Self Care, Transitions

5 Practices to Stay Positive During Times of Stress

 Losing a job, ending a relationship, moving to a new city can leave anyone feeling vulnerable, and out of control.  But, I’ve come to view these “pitfalls” are the universe’s way of telling us that there’s something better out there. And THAT is exciting stuff!  Adopting this positive outlook takes practice. Personally, it’s taken me nights of crying myself to sleep and anxiety attacks to feel self assured, but after a few cycles in my 20s and early 30s, I’ve learned to cultivate inner peace and patience within the present moment tocreate space for what is manifesting.

Here are five practices that I’ve been using to stay grounded during times of stress:

Find Gratitude With What You Have

Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a common practice for a number of people. Arianna Huffington swears by it. Each day create a list of five things that you are grateful for. Each day it may feel a bit more challenging as you need to look more subtly at the world around you, but, as you start to identify new things every day you’ll find that there is something to be grateful for every where you look.  I don’t do this every single day ( I start to judge myself more when I forget) but doing this every few days or at your leisure can be a great way to cultivate an optimistic attitude, especially when you feel like the world is against you.

Surround Yourself with Close Friends and Family (Stay Grounded)

Because I’m single I feel like I should be out and about joining a new activity to meet people.  As an introvert, it’s exhausting to put myself into unfamiliar situations, especially when there is so much other change going on.  Therefore, I like to surround myself with small groups of people that I’ve known for a while.  I may go home for the weekend and visit my parents, or socialize with friends I’ve known for a while, sisters and cousins.  I also tell myself that I’m my best self when I’m with those I’m closest to, being your best self creates positive energy. Putting positive energy into the world comes back to you.

Create a Daily Purpose

I was given this advice by a recruiter I spoke with when I had found myself unemployed. me It’s impossible to job search for 24 hours and attempting to do so will make you feel defeated. Instead, spend an hour working on your job search and then plan one thing to do that day and make that one thing your purpose.  Exploring creates wonder and appreciation for what is going on in the world when everyone else is working. I may look for a cool coffee shop to work from, sit at a bar for dinner, sign up for a yoga workshop or just go for a quick drive around the city.

Meditate/Reevaluate

People get intimidated when they hear the word meditate.  They think that they need to sit still for a lengthy period of time with a clear head.  That’s not necessarily the case.  A still mind will come to you with practice.  Mediation declutters the mind and, in turn, allows us to think more clearly and work more efficiently.  Just 5 minutes of stillness in the morning is a great start.  Start to focus on your breath and notice where your mind and thoughts go.  After a few days notice if there are any themes and explore those themes, contemplate the reason your mind might go there without judgement.

Clean

One of my friends told me that cleaning always makes her feel like she’s in control of her life when everything is out of whack.  I couldn’t agree more.  Cleaning and organizing will declutter your mind and make you feel like you’re capable of accomplishing something.  I like to burn sage when I’m done to clear out any bad energy that may be lurking around.

These are practices that helped me transition through unemployment, the aftermath of relationships, and transitioning into life in new cities. What practices do you use? How do you stay focused when you’re going through a tough time?

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