Before the pandemic, things weren’t exactly rosy. I was struggling with graduate life and couldn’t find a job I wanted. I was stuck in retail, hoping to find some way out. COVID-19 swept through Europe, and before I knew it, my inbox was awash with emails all following a similar tone: “Due to the pandemic…” You get the idea.
Today feels like the start of a new beginning. The pandemic didn’t exactly derail my life, but it certainly diverted it. I recently quit my job and have started a new chapter, one that I am beyond excited about. My life finally feels like it is getting going.
It is a nice feeling knowing you’re going to have a change of fortunes. The signs are big and small.
7. You’re Becoming More Curious
When you’re backed up against the wall, it is hard to feel interested in anything. One day morphs into the other, and you shuffle along with stones in your boots.
The better you feel, the more likely you are to be inquisitive. Curiosity can take many forms. These are the things I regularly do:
- Watch the Infographics Show on Youtube. Want to know history’s untold stories and the big “what ifs?” This channel is a gold mine (seriously, I spent half a day watching these on holiday).
- TED talks. Highly informational, these can inspire you to research more into issues unbeknownst to you, and encourage you to live a better life.
- Read a book. Fairly common advice I know, but reading forces you to be immersed in the story — fiction or non-fiction.
Action tip: Set aside some time to quench your curious thirst. As a writer, I allocate two days a week for content creation.
6. You’re Starting to Brush off Things That Usually Make You Angry
Do you ever have those days where nothing goes your way? You wake up 15 minutes late, which forces you to rush to be ready for work. You get hot and bothered as you get ready. You stub your toe running around. There’s no space on the train, and you’ve got stacks of paperwork you forgot about.
Before you know it, you’re exclaiming — “why is everything going wrong today?!”
We’ve all been there. It’s like you’re fighting with one arm behind your back. If your fortunes are beginning to change, you’ll find that everything seems to flow. You stub your toe, cry out in pain but end up laughing about it.
There’s no space on the train, but it’s okay, you’ve got your noise-canceling headphones and your favorite playlist.
You slip into a state of positivity.
Action tip: If you know you’re going to have to slug through something that pisses you off, combine it with an activity you enjoy. When I get up in the mornings, I often play Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. This helps me flow through my routine as if I were hopping over a cloud.
5. You’re Getting Excited About Challenges Again
For most of the summer, the news was (and still is) demoralizing. Every new death record flashed up on my phone, followed by the cascade of cancellations. I had a lot planned, so it was saddening.
All I did was work. It got boring. What started off feeling somewhat like a holiday soon turned sour. Now though, I have a problem I want to solve. I know what I need to do in my new challenge, and I’m excited about it.
Action tip: Give yourself a mixture of things to look forward to — small and large. Whether it be your favorite lunch or a holiday, it can help you get motivated for the present by looking to the future.
4. You’re Seeing Your Friends More
When life feels particularly challenging, it also tends to coincide with loneliness. Over lockdown, I didn’t see any of my friends or girlfriend for months, and it felt like walking through custard.
As we emerged out of it, however, I began to see everyone again. Even though my job situation hadn’t changed, just the act of seeing people left me feeling more confident about things.
A good support system is vital. A study found that those with insufficient support networks were more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
The more you see your friends, the better you will feel. Especially as they are typically people you can relate to, so they’re likely going through similar problems. That way, you can pour your concerns out over a nice cold pint.
Action tip: As before — make plans. Often, it can feel draining making grandiose plans over and over again, so keep it simple. A beer or coffee date can help alleviate the stress of daily life.
3. A Change Is Nigh
Did I mention I was quitting my job? I was thinking about it for a while. I wasn’t sure whether or not to wait, but my dad pushed me to do it sooner rather than later.
All of a sudden, the time felt right. I hadn’t even considered it a few weeks prior, but then I was ready. Of course, there is a lot of solace in what we know. But change is inevitable — it’s good for you.
Once you’ve experienced the change, you’ll adjust relatively quickly. Soon, as I’m sure I will, you’ll be looking back and struggling to remember what life was like before.
Action tip: As you approach your change, journal it. Your thoughts, feelings, and actions you’re going to take to make it as painless as possible. I have been doing this for the past few days, and it has certainly boosted my confidence.
2. You’re More in Tune With Your Emotions
For most of my teenage years, I resented emotions. People would ask me if I cared about anything, and I wore it like a badge of honor. Sure, it’s nice not to overthink situations, but everyone cares about something.
If your life has derailed, you are likely beginning to give up. Everything happens, and you go through the motions. “Oh well, this is the new normal now.”
Emotions show you care. I couldn’t wait to get going in my new chapter — the feeling of excitement has taken hold of me, and it’s surprising. For the first time in a long time, I am doing something that I genuinely want to do.
Action tip: If you’re feeling upset or angry at something, don’t dismiss your emotions. Recognize them. If you don’t, you may start going through the ‘Feedback Loop From Hell’ — - as author Mark Manson writes — where you feel upset about feeling upset, which only makes things worse.
1. You’re Reading This
Chances are, you are beginning to feel like something is changing, you don’t know for sure. It was the reason I wrote this article.
I don’t have all the answers; you’re going to realize it within. A month ago you may have felt mute, but now you’re singing in the shower. It’s the little things.
If you clicked on this and are reading right now, you’re probably confirming what you already knew. Your life is back on track.