How to Manage Emotions in Difficult Times #9 – Our need for Meaning

Welcome to this final short article…

…in a series on how to manage our emotions in these challenging times.

If you’ve had an opportunity to read the earlier articles in the series you’ll know that meeting our emotional needs well is key to building and maintaining resilience and strong mental health.

This final article looks at ideas for meeting our ninth need for meaning and purpose

 

#9 Our need for Meaning and Purpose

We all need to have a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives if we are to be mentally strong, motivated and both mentally and physically energised.

Meaning comes from having goals and being stretched in what we do and how we think. It is through stretching ourselves mentally or physically by giving service to others, or learning new skills, or being connected to ideas and philosophies bigger than ourselves, that our lives become purposeful and full of meaning.

So how can we continue to meet this need if our usual channels are interrupted?

 

Here are some ideas that others have found helpful:

 

  • Participating in or organising a project for a local sports or youth club as social distancing restrictions begin to relax

  • Maintaining a physical exercise routine (or starting new one), including setting fitness-related goals and striving towards them; alone or within a group

  • If time permits, taking the opportunity to enhance existing skills or acquire new ones through online training and study

  • Volunteering with a local charitable organisation – many charity shops are anticipating challenges resourcing the handling of an expected deluge of donated goods as they begin to reopen

 

I hope you’ll find some of these ideas useful and if you’d like a reminder of what each of our nine psychological needs are you can find them here.

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