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Stop surviving, start living

  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago
  • Author:by Abigail Lee

Friends who know me know that I am big on mental health and self-care, and I thought it is time to pen down some reflections in line with the recent National Stress Awareness Day, as I start doing my year-end reflection too.

The last 2 years have gone by hurriedly. Though it’s similar every year, somehow the recent past has left a rather bitter taste in our mouths for many of us. We read about sickness, unemployment, societal problems, and death on a daily basis, eventually becoming jaded and accepting that it is now part of our everyday lives.

As we are all hopeful that 2022 will be the year that normality is regained, we might have developed a renewed sense of gratitude for the simple things in life. That said, this does not overlook the fact that we are all exhausted. We are tired of all the negativity that surrounds us, from struggling to find employment, juggling multiple hats at work and home, putting up a strong front and pretending everything is okay.

We are tired of feeling guilty when we decide to put ourselves first, maybe because of comparative suffering because others have it worse and we, perhaps, don’t deserve to feel as such.

At some point we might start to realize that we have spent the last two years and potentially more, living for others; our kids, spouse, parents, bosses, clients or even our egos and leaving behind a trail of unfulfilled goals/dreams. I have learnt that dreaming in the real world costs us, as does the brevity of life.

This might seem personal to be written on a professional blog but we forget that we are humans first and employees second.

Putting our needs first might not be necessarily dramatic, nor selfish. A lot of our goals and dreams are within reach but we say it is never a good time.

Many in my network remind me of this every day through the financial markets; there is never “the best time” to invest. Although I’m not an avid investor, I truly believe this extends to most life decisions that we consider. In my life, I believe I have made more life-changing decisions when I decided that my happiness mattered more than fear. Have they brought discomfort at the beginning? You bet. Though they definitely did not look like it then, they have definitely been worth it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are you thinking of starting or re-starting? It might be a mini-project, that job change, a new course for self-development, or simply to introduce a short weekly routine for self-care. I have realized that something like 15 minutes of meditation or reading a day, as trivial as it sounds, might end up having the biggest impact on our overall well-being.

Now is the opportune time to stop thinking about surviving these challenging times and instead, start living. After all, if not now, when?