Whenever you feel like heeding the sign “abandon all hope!” Remember that hope is an inside job. Remember Viktor Frankl’s work and book “Man’s Search For Meaning.” It's a potent reminder that if he could find hope and create meaning in a concentration camp, it’s fair to say it can be done just about anywhere.
With so much bad news clogging headlines and vying for our daily (hourly) attention, it can feel like despair is the only option. Ask yourself, “what part of this is in my zone of control?” Focus there. You can create hope by searching for silver linings and for things you can actually impact and do.
Perhaps it’s as simple as smiling at someone, or meditating on your own breath to slow it down. Maybe it’s bigger, like organizing a charity event or crowdfund or doing volunteer work. Maybe it’s just showing up, getting out of bed in the morning when you’d rather not. You could focus on positive news stories or inspirational articles, videos or people. You could sit in stillness and simply BE.
Cultivate present moment awareness. Maybe you’re a creative type and can create hope from artistic expression, music, a blank page, a blank canvas, photography, or other forms of creative expression. Be a beacon of light in the darkness and chaos. Protect your peace. Screen out the noise as much as possible, and unplug at times—scheduled or unscheduled. Double down on good self-care. Stay hydrated. Eat healthy meals. Move your body. Do, delete, or delegate tasks. Know that you’ll never complete everything, so do what you can and celebrate those wins big and small.
If you’re feeling despair, express it, let it out, and let it pass. Then begin creating peace and hope within again. It’s a practice, and the goal isn’t perfection, but progress. Centering yourself again and again and again. Make tweaks and adjustments as needed—in your mindset and whenever possible in your environment. Be aware of your energy, you’re in charge of it.