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Honing in on the good stuff

Having hope in tough times can bring in some light.

While living in uncertain times can be hard, Dr Lucy Hone says we need only to look overseas to see that there is hope that life will not be this way forever.

“I’ve been finding it quite useful to compare living in protracted lockdowns with living in post-quake Ōtautahi. It feels similarly like groundhog day and we also felt we had no control and the future was very uncertain. But we did get through and, while it was truly horrid, it did end and we can hardly remember the actual awfulness of that time now.”

Whether it’s sleeping-in or making music, everyone will do things differently, says Dr Hone.

In her viral ted talk, Dr Hone identified these three things that we can all do in tough times:

  • Accept that bad things happen.
  • Try to tune into what’s still good in your world
  • Ask yourself... is a certain behaviour or action helpful or harmful?

Having hope too can bring in some light.

Dr Hone says that the real challenge facing everyone right now is this uncertainty, which goes against everything we like as humans.

“We want solutions, we want things to be certain but sometimes life just isn’t. There is nothing we can do about it and we hate that. I know I have felt that in the weeks and months after we lost our daughter Abi, and in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes. My sister also lived on the epicentre of the Kaikoura earthquakes. So we’re faced with these challenges that are completely beyond our control. It’s good to understand that as humans we don’t like that.”

This then leads to feelings of frustration or ‘blahness’, says Dr Hone.

“People might be feeling blah or meh because they’re stuck inside and not able to do all the things that we’re designed to do as humans – to be outdoors, to move, to be with friends and family, to seek pleasure, so actually Aucklanders are living the antithesis that human bodies are designed for.”

“I want to say to people ‘give yourself a break’. That’s the appropriate way to feel if you’re stuck inside, haven’t got any choice and you are experiencing groundhog day. There is nothing wrong with hating that and longing for it to be over.”

“The antidote is to tap into your rational self that knows this will end.”

Dr Hone says while it might not feel like it will end right now, as humans we are incredibly adaptable and we can get through even the most shocking of circumstances and we can climb out of the worst of ruts.”

“We have to know things will be different and next year will be a new year. We have to have hope.”

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