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9 Ways to Cope with the New Normal

Ruby is a freelance writer from the Philippines. She has travelled to at least eight Asian countries including Malaysia, Taiwan, Macao, etc.

According to the World Health Organization, about 800, 000 people take their own lives each year. This phenomenon disturbs families, communities, and countries. This, in turn, has long-term effects on the people who are left behind. WHO adds, “Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2016,” However, this predicament can be reversed. Life can be exciting depending upon how one approaches it. Let's take a look how.

1. Assess your current situation.

Evaluate your present life or career. What kind of condition are you in? Are you enjoying your current vocation? How are you really living your life? Is it something that you really wanted? If not, what can you do? Are there steps you could take? Can you identify areas where you need changes or improvement? From there, take the first step towards change, now.

2. Break from boredom.

Boredom may strike anyone, any time. When this happens, take a pause and ponder upon your life. Take a look at your busy schedule. Are you happy with it?If not, maybe you are bored. Maybe you need a vacation. Many believe that working all the time gives them an advantage. Well, there may be some truth in it. However, personally, I find taking a good stop from my routine work, rejuvenating. It invigorates me both physically and emotionally. In a recent research conducted by Terry Hartig at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research in Sweden, the study reveals that “a vacation alleviates feelings of exhaustion, reduces health complaints, and enhances life satisfaction…” If possible, visit a new place where you can relax and be away from your usual work environment. Make this intentional. Plan it ahead so you could save both time and money. Even a trip to another country can be cheaper if you plan it well.

A pose at Hongkong Port on my travel  with some friends.

A pose at Hongkong Port on my travel with some friends.

3. Get Connected.

Be connected with the people you love. Widen your circle of friends. Get involved with activities. These could open a door of opportunities and new acquaintances. These may spark new ideas and build healthy relationships. These would then boost yourself, leading to a happier you. Start it from your home, next to your church, then in your work place, and finally in your community. Joining clubs or activities, may open up a new point of interest for you. It will lead you to connect as well as discover in you something that you may not have noticed. Thus, it will help you grow as an individual. “People who are socially integrated and have strong social ties live happier, longer lives.” says the Current Directions of Psychological Science.

4. Have a happy heart.

Thank God for every little blessing that comes your way. A thankful heart is good for your health. King Solomon confirmed this when he uttered, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. But a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 18: 22, KJV). Happy persons are those who have learned to cultivate a grateful spirit. A Harvard Mental Health Letter published in November 2011 supports this concept saying, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

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5. Learn to embrace the new situation.

When new challenges come to life, the usual reaction of people is to complain. However, complaining about the new situation does not help, in fact, it may even worsen it. Instead of complaining, learning to accept the unavoidable circumstance you are in, could be a better option. Remember, whining never makes anything better. Maya Angelou puts it this way, "what you are supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, don't complain."

6. Mind your mind.

Take time to cultivate your brain. Spend some moments to meditate in order to clear your thoughts. Find hours to read, write, think or do anything to exercise your brain. Challenge your brain by doing analysis or reflection and do this regularly. Research has shown that when a person is mentally unhealthy, his body naturally follows. “We ‘burn’ with anger, ‘tremble’ with fear, feel ‘choked up’ with sadness; our ‘stomachs turn’ with revulsion. Everyone tends to experience unpleasant emotions as unpleasant bodily symptoms and thus to feel physically distressed when emotionally distressed,” penned Dr. Arthur Barsky, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, in his book Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness. Thus, be careful of what you feed your brain. Cultivate and practice noble thoughts.

7. Nurture relationships.

Foster friendship and relationships. Friends are important to keep your life in shape. They offer you encouragement when your life is in disarray. They support you when needs arise. They add meaning to your life. If there is anything in life that needs so much care, it is your connection with others. The famous English poet John Donne understood well this fact when he became ill in the winter of 1623, and in his Meditations 17 he expressed, “No man is an island, entire of itself; Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Your family, relatives, and friends, are vital assets in your life. They are your strength when you become weak, your wall to lean on when you are about to fall, and your courage when you are discouraged. Thus, take care and connect with them.

8. Stay healthy.

“Health is wealth,” is an age-old adage worth keeping in mind. Engage in various health-promoting activities or exercises. Many physical activities such as gardening, walking, and running, are beneficial. Eating foods loaded with nutrients is a wiser option to get fit too. Research reveals that people who include fruits and vegetables in their diet are healthier and younger. “Foods high in antioxidants, particularly deeply colored fruits and vegetables, can help fight the oxidizing effect of UV rays. One study in the British Journal of Dermatology found participants who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste (a highly concentrated form of fresh tomatoes) daily showed 33 percent more protection against sunburn than a control group. And tomatoes work double duty to boost beauty: While the carotenoids and antioxidants help the body fight off oxidation that ages skin cells, they also boost pro-collagen—a molecule that gives skin its taut, youthful structure,” In addition, our Creator, articulates, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food” (Genesis 1:29, NLT).

A sample exercise that you may do.

A sample exercise that you may do.

9. Trust the Almighty.

Our God who created you and me, knows each of us better than anyone else in this entire universe. He is aware of your past, your current situation, and your future. He sees your needs, your desires, and your anxieties. Thus, if there is anything that bothers and worries you today, turn that over to God. He assures you with this promise, "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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