Boy oh boy have we been having some challenging times around the world this 2020. Forest Fires, protests, landslides, explosions oh and a little thing called a pandemic.

It can be hard to keep smiling in the face of such adversity. To keep focusing on the good stuff, when the news is full of panic and there are people dying across the world from Corona.

So how can we keep our peckers up and keep putting one foot in front of the other?

One of the ways is to take hope from people who have come through enormous challenges themselves.
People like Victor Frankl, inmate 119104 in a Nazi concentration camp, who was able to survive, when most of his family and even his pregnant wife died. Victor put his survival down to finding meaning, even in the most horrendous circumstances.

Victor wrote in his best-selling book Man’s Search for Meaning, that “the last of the human freedoms…to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

His words remind us that the only thing we have power over is how we react to situations.

When I was 29 I was diagnosed with cancer. I was a single mum and had a one-year-old baby. It was horrendous. I was scared of dying and worried that my daughter wouldn’t know me.

I would say there were 2 things that got me through and enabled me to have fun while I went through chemotherapy.

One was finding meaning in my life, I had to survive for my daughter. There was no way this would drag me down. I also asked myself what I could learn from the situation. How could I come out of this a stronger, better person?

So back to our central question – How can we keep smiling in challenging times?

  1. Find some meaning in your life. What goals do you have for the future? What people need you now and will need you in the future? How can you help others and be of service to them?
  2. What can learn from this situation? Life is always throwing us curveballs, it’s just what it does. So what can you learn? How can you move on stronger and more resilient?
  3. Focus on what you can control, and let go of what you can’t. Rather than reading the international news and focusing on events halfway across the world, can you focus on what’s happening in your local community?

There are tons of other elements I could add in here. Time in nature is proven to improve your mental health. A good sleep makes everything seem better. Connecting with others.

Laughing and simply smiling, even when nothing is happening releases endorphins and makes you feel better.

So why not go for a walk and pass a smile onto a stranger? It will make you and them feel just that little bit better.

This article was originally published on debbiedooodah

Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash