Sadness and Self-doubt: 4 Ways to Overcome

“I’m crying but I don’t know why”.

“I’ve never been like this before!”.

“I’m second-guessing myself”. 

“That’s the decision I made. Does it mean I’m bad”?

“I feel like escaping to my fantasy world but I know, in the long run, it won’t be sustainable”. 

“How can I be me in this world and feel accepted and loved?”

These are the types of questions some have confided with me during the past five days. I felt their pain and I thought I was the only one who’s had to deal with them.

It’s easy to fall prey to sadness and self-doubt during these times when most of us are staying indoors. We are not able to physically connect as much as we need to. We’re not able to do things that used to make us feel happy, wanted, or needed. It’s difficult to navigate this season of our lives, more so if we think we are alone in the struggle and that the rest of the world is doing fine. Trust me, you are not alone. And as to the rest of the world, I think what’s fair to say is, everybody’s doing the best they can.  

Some for sure are struggling too, but they don’t want us to see that. 

Some may have just survived a difficult time and on their road to recovery. 

Some may still be looking for answers or striving for a sense of acceptance.

Some may just be braving the storm because there’s no better option out there, at least not at the moment.  

While some may just be enjoying a brief rest from having to fight long battles of God knows what.

I believe pain is good. It’s a sign of growth. It gives meaning to what we’re able to accomplish, what we get to give, and who we eventually become. Maybe we don’t need to escape pain, rather accept it as a part of life. Just like what they say, we have to take the good with the bad.

Few ways to overcome.

  1. Move around.

  Living a sedentary lifestyle during pandemic left us with too much unspent energy. We don’t move enough and our body is forced to numb itself. I believe if we can channel this energy into worthwhile pursuits we will feel alive again. Exercise, go pick up a hobby that would wake those muscles up, pump that heart and engage that brain.

2. Make some changes.

  Having the same routine, staying at the same place, or living the same lifestyle for a decade may provide you a sense of stability, but it may also rob you of new experiences, new connections, and discoveries. Perhaps the boredom, sadness, and restlessness is just the universe trying to tell you that it’s time to graduate from the old and embrace the new. You can start with something small. Have something different for breakfast, listen to a different music genre, try a different color, welcome different opinions, and appreciate other people’s points of view.

3. You can change your mind as you go along.

 Not all decisions are permanent. I think believing the opposite is what scares us the most. There’s no forever here on earth. Accepting this would oblige us to appreciate what’s working well in our lives right now and know that what’s not, like the those that do will also pass.  

We can always change our minds about things. We can grow to like vegetables and lose appetite for ice cream. We can make new friends instead of holding on to unhealthy relationships we’ve built and have been used to in the past. We can re-purpose our gifts, talents, and skills if they end up undervalued or under-appreciated by people we’ve dedicated our working years to. We can relocate to less expensive cities if we can no longer support our current lifestyle. We can re-invent ourselves instead of sticking to the old identities we formed for ourselves. 

4. Live your life on your terms.

 Every one of us has his values and we should respect that part of being human. Don’t be scared to be you. The whole world may not love you but some people will and a few would even love you more than you’ve ever loved yourself. Live your truth. Paint the color of your hue. That’s the reason why we have rainbows. It doesn’t just remind us of God’s promise to His people but that a reminder that God loves you just the same, It doesn’t matter if you’re different. Embrace your uniqueness, celebrate it and just focus on living out your true purpose. 

Whatever it is you going through, know that this is just a chapter of your life and not your whole life. Don’t skip it, just because you don’t like it. It has a purpose too. And know that when you come out to the other side, (and you will), you will have become a better human being, stronger, braver, and wiser. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

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