bigger problems faced are financial, personal or home-based, making them harder to separate yourself from yet the space you need to take is almost even more essential to your welfare. This doesn't necessarily mean physical space, but mental. In order to tackle the bigger things, looking after the little things is a good place to start. Whether this means maintaining conversations with those around you, working out, or reaching out, the first steps are often some of the most important.
Another way of finding balance is to simply take breaks from anything that can become consuming, which can be especially useful for anyone who is, unfortunately like myself, fascinated with politics or alternatively anyone who is susceptible to the 'influencer' campaigns.
Whether it be a break from the news anywhere before bedtime or immediately once you've woken up, ghosting from your social media, going back to a simpler routine or just reading a fiction book with a cup of tea, taking space and appreciating the smaller parts of life can allow you to approach those larger challenges later.
Alternatively, for those whose days have almost blurred into one, going from one menial task to what feels like another, and are looking for more purpose, becoming more involved with campaigns and self-education can be incredibly beneficial; even just a few minutes a day of keeping up with current affairs can help you to feel a part of something bigger and a larger community.
Some little things to take your mind off the big things:
- A cup of tea
- Walk somewhere you've not been before
- A puzzle or game
- Playing old school tunes and vibing out, on your own or with other people
- Learn another language on Duolingo
- Read a fiction book
- Cosy night with a Netflix or YouTube Documentary
- Chat about stupid and irrelevant things with someone you care about
Things in the bigger picture (changing the world, for the better, piece by piece):
- Fighting for climate change
- World or Local Politics
- Student, post-grad groups
- Pursuing financial freedom or stability
- Human Rights Campaigns
- Activism (or clicktivism)