Can we all just agree that the last year has left us…sad?
The constant and unending uncertainty has been stressful. The repetitive ‘of course something else bad happened’ has worn us all down.
We are now, officially, people who unenthusiastically go about life without really looking forward to the future.
Stick with me here, but I’m reminded of a statement by A.C. Grayling. He is well-known in the philosophical circles (which I rarely venture into), but more broadly known for this quote below on an ‘unconsidered life’.
“Socrates famously said that the unconsidered life is not worth living. He meant that a life lived without forethought or principle is a life so vulnerable to chance, and so dependent on the choices and actions of others, that it is of little real value to the person living it. He further meant that a life well lived is one which has goals, and integrity, which is chosen and directed by the one who lives it, to the fullest extent possible to a human agent caught in the webs of society and history.”-A.C. Grayling
And I see so many similarities between the unconsidered life – where people have no direction or enthusiasm for any goals – and the way we are living now. In 2021. Mid-pandemic and post-everything else.
Apologies for invoking a cliché, but we only have one life. There should be a certain amount of joy in it.
The kind of joy that comes from different sources. Not just happiness and fun, but fulfilling and deep in your soul.
If you’re not feeling that way, that you’re living a life worth living, and that you can look forward with enthusiasm to your future, it’s important to figure out why. Once you’ve figured out why, you can start to look at what can be done to improve it.
Check it out: The Key To Happiness Can Be Found In The Dirt
Saying “we should live joyful and fulfilled lives” is one thing.
Actually doing it when facing the realities of our family lives, finances, health, etc is a completely different thing. Believe me when I say I know that to my very core.
Let’s be honest, by the 10 billionth time your kid calls your name in a day. Or when you keep adding medicines to the list you need to make it through till tomorrow. Or when the money just isn’t there.
These things are all enthusiasm sucks.
The question becomes, then, do we let these things literally ruin our life? Do we give up the rights to all our happiness to them?
Unfortunately there isn’t an easy solution to this, other than just mental stamina.
We have to make the decision every day, every hour, every minute – whatever it takes – to keep our joy and enthusiasm.
Check out our look at routines and decide if maybe one could help you handle your days a little better.
Energy and enthusiasm
A whole series could be written on this next point, but I’ll keep it short.
You need to take care of yourself to continue to feel energy and enthusiasm for and in life.
Health, self-confidence, physical and mental fitness, rest, etc. These things play a HUGE part in your ability to feel joy and be happy in life.
If you’re eating badly, feeling badly, and can’t get out of bed half the time, it’s really hard to feel excited about life.
From someone who spends a lot of time sick and stuck on the couch, I know this is hard. And ‘taking care of yourself’ will look different for every different person.
For overworked moms, maybe it’s a bubble bath. And for those who struggle with weight, maybe it’s drinking a glass of water instead of a soda.
HOWEVER, you will find that if you take even the tiniest step every day towards taking care of yourself, you will begin to feel enthusiasm again. And will be able to weather the storm much better when life continues to try to batter you down.
Some simple choices that you can make to help you are:
- Cook something small at home instead of fast food to avoid unhealthy salt, fat, and sugar intake
- Get 30 extra minutes of sleep to boost your metabolism
- Work in a few 5 minute periods of activity to help with stamina and strength for a wider array of tasks
If you’re facing a health obstacle, check out our advice on Facing Obstacles Without Giving Up.
Bringing it all together
I can tell you right now that every single day won’t be the most amazing day of your life. It won’t even be the day you go home and say “I did something great today.”
But it can be the day you say “I tried my best today.”
There will even be days when you fail. Big. That’s okay, though. Because you will be living with the intention to be joyful. You have decided to keep your enthusiasm for life and wll do what it takes to chose joy in the moment.
Taking better care of yourself during stressful times will help – even when life’s not 100%. It’s easier to cope with life when you are fueling yourself with good foods, getting adequate exercise, and getting enough rest. Though you may not be able to control some things in your life, you can control how well you take care of yourself.
I’ll leave you with one more though, even though we’re fully into our summary section. Take those baby steps.
Don’t forget it. Pin it!