What’s There to Look Forward to When It Seems Like There’s Nothing?

Look forward - collage of concert, restaurant, amusement park

Activities to look forward to when things settle down. Photo courtesy of Scotiabank Saddledome.

From David Daigle, Crew Chief:

Two weeks from today, my family and I were supposed to jump on an airplane and visit the Maritimes for the first time. Take in the marvels of Cape Breton, Peggy’s Cove, Anne of Green Gables’ home in PEI, etc. It was going to be a great adventure, pulling the kids out of school to learn more about life in those 10 days than they would sitting at a desk in Calgary. Because of COVID-19, we cannot go. 

Look Forward - Maritime photo of boats in a bay
Peggy’s Cove.

A little over 2 months from now is the Calgary Stampede. Between this and living in the shadows of the Rockies, this event is one of my greatest prides of living in Calgary. The Stampede is not just a fair where people ride rickety old rides and eat 2-week old corn dogs. It is not even just the rodeo. How many cities in the world get to go all out and show the world a good time for two weeks (I can think of Mardi Gras)? My family absolutely loves the Stampede. Because of COVID-19, the Calgary Stampede has been cancelled for the first time in its 100+ year history. 

Look forward - Calgary Stampede
Photo courtesy of canadianaffair.com.

My family had reservations to go camping this summer in Banff, Kananaskis and Radium. Because of COVID-19, these trips are all likely to be cancelled.  

Look forward - Rocky mountain lake
Banff, Alberta.

The Calgary Flames were set to make the playoffs again this year and we would get to watch their 2020 run with great joy, beer and chicken wings, and family and friends. Because of COVID-19, the season has been indefinitely postponed.  

Season tickets for the Stampeders. On hold.  

Calgary Folk Fest. Also cancelled.  

Kids’ drama camps. Cancelled.  

Summer flag football and volleyball for the kids. Cancelled.  

Any event this summer gathering 15+ individuals. Disallowed. 

I can look at the above list and become exceedingly sad, angry or frustrated. Who would blame me for any of those emotions? No one.  But I am still choosing to remain happy. I am still trying my best to look at all the positives still in my life. I am counting my blessings daily.  

But to be honest, I’m having difficulty finding things to do. How about you? Does your day look and feel tired with monotonous routines? Here’s a list of things you can look forward to when it seems there is nothing to look forward to: 

  1. Start small. Plan something to look forward to. What is one thing that gets you excited? It could be baking, reading a book outside, journaling, or dusting off an old video game. 
  1. Practice habits that make you feel good. Focus on activities that you may not like but will bring you great benefits, such as going for a walk (while social distancing) or eating healthier. If you feel good physically, you also will mentally. 
  1. Avoid short-term gratifications such as online shopping, binge-watching or gaming. 
  1. Let go of what’s not serving you. This could include your current job. I’m not saying to quit but think about what’s truly important. If you’re working long hours for the sake of productivity but feel emotionally and physically drained, it is not doing you any good.  
  1. Be in the moment.  Focus on what you’re doing in the moment. Be it painting, putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle or creating something that you will be proud of.  
  1. Treat your relationships like food you put in your body. Surround yourself with friends and family who are good for you, who tell truths you may not like but need to hear, or whom you need to re-connect with. Let go of those who are toxic or bring you negative energy.  
  1. Get out of your comfort zone a little each day. Stuck with the same routine every day, we get bored and restless. Search for ways to challenge yourself daily, even a little, to feel more productive. It could be as simple as greeting your neighbour or doing a monthly challenge. 
  1. Do what you used to enjoy. Kids smile more than adults. What happened to us as we grew that made us forget how to have fun? Don’t be too caught up looking for new experiences. If there is an activity you tried once and enjoyed, go back to it. 
  1. Create a happy list. Use a pen and paper (not technology) to journal a fun list of:
  • Things that make you smile
  • Places you want to visit
  • Favourite movies or TV shows
  • Favourite foods
  • Best advice you’ve ever gotten
  • Things that scare you but that you’re willing to overcome
  1. Talk to people. Your people. People from your past. Peple you talked to yesterday. Get on the phone and talk.  

Let me know if this list gave you ideas. Do you have any activities to look forward to when it seems there is nothing to look forward to? 

Book a Wingman if you simply need to talk. 

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