I have spent some time thinking about this recently, because in many ways a smaller world is what we are facing at the moment. Focus can be so important and to focus on what there isn’t and fight and struggle with that can be really hard. I do feel fortunate in loving the things close to me and so, for me, I am lucky that living in a smaller world is not such a great sacrifice as it is for others, but shifting my focus has been a key part.
So often we don’t have control over the cards that we are dealt in life so it is important to try to manage your response to that. Being resilient and being able to shift your perspective is part of that. Seeing change as an opportunity for growth isn’t just about how successful you become in turning a situation to a positive, but about the way you feel about yourself when you are in the middle of things.
Don’t waste energy on the things you can’t change
Coping with loss and change is always really stressful and being in a situation where the outcomes are unknown is one of the biggest causes of anxiety for people. If you are able to manage your thinking so that you feel more in control through a focus on the things that you can change rather than the ones you can’t, this can have a powerful impact on your mental health and your happiness.
Being able to divert my thoughts from the things I can’t change hasn’t been easy this time. I spent a time feeling very angry and frustrated at the situation and the way it was impacting on myself and others. I was disheartened at the lack of leadership and what I saw as being the poor management of change. I wrestled against it but came to the conclusion that fighting it was pointless.
Finding ways to acknowledge my feelings and validating them by allowing myself to really feel them has been helpful. I have found that doing that has enabled me to put them to one side and stop wasting my time and energy on them. I suppose this fits with the restorative way I usually try to deal with issues where I look for understanding and acknowledgment as a way to resolve the feelings and move on.
It isn’t about changing what happened or dissolving the hurt. What is done is done. It is about finding a way to make your peace with that so that you are able to move on. It isn’t about fixing it as much as being able to move past the negative emotions that hold you in that moment. Likewise with this, it is about shifting my focus from the things I can change and accepting they are as they are so that I can put my energy into things that I do have control over.
Find pleasure in the things around you
I am finding more and more that being able to live in the present is a helpful tool. There is so much around us that is good but it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. Or perhaps, when coping with these sorts of large scale situations, it is about seeing the beauty of the tree right in front of you rather than thinking about what might happen to the wood as a whole. Looking on a small scale at what I do have and what I can influence has been useful.
This has allowed me to manage my time and think about projects that will bring me pleasure in the here and now. Sometimes it has meant thinking about what I enjoy and gain from something, and finding ways to achieve those feeling by taking it into a different context. I have worried less about what will happen in the future and concentrated more on the things that make me feel good right now. That has had clear benefits for me.
Choose a focus and set goals around that
I think that often transitions force you to think about where your priorities are. Resilience is about being able to see the opportunities of change, rather than fearing it and subsequently fighting it or hiding from it. Life is so busy that there are always loads of things I mean to do and don’t seem to get the time for. I have coupled this with my own priorities and that has allowed me to set some goals around achieving things which are important but are completely within my own control.
Some of these have been around relationships and others have been to do with my surroundings, my work and my other hobbies. Doing this has energised me and allowed me to see the gains rather than the losses. I have tried to act in the moment and not put things off. Back when I felt I was fighting with things it was harder to harness my energy and motivation and I ended up in a cycle of acedia, which I am now reminded was on my list of topics to write about!
Take time for yourself
Self-care is at the heart of wellbeing and at times of change and loss it is essential to make time for yourself. I have been better at doing this and part of this has come from adopting the strategies mentioned above. Embracing hygge has also had an impact and I am finding that a focus on cosiness and the time to enjoy and relax in my surroundings is getting me through the cold, dark winter days.
Lighting candles as the evening draws in means making a practical change to the environment too which has been a positive when working from home as there is not the same demarcation which allows a clear home/work balance. Obviously the focus on our D/s works as part of this and we have built some new routines and rituals into it so that we don’t become lost in one part of our lives at the expense of another.
Other related posts:
- The things I do for (self) Love
- Be daring and find ways to surrender
- Ideas, and ideas, and ideas
- Mindful Masturbation
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