When the Future Feels Hopeless

These (see below) are great as ways to refocus yourself and get out of a rut.What I learned to do for myself is look at what is sustainable versus what I feel obligated to do, pressured to do, etc. What am I doing that really makes me feel good, accomplished, and able to go on and do more. So many things I was doing and focused on for poor reasons. Those things were not helping me but were keeping me from doing the things I really did want to do.

Productivity is a cycle, a chain of events. If you are stuck on one step you can’t move on to the next. So, try finding a different chain of events or change the cycle and see if it can avoid the blocked step, the part that you can’t manage alone, or right now, or maybe don’t really even need.

From a post: What to do When the Future Feels Hopeless

1. Channel your inner lawyer.

Pessimism generally distorts reality. … employing what they call a disputing technique—verbalizing the negative assumptions we are making about the future, and disputing them with realistic facts.

Most likely, your future is also brighter than what you may think at your darkest moments, so dispute your pessimism not with mindless optimism, but with facts. Build a solid case for something other than the worst-case scenario, and argue it to yourself like a lawyer. And while you’re at it, read fewer stories about the pandemic. You probably aren’t learning anything new, but, rather, just trying to get a bit more certainty about the future, which is impossible.

2. Turn constraints into decisions.

… In other words, start an examination of every problem by listing the apparent limitations on your freedom, and instead of taking them as given, consider how you can change them.

… you might use this period to reset your definition of productivity. True, many aspects of many jobs have been made more difficult by the pandemic. But other parts of a truly productive life are begging for your attention. You can set goals for exercise, work on acquiring new skills, spend quality time with loved ones, or learn to tame your monkey mind in meditation. This is the sort of productivity that will reward you in the long run and can help you establish a healthier, happier equilibrium when the pandemic is over.

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