While the ongoing pandemic ravages the globe and political turmoil are felt across nations, it’s not hard to see why you may be feeling lost, confused, or out of place in life. The extent to which the Covid-19 Global Pandemic has affected your mental health, emotional stability, and overall confidence cannot be underscored enough. The United States is an excellent case study of the deleterious effects this pandemic has had on the mental health of most people.
From January to September 2020, the United States experienced a consistent uptick in adults reporting feelings of depression and/or anxiety. As a result, the US saw a 62% increase in depression screenings and a 92% increase in anxiety screenings.((Mental Health America: The State Of Mental Health In America)) Unless you have been hiding in a cave without tv or internet and have everyone you love with you, COVID-19 has impacted your daily life in some negative way.
Life has completely changed forever. But that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It makes sense that you are trying to figure out a new way to navigate through this uncertain landscape.
Here are the 3 things you need to remember that will help you start figuring out life in this new post-corona reality.
1. Feeling Lost Is Normal
You’ve lost your way. While it may feel completely overwhelming, it isn’t novel. Millions, perhaps each of the billions of people on the planet, have lost their way at some point during their lifetime. Feeling lost doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you.
Admitting that you do not feel right will help you realize that you are unclear about:
- what you should do next,
- if you are on the right track,
- f you should stay the course,
- if you made the choices that led you to this moment,
- and why you want to continue or discontinue this course of action.
When you find that you are questioning yourself about fundamental things in your life, then that is a good indication that something is up, and you should inquire further.
Once you have made this critical admission with yourself, don’t rush to generate answers. Give yourself some time to sit with the question. It’s easier said than done. However, the data that comes from intentional reflection on these important questions is more valuable than gold.
Understand that this process of intentional reflection may take some time. You will have to be very gentle with yourself. Know that there will be times when the process may feel uncomfortable ad hard. Remember to give yourself a lot of grace throughout the process, especially when you feel like giving up.
The fact that you have lost your way is an indication that you have arrived at an important moment in your life. You are aware that things feel out of alignment, and you want to do something about it. Ultimately, taking the steps to find yourself offers you an opportunity to learn more about yourself.((Psychology Today: Getting Lost and the Benefits of Finding Yourself))
2. Stop Clinging and Let Go
The chaos of feeling lost can be intoxicating. Escaping its grip is not easy, but the process is simple. Stop clinging to the discomfort, sadness, and uncertainty and let go. In other words, don’t be afraid to surrender. You must let go of the things that you cannot control externally if you are to find yourself again.
Letting go of the things you cannot control is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Each lived experience is not only a memory but is also an archived recollection of your individual perception of an event.
In those moments of awareness that no one has control over external forces, everyone reacts differently. Some internalize it feeling as though they must protect themselves from external forces by trying to control as much as they can. Others detach from it, adopting the mentality that they can only control themselves and their behavior. They may be able to influence external forces, but they accept that they can not control them. The second group has adopted more of a surrender approach.
There can be no freedom without surrender. Regardless of what you believe—whether there’s really something wrong with you or not—we can agree that when you permit yourself to surrender to the “greater plan” or “go with the flow,” it makes your load a little lighter.((ResearchGate: The Surrender to God Scale: Psychometric Validation and Psychological Correlates)) You worry a little less, you breathe a little deeper, your patience grows a pinch, and you feel more grounded in the knowledge that you have stopped clinging to the hope of an outcome that is out of your control.
Surrendering can be the most powerful tool you have to find yourself because it will free you from the shackles of other people’s opinions. You will no longer be restrained by the external influences that once forced you to fight against yourself, constantly exhausting yourself energetically. You can embrace the process of learning the truth of who you are right now with compassion and unconditional self-love.
3. Rest Is Essential
The hard work of getting found is exhausting. Rest is essential to your ability to think clearly, face the hard truths you discover, and take really good care of yourself along the way. Whenever you feel like there is something wrong with you, rest is the important medicine you take daily to help you operate at the highest level.
When we think of rest, most of us think of sleep. Whether you nap during the day, occasionally rest your eyes or are very disciplined about getting your 6-8 hours nightly, there is no denying that sleep is one the most effective forms of rest. However, it’s not the only form.
Rest can take many other forms. Rest can be meditation, relaxation, going to nature, laying down without sleeping, turning off all TV/radios for a few hours, listening to non-verbal music, taking a day of silence, or going to be in a secluded environment.
It can also be a massage, pedicure, time coloring, or watching your favorite show. Rest allows you to turn your brain off and come back to the center while reconnecting with yourself. Intentionally resting will give you time to reflect on the new information you are learning about yourself as you find yourself.
If you have some resistance to the idea of rest, that’s understandable. Depending on where in the world you live, rest can either be seen as an essential part of every day like it is in many European countries or as a luxury for the lazy. Regardless of what society tells you, rest is essential to your personal revolution.
Feeling lost is par for the course, especially in this ever-changing post-pandemic world we are living in where each day feels more and more like a lost episode of the twilight zone just released from the archives. The quicker you realize that there is nothing wrong with you feeling lost, the quicker you can start to do the work of learning about yourself in the “right now.”
Surrendering to a “higher power” or “the flow” can be really helpful as you move through this challenging work. Clinging to past ideas of who you thought you were or what you thought you had to do will only make the process of learning yourself now—today—more difficult. Letting go will give you the freedom to worry less and be present more for journey of finding yourself.
Finally, rest, rest, rest! Don’t take the intellectual knowing of what this experience should look like for granted. Taking the time to intentionally find yourself is exhausting. Sleep, eat well, be kind and patient with yourself, and protect your energy.
When you are connected with yourself, you are proactively finding yourself daily. Each time you allow yourself to intentionally reflect, you are detached from what you cant control while prioritizing connection with yourself and rest—you win. Its hard to get lost when you are taking the time to really know yourself.
Remember that there would be no “Amazing Grace” if the composer was not first lost and went on the journey to become found.