Speaking Mental Health
Forward Times Mental Health Advisors
Over the past year and a half we have made significant changes in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no time to ponder or consider whether or not we wanted to participate in the changes. We surely did not foresee the long-term effects of what was unfolding before us in March 2020. Many people lost their jobs and were forced to find new ways to care for themselves and their families. Others had the opportunity to work from home and stay afloat. Children had to learn to be educated virtually while being isolated from their friends and peers. Shortages of supplies and food has prompted inflation that we were not prepared for. We were forced to change and pivot our lifestyles in a short time which can be a lot to process at once. As we move forward, the impact and aftermath can still be overwhelming. The reality is that oftentimes, change is forced upon us even when we aren’t ready for it. Being in unknown territory can be a scary thing; however, we must decide to either sink or swim. The quicker we decide that we must switch gears and play the cards that have been dealt to us, the quicker we can find new opportunities and meet our potential.
Although change is uncomfortable, many people find themselves too comfortable in their current situations and will never take the leap to new heights. When we realize that change is inevitable, we find new ways to adapt. This brings growth. There are certain things we can do to prepare ourselves to take on new challenges and move forward.
Start the day on a positive note. Reflect on your goals and write down things you are grateful for. When you start your day with positive thoughts, you are more likely to carry that positivity throughout the day.
Eliminate procrastination. Think about why you keep putting off that task. Is it avoidance? Fear? Take steps to chip away at what’s keeping you from tackling those tasks that you are avoiding. Procrastination only makes you feel worse. Set small, achievable goals for yourself and keep a checklist.
Keep your goals in mind. Thinking about the big picture helps to keep you focused. There is a saying by Robin Sharma, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Realizing that you have goals and taking your time to reach them keeps you focused while you’re going through the process.
While adjusting to change, sometimes it can be overwhelming and we may feel like we’re on autopilot. If this happens, stop and take time to think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Prioritize and do things on purpose. Living on purpose will help you to keep your goals in mind and will also keep you in the present moment. If life throws you a curve ball and you lose focus, don’t beat yourself up about it. Stop, think, regroup, and adjust accordingly. Live on purpose and stay focused.
Dr. Angela M. Powell is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Progressive Counseling & Consulting, LLC., specializing in youth trauma, anxiety, and depression.