A global pandemic can really put things into perspective. Many of us have used time in lockdown to re-evaluate our lives. Being unable to see our loved ones has shown us where our priorities should lie, and our time away from work has made us understand the importance of work-life balance. Of course, the lockdown hasn’t been like this for everyone. Maybe your life has carried on unchanged, and you’ve not spent time reflecting on it. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t. We can all benefit from self-reflection, and some of us really need it. But it can be hard to know whether you should change your priorities and direction in life since it feels like such a big decision. So here are the signs that you should at least think about it.
You’re jealous of your friends
We all get a little bit jealous sometimes. And this is totally normal, especially in the 21st century. In the age of social media, it’s so easy to share the good bits of your life — the happy days and the successes. We’re bound to compare ourselves to our friends and feel a little bit envious of them. But feeling really jealous all the time could be a sign that you’re unhappy with your own life. A lot of the time, our jealousy is motivated by our insecurities. For example, if you find yourself jealous of your friends’ new job, it could be a sign that you’re unhappy with your own.
Although jealousy isn’t a nice feeling, it can actually be useful. If we take the time to understand our jealousy, it can show us what we really want in life. So instead of trying to suppress these feelings, listen to them. Only by finding out what we really want, can we stop wasting time feeling jealous and start focussing on making our goals happen. And it’s important to do this not just for your relationships, but for your health too. Jealousy can be the root of many health problems, such as anxiety and nausea.
Do you crave more excitement in your life? Are you always looking for ways to kill your boredom? If you are, it might mean that you need to shake things up a bit. Boredom doesn’t always mean that you need to make a big life change. Many of us have been bored these past few months, due to social distancing measures and travel restrictions. But if you find yourself bored often, you should consider changing your direction. Take some time to figure out how to make life exciting again, and evaluate your priorities accordingly.
So if you find yourself bored because you hate your relationship, do something about it. Or if you think that you’re bored because you’re lonely, start to make your friends your number one priority. You don’t need to start with making big changes either. If you find yourself bored but you don’t know why, just get out and do something. This can be literally anything — go for a walk, grab a coffee, play a board game. By just doing small things to stop the boredom, you can still figure out where your priorities lie. And by figuring out what we want to prioritise in life, we can figure out what path we want to follow.
You feel stuck
This can feel quite similar to boredom. Maybe you feel stuck in a relationship, a career, or even just stuck in an old routine. You do the same thing every day, you feel the same way every day, and it feels like you can never break free from the cycle. Many of us feel stuck at one point or another, and it’s not fun. In fact, it can feel extremely daunting, as it feels impossible to break free. The longer it goes on, the more stuck you feel. It can be a really vicious cycle. But when you feel stuck, your mind is trying to tell you something: you need to make a change. And the only way to free yourself from this feeling is to just go for it. Figure out what you need to change, and make it happen. Don’t try to fight the feeling, because you’ll only become more stuck. Feeling this way can be horrible. However, if you listen to yourself and you make the right changes, it could make you happier than you ever thought possible.
Something feels off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it
Maybe you don’t feel jealous of your friends. Maybe you don’t feel bored with life, or you don’t feel stuck. But you feel something, and you just can’t figure it out. This might be your intuition trying to tell you something. This can feel even more frustrating than feeling stuck, since it can be more difficult to figure out what it is that you actually want. So you need to be patient and take time to understand yourself. You might have been ignoring your intuition for a long time, possibly out of naivety, or maybe you just don’t like what it’s been telling you. If you want to listen to your intuition but you don’t know how, practice some decision making. Take the time to weigh up all your options, but don’t overthink it. Trust your gut, since the first choice you make is usually the right one for you.
Change is good for you
If you identify with what you’ve just read and believe that you need a change in direction, you might feel scared. And it would be strange if you didn’t — change is scary. But it might be the best thing that you ever do. If something isn’t right with the life that you’re living, why not just go for it? With change comes new life experiences and new perspectives, which are always good for you. So take the time to listen to your intuition, to understand what you truly want. You won’t regret it.
Written by Siobhan Kelly
Siobhan is a recent Sociology graduate, with a passion for writing. Her degree has given her experience researching a range of topics relating to the Sociology of both physical and mental health. She has a particular interest in understanding the effect that body image has on mental health.