We live in a world of constant chaos, unsettling events, unforeseen doom, terrible humans, and natural disasters. Sometimes, the world gets tiring, even to the most resilient and optimistic people.
Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been hit by several back-to-back events and stories of woe and doom. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the epidemic of rape in Nigeria and many African countries, the death of George Floyd and many other black people killed by the American police force, the world has been hit again and again by disasters.
But in the midst of all these, amazing things have happened in the world. Black people protested against racism with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, women spoke up against rape in Nigeria and now governors in all 36 states resolved to declare a state of emergency over rape. Private companies and individuals all over the world have come together to fight the COVID-19 disease through donations and the provision of relief materials. All over the world, people are fighting for a cause, demanding justice, speaking for the voiceless, and extending a helping hand to others in need.
These stories can be overwhelming and can dampen your spirit, but these perilous times have proven that there is still so much love in the world, and it is important to hold on to the latter.
If you have been overwhelmed lately by the negative things happening in the world, here are 6 things you can do to keep your spirits high!
Consume Less News
To be honest, this is not so easy. When you check the latest online news stories, social media, or watch the news, you see more sad stories and they are capable of ruining your mood. However, we all can will our minds to see the positive side of it all. For instance, the death of George Floyd is terrible, but it birthed protests all around the world. At the end of it all, US President, Donald Trump, was forced to sign an executive order introducing several police reforms. Because of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a California lawmaker also introduced a bill making it a crime to call 911 because of someone’s race. In Nigeria, the rape and murder of Uwa, Barakat, and Grace spurred women to protest in different parts of the country. The recent rape allegations against Nigerian musician, D’banj, and the way he handled it by trying to intimidate and bully his accuser, also angered many Nigerians. Women rallied around the accuser, Seyitan; they donated to get her legal representation, wrote emails to his clients, and signed petitions to get D’banj off the UN ambassadorship.
This shows how humans can solidly stand behind another human in the face of injustice. These are little wins and although they were all borne out of sad occurrences, they are still little wins. It is better to focus on the positive outcome of these news stories and let it give you hope for a better future.
Expend Your Mental Energy on Something Else
The information you consume affects you, unconsciously. It has a way of sapping your joy and filling your heart with dread, fear, and sadness. Rather than spend time listening to news and gleaning the negative stories, shift your focus unto things that will inject positive energy into you and make you more productive. “Wasting brain power ruminating about things you can’t control drains mental energy quickly. The more you think about negative problems that you can’t solve, the less energy you’ll have leftover for creative endeavors” – Amy Morin.
Want to know the truth, you cannot control what happens in the world. You can’t end that war, neither can you put a stop to that earthquake. But you can control what goes on in your mind. So rather than brooding about the world, take your time to learn painting, baking, a new language, or any other thing you’ll love to learn.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
It takes one bad news, then another, and another to make your mental health hit the lowest bottom. Don’t let that happen to you. Take a break from social media, listen to your favourite music, have an online party with your friends, watch movies, speak with your family… just take a break from whatever is happening in the world. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care about people or you’re a bad person, but you’ll be doing yourself, your family and friends and even the world in general, a favour if you remain healthy.
Every human has a breaking point, that is why it is important to always seek help whenever you feel you are no longer healthy, mentally. If you ever get to that point where you feel you can’t handle certain things alone, then talk to a therapist.
Join an Online Fitness Group
There’s a pandemic, so nope, you can’t go to the gym. The good news is that you can work out at home or anywhere you may be. Exercises reduce anxiety and depression and release endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body and reduce your perception of pain. Exercising alone is not really sustainable – you get fired up for a while and then begin to get reluctant as time goes by. It is advisable to join a fitness group or just get someone to workout with you. You can do this through WhatsApp video calls or even on Zoom. Working out makes your body feel lighter – like a heavy load has just been carried off you, it also makes you feel better and more energetic.
Reading is one of the healthiest ways to escape from this world and live in an entirely different world. You also have the power to control what you read and the information you consume. For social media, there’s little you can do to control the information that appears on your timeline. Even if you’re not on social media, putting on your data means advertisements would start appearing and you can hardly control them. This is different when you read a book, you are in absolute control of your space – mentally. So drop that phone, pick a book, and see the difference. It doesn’t end there, you get to learn something new, a new phrase or vocabulary goes a long way in making you more productive.
No Better Spirit-lifter Than Food
Guys, let’s be honest, good food is the real deal. That yummy alata swe swe kind of food, especially in this weather, will make you forget your sorrow. To keep yourself busy and happy, learn new recipes, try out new food, try out new and weird food combinations – after all, many people are even at home, you can poo without remorse. You can indulge yourself too, try that chocolate or cake recipe on YouTube, make that doughnut or meat-pie. For many people, food makes them happy. If you are one of those, then go ahead and tap into this well of unending happiness.
We have gotten to a point in this world where we have to source for happiness and find ways to keep ourselves cheery and motivated. Being optimistic at all times might not be feasible, but it is important to pay attention to this aspect of your life. When you find yourself getting easily agitated, angry, teary, or depressed, then try and get help. There is no shame in admitting that you are not happy or mentally sound.
Cheer to good health and of course, more happiness.