By ANTHONY ROSADO LPC, NCC, MS
The past few months have been a trying time for many of us for a myriad of reasons. For some, just a short time ago we would have never imagined going through what we have experienced. Some examples are a pandemic, a loss of a loved one, a personal conviction for social justice, a division amongst friends and family, a lost sense of what “normal” feels like. We still may face natural struggles of life that drain peace away, such as stress from work or school, a recurring feeling of anxiety or depression and so on. Ultimately, many of us struggle with a loss of peace which can deeply perpetuate the difficulties of the current times. Let’s explore some ways to reintroduce peace in our lives.
It is difficult for some to feel as connected to people as they have in the past, and it is more challenging to try to connect. However, safely connecting with our loved ones will not only help us feel less lonely but also give us an outlet to express that chaos. We may also learn that we are not alone in our search for lost peace and learn to lean onto one another for support.
GET CONNECTED SPIRITUALLY
Prayer, fasting, meditating, and reading scripture can help us feel closer to God and closer to peace. Incorporating this into your normal routine can help cope with what was lost and increase the sense of community through fellowship with other likeminded individuals.
Mindfulness focuses on the present by focusing our thoughts on what any of our five senses presently experience. This can be practiced in many ways, but a good start may be to find a place that feels comfortable, begin by focusing on breathing, and allow the mind to return to focusing on the present as it naturally wanders. Mindfulness implements calm and temporarily keeps chaos off the mind.
TAKE TIME TO CARE FOR YOURSELF
Practicing self-care regularly is vital to our wellbeing which include
- Maintaining our physical wellbeing by eating well, exercising, resting, practicing good hygiene, etc.
- Satisfying an intellectual itch to learn more or to think more deeply on interesting topics as a sense of escaping from the chaos around you for a moment
- Tending to our emotional needs.
It is important to recognize what we are feeling and allow ourselves to feel that way for a time. Feeling negative emotions is okay, as repressing them will probably allow them to grow. However, it is equally important to not let them consume you and to be aware of how to express them. Find a healthy way to feel your emotions while allowing yourself to carry on with your day.
Are there things in our lives that we just know will add to the chaos that we may be experiencing? How large a role do they play in our lives? Sometimes, it is unavoidable, but that does not mean that it should be all-consuming. Finding ways to limit our exposure to who or what builds chaos in our lives and implementing times to intentionally add peace to our lives should help bring about more balance.
Just as there is a time to focus on the past and a time to focus on the present, there is a time to focus on the future. Rebuilding peace takes time and effort. Perhaps this looks like managing life without a loved one or without what used to feel “normal” and accepting what life is today. Perhaps it means forgiving someone, reuniting with what was lost, or remembering that today’s situation does not equate to the rest of your life. No matter what it looks like, it is important to recognize that at some point, rebuilding will happen, and you will not be swimming in this sea of chaos forever.
Sometimes, we may need more help feeling ready or finding ways to rebuild. If you would like support along this path, feel free to reach out to a therapist for counseling and continue this journey. For more information on counseling services, visit our website.