There is no denying that having a vegan lifestyle is a positive thing. It is a conscious decision to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. On the surface, you might think this makes you content. However, there are many vegans to struggle to find true happiness in this world.
The truth is that most omnis go through life shielded from all the atrocities committed against animals. When you go vegan, though, you have to accept what is happening to animals around the world. And, since you often can’t directly help these poor souls, you can feel helpless, frustrated, and angry.
There is also the fact that a vegan lifestyle can isolate you from family members, friends, and significant other. If your loved ones can’t understand why you have made this lifestyle transition, they may not be all that supportive. This can make any kind of gathering or social situation awkward for you.
If this is something you’re experiencing, there is a silver lining! You can live a happy and fulfilling life and still strive to make things better for animals. Here is how you can manage this:
Living a Vegan Lifestyle – Be Aware of Your Boundaries
Most people living the vegan lifestyle are constantly striving to be better. This is why they will often watch documentaries and news reports depicting the horrors inflicted on animals. It is important to keep in mind that this may not be the right approach for everyone, including you.
You might be more sensitive to certain imagery, particularly violent or sensitive themes. As such, it may take a more negative toll on you. If this is something you experience, you should take steps to avoid looking at such material.
This doesn’t make you a bad vegan – after all, you are fully aware of what animals around the world go through. Rather, you are simply taking the necessary steps to protect yourself from harmful media.
Find a Supportive Network
If you are feeling a disconnect with your friends and family members, find people that are more similar to you. This is a lot easier to do than before. These days, you can find a lot of online groups dedicated to veganism and animal activism. You may be able to find a local chapter that you can meet with regularly.
You can also use social media to find likeminded individuals. Even if you aren’t able to meet up with them, you will have someone to turn to when you need comfort or guidance. Forums are also great places to get advice on how to deal with certain vegan-related issues in your life.
If all else fails, you can take the initiative to start a local club or support group yourself. Once you begin to put some feelers out, you will be surprised to learn just how many people are interested.
Consider Seeking Professional Help
At the end of the day, there is only so much that friends and fellow vegans can help you with. If you’re experiencing extreme or continuous feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression, you may want to seek professional help. Mental health experts will be better equipped to help you handle such emotions.
They may also help reframe the world that you live in. This could make it easier to have a more positive outlook on life, even when things seem rather grim. It is enormously helpful to have proper coping mechanisms as a vegan.
Pay Attention to the Happy News as Well
When living a vegan lifestyle, it is easy to only hone into stories of cruelty, abuse, and bloodshed of animals. While these stories are important and eye-opening, they are also rather depressing to read about constantly. As such, it is easy to feel helpless if this is the only news that you have access to.
This is why you should search for articles that prove the world is getting better instead of worse. It could be regarding how veganism is on the rise or how big companies are making more of an effort to be vegan. At the very least, rejoice in how many non-dairy ice cream options are now available!
Remember, you are working towards creating a better world. So, you deserve to take some pleasure in it. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with good news and positive vibes. It can make a significant difference to your overall mental health.
Don’t Be Afraid to Distract Yourself
When you feel like it’s all getting too much, don’t feel guilty about distracting yourself. Take as much time as you need to recover. You can watch funny movies or TV shows, go shopping with friends, or even have a night out.
You don’t constantly have to be “on duty” as a vegan. So, figure out what techniques are most relaxing for you and indulge in them. This isn’t a selfish tactic at all. Understand, once you have recharged, you will be able to come back better than ever and pick up from where you have left off.
Give Yourself a Round of Applause
Non-vegans are often quick to point out that one vegan doesn’t change anything. And, when you see how many people consume meat and dairy regularly, it may feel that way. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get past this mindset.
However, you shouldn’t belittle your contribution to the vegan and animal cause. For instance, it is estimated that around 7000 animals are reared and killed to feed one meat-eater during their lifetime. By not eating meat, you are cutting down on demand.
As a result, fewer animals are raised in terrible conditions and culled. Not to mention, it is important to congratulate yourself on removing yourself from a system designed for the torture of animals. Even if you can’t dismantle it yourself, at least you’re not contributing to it any longer.
This is how you can contribute to a good cause while finding happiness in your life. You know you’re doing the right thing by fighting for the rights of animals. So, there is no need to feel negative or upset. Just enjoy life.
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