Community//

5 Self-Care Tips for Uncertain Times

If you are struggling to stay positive right now, you are not alone.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
woman holding a coffee mug and reading a book
Photo: Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Challenging times can stir up a lot of conflicting emotions. As our inboxes flood with overwhelming news updates and the world experiences collective anxiety about the future, self-care is more important than ever. Without small practices to keep us afloat, it can be easy to fall into harmful patterns that prevent us from staying calm and grounded.

If you are struggling to stay positive right now, you are not alone. Whether you are feeling unmotivated or find yourself caught in a negative thought spiral, here are a few practical tools to help boost your mood and cultivate resilience over time.

#1: Practice self-compassion.

We can be incredibly hard on ourselves, especially when challenges arise. No matter what, know that you deserve the same kindness and care that you would extend to a friend or loved one. Take a moment to check in with your inner dialogue. Are you speaking kindly to yourself? If not, how can you exercise patience and release the need to do things perfectly? Dr. Kristin Neff has some lovely and practical resources for self-compassion, including free guided meditations.

#2: Show gratitude.

Taking the time to say “thank you” can be more effective for boosting well-being than you think. During difficult times, it can help to start a gratitude journal and jot down what you are thankful for. If you are lacking inspiration, consider writing a gratitude letter and thank someone who has changed your life for the better. These are simple yet transformative exercises for enhancing our well-being, increasing connectivity with others, and feeling happier and less depressed over time.

#3: Make a reverse bucket list.

Travel the world. Run the New York City Marathon. Write a song. These are a few of the many items on my bucket list, which can feel daunting during times of uncertainty. What happens when we hit “reverse” on our bucket list and notice the awesome things we have already done? Research shows that recalling positive experiences, also known as grateful recounting, can enhance our well-being. Instead of getting anxious about all the things you have to do, try writing a list of accomplishments that you are proud of, and bask in the glory. You may be surprised at what you find.

#4: Repeat affirmations.

We all feel confused and anxious at times. Affirmations are one way to change the course of our thoughts and feelings. The trick is to pick a statement that is realistic and authentic: if you say “I am full of joy” when you feel tense and stressed, the affirmation will feel out of place. First, acknowledge your current emotion, however difficult it may be, and respond in a way that feels true to you. 

Some examples: 

“Things are tough, so I will rest and take care of myself.”

“I am doing the best that I can.”

“I can feel afraid and courageous at the same time.”

“I will get through this.”

#5: Disconnect from social media.

There is no medicine like taking your eyes off the screen and engaging in an activity sans blue light. Try taking a break from the news and resist the urge to constantly check your notifications. Log out of social media. Put your phone to bed, literally. Some of my favorite ways to disconnect: read a book, make a collage, paint your own coffee mug, stretch, meditate, dance, bake cookies, and spend time with a pet or loved one. 

As you explore these activities, simply try one at a time, releasing the pressure to implement everything at once. Notice what sensations come up, and notice them without judgment. Times may be difficult, but you are not alone. A little gratitude, positive self-talk, and a batch of chocolate chip cookies can go a long way.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Patrick Schultz: “Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable”

by Ben Ari
Solis Images / Shutterstock
Thrive Global on Campus//

How to Protect Your Mental Health During Finals Season

by Kristen Lee
Community//

Experts Respond to Taylor Schilling’s Talk About the Importance of Self-Care

by Dan Pierce

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.