Suffice to say this year has been tough. The world is going through an unprecedented time. We are battling a strange virus we do not know much about, and to top it off, as a nation, we are mourning the tragic crash of PIA Flight #8303. So what can we do when it feels like the world around us is falling apart? When we feel helpless and hopeless and don’t know what to do? Let’s start by being better, doing better and spending our time on things that will ultimately have the greatest impact:
1. Cut Off From Social Media
If social media is taking you away from your most meaningful relationships, something is not right. Use social media as a tool to learn, entertain yourself and find inspiration. But don’t let it consume your day. Monitor and cut down on how much time you’re spending on social media and spend extra time connecting with your family, and anyone else who matters to you. Social media isn’t going anywhere, but relationships need time and effort.
2. Donate Your Eidi
Collecting Eidi from older relatives is a childhood tradition we don’t want to let go of for the sake of nostalgia. But how we use our Eidi is up to us. With the on-going pandemic, there are numerous charities you can support in their fight against Coronavirus. Additionally, there are also thousands of charities that are currently suffering because the focus has shifted to the COVID-19 crisis. The bottom line is, the world needs your help, now more than ever. And nothing brings more joy than helping others – we promise!
3. Make A Gratitude Journal
Start by making a list of all the things you’re grateful for (and trust us, if you’re reading this in comfortable space, you have a lot to be grateful for). It could be anything from having a supportive parent in your life, having the choice to eat the food you like, or the ability to call a friend for comfort! Once you’ve done that, remember to make this a habit. Every night jot down three things you are grateful for on that day. Reflect on it before you go to bed.
4. Pray For Departed Souls
This is a world crisis. Thousands of people are dying everyday, some due to COVID-19, some due to other ailments and some who pass away in tragedies such as the PIA plane crash. Even if you don’t know them, take time out and actually pray for all those people who have lost someone dear to them. Life is short. Being mindful of what you have today is extremely important and extremely humbling.
5. Commit To Using Positive Language
We don’t realise just how often we say unpleasant things. Constantly complaining about the world and criticising yourself any chance you get, is no way to speak to yourself or others. This negative habit is exhausting and frankly a waste of time and energy. In fact, it blinds you from the incredible things that happen to you everyday. If we train our brains to focus on the positive, the way you see yourself and look at the world will change. A great way to be positive is to say daily affirmations. Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you are brilliant and fully capable of whatever comes your way.
6. Help Others And Touch Their Lives Meaningfully
There’s a famous saying that goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Donating your money is not the only way to impact someone’s life. The greatest asset you have is your time. Start small. Do you have a younger sibling who may be getting bullied at school but refuses to tell you? Do you have a live-in staff that you could educate with all this free time you have? Do you have a friend who has been laid-off and needs help finding a new place to work? You can help in many different ways, but it all starts with good intentions and a conversation with the people in your life.
7. Don’t Be Picky
How many times have you made a face at the food on your table or complained about the conditions at your workplace? We get it. And it’s okay to ‘hold others to a higher benchmark’ or whatever else you told yourself to justify it. But don’t become ungrateful. Don’t contribute to making someone else’s day worse by knit-picking things they did not or could not do. Your mother or cook spent all day in the kitchen making that food. Your employer is doing the best that he or she can to keep their business alive. If you wish certain things were better – remember, we all do. But if you’re not contributing to its betterment, don’t complain and hurt someone else either.
8. Stop Focusing On What You Don’t Have
The more you focus on what you don’t have, the more you’ll forget what you do have. They say that in matters of material, look at people who have less than you and when it comes to character, look at the people who have more than you. As we said earlier, if you’re reading this, and you’re in a safe place, you have a lot to be grateful for. Focus on that. All those ads highlighting new products and promising happiness? Remember, the latter isn’t sold in stores and never can be.