Living In the Present When It Isn’t Pleasant

Finding Your Best Life During Lock Down

Living in the present is a great skill to have. It means instead of focusing on worries in the future and troubles from the past, you live in the moment with your emotions appreciating the good, managing the bad. Not only does being in the present help you manage your emotions and thoughts, it also has great physical benefits such as improved memory and sleep, increased productivity and lower blood pressure (source). Some of us are active in pursuing mindfulness to live in the moment, for example through meditation or just by conscious effort while most of us find ourselves are present without actively trying to be in various times in our lives. For example when enjoying a good conversation or a good piece of cake. It’s something that comes to us naturally. It’s more a skill we lose rather than a kind of skill we need to learn from scratch though often not utilized or fostered.

The question though arises, what happens when we don’t like the present? When being in the present just causes us unhappiness? During these times of lock down and or quarantine when a lot of things that give us joy and peace are taken away from us, our friends, traveling, adventure, hobbies, gyms, churches to name a few. Instead we find ourselves with limited freedom with many things taken away from us such as security and certainty. I feel as though my life has been taken from me, and I can only live a sleepy version. It’s normal to be forward thinking, to look forward to the day this ends and life can resume how we knew it. Some days I wake up counting down the days till this ends. I dream of what I will do when restrictions are lifted. It’s hard to remind myself to live in the present and to live my best life when I feel like I can’t.

Why even bother living in the present if I don’t like it? For one, it’s important to remember that each day is still a unique day in your life, even if each day feels the same. This is your life and you only have one. Don’t like anyone or anything take the beauty and rarity of that away from you. You are still living and you can still fill your days with joys, joys you may have forgotten. Things such as old hobbies (I took up drawing again, first time since high school), perhaps you can phone a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or just make sure each day you treat yourself to something you like or liked as a child – for example candy, popcorn for dinner. Don’t lose your life because it’s not the same as it was before. You still owe it to yourself to live.

Photo by cottonbro on

Living in the moment doesn’t mean just being happy. It’s also about embracing your mood no matter what it is and accepting it. You might feel sad and frustrated. Don’t minimize that but instead work through it with compassion and patience to yourself. Spend the time to become stronger in managing your feelings and getting to know yourself. Learn to love every aspect of you. Because living a life true to yourself is the best life you can lead. And that’s something you can do no matter the circumstances.

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