No one could have foreseen what will happen in 2020: a virus, lockdowns, financial problems, loneliness and companies that went bankrupt. Because of all this misery, it is not surprising that there are many more people with psychological complaints than two years ago. Many are concerned about their jobs and their relationships. They have feelings of despair, impotence, sadness and anger. Uncertainty about the future makes this situation even worse. 

It’s no wonder you have moments when you don’t like life anymore. Despair is a terrible feeling. It makes you sad, it paralyzes you, and it certainly does not help you to actively improve your situation. So it is important to overcome this feeling. Perhaps the following suggestions can help you.

1. Look for distractions

Despair tends to reinforce itself. The more you think about the misery, the stronger the feeling of despair becomes, and the more difficult it is to escape from the proverbial deep pit. Therefore, it is better to seek distraction. Engage in a hobby or activity that uses your brain and preferably your body.

For example, go for a walk or cycle, make a puzzle or update the garden. Clean the house or cook something tasty. You may even discover a new hobby or challenge. Anything is better than being stuck in a prison called despair.

2. Treat yourself

When you are in a miserable situation, you may have a tendency to be hard on yourself, blame yourself, or punish yourself in some way. But be aware that it is not your fault. Nobody can do anything about the corona crisis. Punishing yourself is unfair and will only make you feel worse.

A healthier approach is to pamper yourself. Comfort yourself. Give yourself peace and space, don’t push yourself. Get in touch with a good friend, go out for a treat, or buy yourself something nice. Enjoy the sun, a good book, your favorite things and the people you love (keeping social distancing in mind). This way you provide yourself with happiness hormones and the energy you need to get through this bad period.

3. Find a goal

If you have hung your self-image on your job, your income and your social status for years, the corona crisis could have dealt you a tremendous blow. Partial or total unemployment, the downfall of your own company, declining income, debt: it can all be devastating for your self-esteem and your self-confidence. The goals you’ve been working towards all these years have suddenly become irrelevant or out of reach.

You can find (part of) your happiness and satisfaction by drawing up a new plan and getting started with this challenge. Maybe you have a good plan for, for example, a lucrative company or you want a different job in a completely new sector. At least now you have the chance!

Perhaps during all those years of working full-time, you have ignored other dreams and aspects of your personality. You can finally take that painting course, renovate your house or write that book. Or make a plan to get your body in shape. These kinds of goals ensure that you regain meaning in life. In addition, exercise helps you feel better and happier.

4. Get help

The best way to deal with feelings of despair is to talk about it with others: with your partner, your friends, or other people you trust and value. Because we are all in this together, the other person will recognize and validate your feelings. They may also have negative feelings themselves. This way you can support each other.

Are you really not well? Do you only see it in black, and do you feel that a dark cloud is overshadowing your life? Then do not hesitate to call in professional help. It could be that you have ended up in a burnout or a depression, which can cost you years of productivity and happiness in life.

It is also not nothing what is coming your way at this time. Many people did not like it much earlier. So don’t be ashamed and talk to someone who has studied to recognize depressive symptoms. This person can help you find joy back in your life. Sometimes this is the best step you can take, and you will thank yourself for it afterwards.

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