How Do I Plan for the Future?

While it’s nice to hope and wish for things, hopes and wishes are not reality. Many are holding onto hope that an end to this pandemic will be in sight soon — and while hope is good, hope is not always logical. Some of this hope could stem from misinformation and rumors over whether or not things will improve by fall. Instead of assuming that everything will be resolved in this timeframe, it’s a better idea to prepare for the long term — to not think in weeks or months, but possibly even years. Preparing this way will help you avoid disappointment when or if something does not improve in a week or a month.

Think Long-Term

Certainly, a day-to-day philosophy to meet goals is a valid approach. However, these goals should be building to sustain a long-term effort. In the case of COVID-19, you might want to believe the news that makes you feel better. But it’s smart to ask yourself, does this news have any truth behind it? What are their sources? What are their agendas? You cannot rely on various news outlets or the whims of anybody with power and a platform to provide meaningful information.

It might be a nice thought to think a miracle will happen, but you should be actively planning for a scenario where the miracle does not happen for a couple of years. This will not only serve your recovery during these trying times, but it will create a person within who can practice logical thinking and maintain recovery in any situation.

Don’t Associate These Times With Disappointment

The first way to go about facing the reality of the current situation is to adjust your mindset rather than feeling like you are destined to face constant disappointment — not just disappointment in your recovery, but in the efforts of those working on a solution to the current problem around you. Do not take it personally when things do not go your way. Instead of choosing to feel disappointed, view this as a new chapter.

Certainly, hindsight is 20/20, but try to realize there are opportunities for growth during this period. Since most norms have transformed, you can, too. Maybe it comes in the form of a new job opportunity, or maybe you develop those artistic skills you’ve always wanted to. Just because this might last a while doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out until your imagined scenario of a resolution comes true. Instead, use this as an opportunity to thrive.

Obstacles Will Occur

Disappointment is always harder to accept when you are not expecting it. This could be due to having unrealistic expectations. Likewise, expecting that a problem could occur is not negative thinking — it is just realistic. Never think in terms of wrong or right when expressing your expectations.

For example, instead of thinking that something will go wrong, tell yourself that obstacles will occur. Not only is this realistic and rational thinking, but this kind of thinking will help maintain optimism. There will be challenges and setbacks, but it’s ultimately about reaching the goal. So long as you work toward your goal, you are on the right path.

Create a Plan

Do not ignore what you are feeling when things do not go your way. While you can expect obstacles to occur, you will want to have a plan in place to help you manage your emotions and keep you in control. A plan could include a support group or friend to call on when you are feeling triggered. You could also increase your interactions with friends and family, and be open about what you are feeling.

They will certainly empathize given that they might be experiencing similar emotions. Keep a notebook or journal to track your progress, so you can write down when you feel triggered or when a craving comes on. This type of preparedness will give you a safe recovery space that should make you feel comfortable, accessible, and surrounded by friends and family who support you.

Accept Where You Are

There are some things that are just out of your control. Accept that even though there are vaccine trials being given, realistically, even if a vaccine were discovered tomorrow, it might still take another year or more before it becomes available. Keep an open mind, continue to practice safety protocol, and know that by being patient now, you are doing your part to improve the speed of resolution. It just might take longer than you hoped for. Focus on your recovery and practice activities that serve your physical and mental health.

When you choose to ignore the reality of what is happening around you, you are succumbing to denial. This denial could lead to negative thoughts and eventually negative behaviors. If you feel like you have lost control of your recovery, True Recovery can help. We provide 24/7 care and will do everything we can to get you healthy again. To learn more, call us at (866) 399-6528.