Taking care of ourselves and listening to our inner voices in the face of adversities

Life is full of uncertainties and challenges that we have no complete control over them.  What is the priority for us in the face of all the uncertainties and challenges?

All of us inevitably experiencing different levels of anxiety and confusion when we face uncertainties.  As a result, we try very hard to take control of our lives and to make sure we have more certainties.  For example, in view of the increase in unemployment rate, many people choose to work overtime due to their fear of being laid off.  Some people may frequently check the latest news with their mobile phones as they would like to keep abreast of current affairs and information related to the pandemic.  Some may even fall asleep with their phones every night.  For those who are afraid of being infected with COVID-19, they may think that the only way to prevent infection is to cut off all social interactions and stay home.  These examples are partly related to the dichotomous thinking we have when we experience negative emotions due to uncertainties and challenges.

It is common for us to notice many people eat their meals very quickly in the restaurant during lunch time.  One of the reasons for them to rush may be that they want to go back to office for work as soon as possible.  Do you have similar experience?  Have you ever paid attention to your present moment experiences such as noticing the beautiful flowers on your way back home?  Do you spend time with yourself every day?  In fact, in the face of all the challenges, we may find it difficult to listen to our inner voices and take care of our own needs.  Some of our inner voices include our self-criticism and self doubts.  We may also feel conflictual about what we really want in our lives.  For instance, a person may feel very guilty for having the privilege to have lunch in a five-star hotel after hearing his or her friend just lost a job.  The reality is that the person sufferred from high stress at work and had worked for ten consecutive days.  This fine dinng experience was just a retreat for himself or herself.  Due to her self-critiicsm, she blamed herself and felt upset throughout her holiday.

It is easy for us to forget ourselves in hard times, especially in taking care of our physical and mental well-being.  Given our tight work schedule, we still need to take breaks regularly and develop a healthy lifestyle for maintaining our well-being.  In view of the pandemic, we may not need to cut off all social connections as we could interact with our loved ones with virtual means.  Practising mindfulness enables us to cultivate self-awareness, which is important for us to be aware of our needs and emotions without judgment.  In fact, self-awareness is essential for our overall well-being, because we are the only one who can partly take the control in our lives and take care of ourselves.  We may also be able to understand ourselves more as a unique human being.  Giving ourselves priority and listening to our inner voices faciliate our self-discovery.  As a result, we can come up with more effective strategies to face all of our challenges.

It is the time for us to cultivate self-awareness and pay more attention to our inner voices.  Let us spend more time with ourselves and enjoy our precious solitude.

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