Difficult Times

Now more than ever, we are all facing major challenges. Life is full of many aspects that need to be resolved as we go along.

Our basic needs must be fulfilled as a first step. Some of these basic needs are food, shelter, love, health, etc. It is easy to mention these and some more but being able to address all of them simultaneously in a proper way has always been challenging.

For example, to be able to resolve food, shelter, and health, as a starter, we need to be able to produce the right level of income. At the same time, it’s not all about work and money and is also about balancing our life. However, work has become by itself an ever-changing target. For decades, jobs have been shifting from traditional manufacturing, hard goods to more intellectual, service-oriented jobs. These shifts are now happening at a higher speed and require retraining, keeping up with new technology and on many occasions changing jobs that are completely different in nature.

As if that was not enough, we have added the layer of a pandemic and its many consequences. We are all aware of the isolating effect that the pandemic has caused at both works and at personal levels. These changes have required additional adjustments such as working from home, interacting with others by zoom, coming up with new entertainment options, etc.

As we also include family dynamics that are being affected by how each family member in turn is affected, this becomes an additional complexity. Children have been challenged to attend continuous hours of schooling by sitting in front of a screen and not being able to socialize. There are many questions as to the long-term effects of the educational and socialization skills gap that this might have. Short term, however, children’s socialization has also suffered and many children, as well as adults, are affected by mental health issues because of this

Now we are currently facing additional elements such as housing demands and inflation.

So, when we put it all together, the usual ongoing difficulty in meeting basic needs, an ever-changing social and work environment, all being further affected by the pandemic effects, it is simply brutal.

Then what do we do?

First, it’s important to maintain a certain level of calm, not rush and not act impulsively. Taking a step back to reflect, dissect each element and address each area individually is the first step. Second, reaching out to our partners, spouses, family, friends, coworkers, etc. can help in venting and in getting ideas, and brainstorming. Finally, focusing on a simple, logical plan with specific steps and timetables can help.

However, the above is a logical approach that is necessary and helpful but does not deal with our emotional side. Taking care of ourselves (healthy diet, exercise, balancing life, reaching out) is not an option, it’s a necessity.

Finally, at times, the combined effect of all these elements is overwhelming and requires an approach that is more comprehensive. Taking time off can help assess the situation more objectively. Also, contacting a professional that can facilitate the process and the journey of life can, in the long run, provide important shortcuts and a clear route to live life more fully.