How to Stay Sane in a World Gone Mad: 6 Ideas to Help You Stay Hopeful

How to Stay Sane in a World Gone Mad: 6 Ideas to Help You Stay Hopeful

Written by Judy Klipin

I have started avoiding the news – in any and all forms. Things are so bad out there that it all feels too overwhelming. And, still, the horrors manage to filter through my defenses.

Everywhere there is justified outrage about our incompetent-at-best and pathological-at-worst leaders, horror at relentless disasters – both natural (which have nothing to do with climate change, of course) and man-made, and despair about the increasing loss of life and humanness.

So much danger, discomfort, distress and dis-ease is enough to make a person feel helpless and hopeless.

When we are faced with a scary macrocosm that we can’t control, the best we can do for ourselves is make our microcosm more supportive and predictable for ourselves.

Here are some ideas to help you stay hopeful:

Stay away from Horror-Mongerers

There are some people who thrive on drama and actively add to anxiety by escalating any and every bit of bad news or gossip. They are the people who dress their voyeuristic excitement up as outrage. They dwell on the bad and brush over the good. They get off on making themselves and everyone around them feel worse.

Stay away from them.

Set up routines

It’s at times like these that we need to draw inwards and make whatever plans, and take whatever actions we can to make things as calm, predictable and positive as possible in our own inner universe.

Regular exercise, weekly appointments, consistent coffee dates, daily meditation and/or journalling. All of these things can help to provide a feeling of containment.

Set up supportive routines for yourself; weekly, daily – even hourly if you need to.

Nurture yourself

We need to dissipate the horrors we are exposed to daily by looking after ourselves.

Wrap yourself in a blanket after a hard day. Read a favourite book. Treat yourself to a special meal. Have a warm drink before bed. Ask for help. Turn your face to the sun. Open a window and listen to the birds. Walk barefoot on the grass. Say no to things that don’t serve or support you. Look up at the sky. Smell the roses (and the coffee).

You need to treat yourself kindly and with compassion.

Find something to celebrate every day

It helps to pay active attention to noticing and appreciating what is right with the world. And there is a lot of good, despite the best efforts of the malevolent megalomaniacs that we seem to be surrounded by.

Good things do happen, more often than we think. We just need to look for them.
A smile from a stranger, a beautiful flower, hearing about a good Samaritan, listening to the laughter of a child, recognition for a job well done, thunderstorms, chocolate milkshakes, inspiring leaders (yes, there are still a few), puppies and kittens, paramedics and first responders, raindrops on roses…

The more good things we look for, the more good things we see.

Be inspired

Spend your energy on things that make you feel better about humanity.

Find some (or set up your own) feelgood websites, start a Pinterest account, watch some TED talks, have coffee with a mentor. Go to an art gallery, browse in a bookshop, walk in a botanical garden, listen to music that moves you.

Creativity is the best medicine for despair.

Choose one small (or big) way you can contribute to making a difference

We can’t change the whole world (not in the short term, anyway) but we can make a difference in the world.

Donate old clothes to charity, teach a child to read, plant a garden, conserve electricity, save water, recycle your waste, feed a hungry person, smile at a stranger, donate a pair of shoes, play the piano at a home for the elderly.

We all need to do what we can to make a contribution to the restoration of sanity in a world gone mad.

One of the things I am doing is extending the special price on my Burnout Recovery: Rebuild Your Resilience eCourse. It really will help you to feel as though you are taking back some control of your life – gently, supportively and very powerfully.

Here’s to staying hopeful,

Judy xx

Burnout Recovery: Rebuild Your Resilience

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26 November 2017 in Johannesburg

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