MAINTAINING HOPE DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES
We are living in extremely tense times. As I write this, I’m feeling helpless over the disaster in Puerto Rico due to the multiple hurricanes. So many of us have family in PR. We’re all feeling anxious, waiting to hear some news from our loved ones.
Other countries are facing their own disasters as well, whether natural or man made.
It is so easy to question your own beliefs and loose Hope during these times. Maybe you’ve questioned your religion and faith. Maybe you think the world is ending. Or maybe you think this is a process for a new world. It is so easy to drown in the fear of all of the tension around all of us. Every one of us is affected in some way.
But as I always say, we have little control over the things that happen outside of us, but we always have control over how we react to people, to situations, and our own perspective. Here are some of my suggestions to keep Hope alive during these times.
- Limit how much news you’re watching. It’s easy to stay glued to social media or the TV in case you hear some new development. However, have you noticed that you feel drained after watching a lot of news? Try to limit receiving information by reading it instead of watching it. Reading information is less traumatizing then watching it on TV or videos on social media, where it’s constantly repeated and you’re seeing images of despair, images that stay in your mind. Be informed, but not to the point of overwhelm.
- Practice faith. It’s so easy to talk about God or spirituality when things are good. But one thing is to talk and preach about it, and another thing is to live it.
- Focus on the things you can control. If you feel helpless, do what you can to contribute to helping. It could be donating money, starting a collection of donations at your church, school or job. Or start a prayer or meditation chain with intentions of sending positive energy to the affected areas. Meditation is just completely focusing on something, such as your breath, your body or imagining something. Try this:
Sit alone or with other people in a quiet area. Everyone should close their eyes to force yourself to be in touch with your feelings and not be distracted. Take 3 deep breaths. Then imagine your loved ones, or specific people, or everyone on the planet. In your mind, see them the way you want to see them. See people united, helping one another. Imagine the people hugging and sharing resources. Imagine a white light (white represents positivity) covering them, protecting them. Feel the way you want things to be and trust that people are resilient and things will be ok.
I believe all of these events on our planet is bringing humanity closer. We have been so separated from one another and see people as “us” and “them”. It’s as if we’re going through a “cleansing”. It is up to us on how we want our future to be. In reality, we are all one. We are all human beings, sharing the same planet. And if you make sure you are living the change you want to see in this world, that will keep Hope alive.
About the author.
Liza J Alvarado is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, Adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.