From Covid-19 to rising terrorism, from family stress to life change…relationship breakups to job loss... whatever it is for you personally, is everything just too much? And you don’t know where you are going or who you even are?
What can you do if you are feeling lost in life?
1. Admit you’ve lost your compass.
It’s a lot of work to keep pretending we are okay when we aren’t. And we can’t find solutions if we don’t admit there is a problem.
So first things first. Admit to yourself things are not okay. That maybe you need to stop and reassess.
2. Create space.
Sometimes we feel lost because we are just doing way, way too much and for way, way too many people.
We get so caught up in making others happy or impressing them, we don’t have the time or energy to find ourselves. Or to feel what we need to feel.
What are three things you could say no to, today? No to talking to people you deep down don’t really like, no to dating someone you are bored of, no to a zoom exercise class you hate, no to helping someone who never helps you back?
Each time you say no, you say yes to you and what you need. Even if that is just time to be sad, sitting at home and having that good cry you’ve been avoiding.
3. Identify your values.
Your personal values are what really matter to you when everything falls away. Not what matters to your parents, your friends, or your favorite Instagram star... but to you.
If you suddenly found out tomorrow you had one year left to live, what would you do with your time? What values might those choices reveal? Adventure, stability? Charity, creativity? How could you start aligning your current life to those values?
4. Tune in.
Deep down, behind all the mind chatter, the worries, the anxieties… there is a 'You'. Not your thoughts, but something bigger, steadier.
Sit still for a moment and breathe deeply and observe but don’t attach to your thoughts. Let them pass like clouds. Who is this ‘you’ observing your thoughts? Relax a little more. Can you ‘feel’ something waiting, behind your thoughts? This is mindfulness, a wonderful practice for getting to know yourself and what you actually think and feel (learn mindfulness meditation here). You might also want to try journaling with intent, if that’s more your style.
5. Up your compassion game.
No, not for others. If you are feeling lost for life you might spend far too much time worrying about others as it is.
Raise your self-compassion. It’s the fastest way to raise your confidence as well. To find our feet in life we need to believe we deserve it, so confidence matters.
Write a letter to your best friend supporting them on getting through this year. Point out their strengths and encourage them to keep going. Then change the name at the top to your own and read it out. How does it feel? What would it be like to always talk to yourself like a friend?
6. Be open to not knowing.
Trying to ‘figure ourselves out’ or ‘be sorted’ or ‘know what’s next’ can just be a perfect way to stress ourselves right out and block anything good from happening. We are too busy panicking to see the opportunity walking by.
Set a timer to go off every hour today and take two minutes to relax your muscles and practice deep breathing, creating an open feeling. Notice if your shoulders are tense, your jaw, your mouth. Relax. Allow that physically open feeling to affect your mental state too. Can you try to let go of your anxious thoughts for a minute?
7. Find proper support.
Sometimes we need a lifebuoy. And it can be hard to ask our friends or family to throw one. Or they can be too invested in how you get back to the boat, so to speak.
We need unbiased support. A professional counsellor or psychotherapist creates a safe space for you to fall apart, reorganize the pieces, and put yourself back together in a way you didn’t realize you could.
Ready to get that lifeline and find your way back to you? Book a session today.
by Andrea Blundell