Every day’s life stressors can accumulate to become unbearable for us. Sometimes even lead to depression. Add that to the big life events that threaten our peace of mind like the loss of loved ones, loss of income, and illnesses. Life is so unpredictable and we may not always be prepared for what could happen next.
When the pandemic started, we weren’t prepared for how much our lives would change in an instant. The mass panic that made people grab toilet rolls like the world would run out of them was nowhere near the emotional rollercoaster that awaited us in lockdown and quarantine as the disease spread.
Now that the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines are more lenient and people are going back to the office, we are well on our way to the normal we used to know. That however does not negate the fact that we’re still living in a pandemic and we are continually exposed to catching the virus and its variants. Besides living in fear of infection, there is still so much that may jeopardize our peace and that varies from person to person. Inner peace is important now more than ever because we live in an uncertain world where anything can happen.
Here is how to protect your inner peace in 2022:
Practice gratitude every day. It will remind you of all the blessings that you have especially on days you feel like everything is just going from bad to worse.
Focus on what you have control over. Let go of what is beyond you. If it's within your power to change it or do it, concentrate on it.
Focus on today first. Conquer today and let tomorrow worry about itself. Try as much as you can now and today and when tomorrow comes, have a go at it.
Set clear boundaries. Know your limits at work and at home. Define clearly what you will and won’t tolerate then communicate it with people around you.
Expand your self-trust. Allow yourself to do hard things and trust that you’ll get it right. Believe in yourself before anyone else does.
Say yes to only the things you really want to do. If you’re not fully committed to it, don’t do it only to half-ass it. If doing it will only make you miserable, you don’t have to do it.
Don’t stretch yourself thin. You will burn out if you take on too much without any help. You can only do so much and learn to know when you’ve done enough.
If it’s draining your mental health, let it go. This applies to jobs, relationships, situations. Nothing is worth compromising your mental health for.
Don’t wait for anyone’s validation. Affirm and validate yourself. Other people’s praise is fickle but yours can be sustainable. Exist the best way you know how to for yourself.
Stop holding on to people that don’t want you to stay. This is hard to do but one day you’ll look back and be glad that you didn’t stay where you were being tolerated not appreciated.
Have systems for everything. Make things easier by having a healthy routine or a method that saves you time and energy.
Apply the 5-second rule. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.
Explore avenues for healing your trauma. Start therapy. Start introspecting and confronting those parts of you that need healing.
Stand up for yourself. You, just like anyone else, deserve to be respected and have your needs honored and met. Always advocate for what is right for you.
Hold on to and fight for your joy. Cling to those little moments where you are completely happy and satisfied. And always choose your joy; make it a priority.
Do everything mindfully. Not in haste and not passively. Be fully present in your activities and conversations.
Stay in touch with your emotions. Feel each emotion and sit with it. Don’t bury it under the rug or wish it away. It’s yours to process.
Love yourself even at your worst moments. Treat yourself like a work in progress who is still learning and who needs love, compassion, and forgiveness.
Connect with nature. Sit in stillness and take it all in. Go on walks. Travel to green and serene places. Marvel at the creation around you.
Create a happy place in your space. Have a room or a little corner in the house that’s embellished with things that bring you joy and warm colors. Go there to think and recharge.
Prioritize self-care. Preserve your health by adopting habits that support your wellbeing like exercise, meditation, eating well, therapy, pampering yourself, etc.
Stay away from the drama. You don’t need to be caught up in the mess. Not everything deserves your energy or response.
Spend time alone. Get to know yourself and fall in love with taking care of yourself. Delight in your own presence.
Take those days off. Utilize your leave days and don’t work when you’re off. Take mental health days if you’re overwhelmed. Maximize your vacation time.
Teach others how to treat you. Communicate your boundaries, needs, and wants. Make your expectations known. Don’t leave any grey areas.
Achieving inner peace requires working on ourselves every day. Sometimes we won’t see what’s coming and it’s okay if it throws us off balance because that is the reality of life. However, we can work towards having little pockets of peace every day which are embedded in how we approach life and treat ourselves and others.
I understand that sometimes the threat to inner peace is a toxic environment and therefore you might not self-care your way into peace. In such scenarios, change your environment if you can and if you can’t, try and communicate how you feel you are being treated. If nothing changes, choose yourself and your mental health by doing what feels best for you.
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
—John F. Kennedy