These are difficult times, no doubt about it. I’ve been thinking a lot about coping, and how we’ve begun to thrive in spite of the craziness going on in the world around us. Here’s how we stopped coping and started thriving in these difficult times.
Like everyone else on the planet, we watched as Covid has made its way around the world and into our back yard. We’ve had losses in our friend group, good friends have tested positive and walked away with minor symptoms while others have been in and out of the hospital while we stand by feeling helpless. We’ve had to cancel plans and rearrange our lives, just like everyone else. We have been deeply concerned for our country as riots and protests have broken out across the country, some only minutes from our home. Sadly, we’ve noticed the business closures, it looks like about a quarter of our small businesses didn’t make it through. People are angry and scared.
We’ve had concerns over our own health as well. As an older couple, we’ve had a few minor issues to address during these past few months. I have a daughter in college who wants to get out into the world and shine her light. Naturally I am concerned about her plans, especially since young people are now experiencing difficult outcomes. At the same time, I want her to have the opportunity to spread her wings. We found ourselves coping, going through the motions, but not really enjoying life.
We, like most, found ourselves sucked into watching the news and very quickly discovered we weren’t getting the “truth” which sent me on a whole researching binge. I know more about biology, viruses, and psychology ( I had to understand!). While I hoped that more information would help, in the end, I hit a dead end. What we know is limited.
Roger and I have different political views, and after a while, we had to not only agree to disagree, but to stop talking about it. Completely. Because of the intensity, we had to change, and decided to commit to taking our lives back.
A few weeks ago, as we walked along the trail, on our early morning walk, we agreed to be present, and begin noticing and celebrating our surroundings. The little bunnies darting around, the silly squirrels, and the bright red bug I’d never seen before. The plants, flowers and wild life along the trail was still carrying on, vines were covering plants, Spanish moss danced in the slow summer breeze.
The beautiful world of nature was doing its thing right under our noses. We simply didn’t notice because we were all up in our heads over stuff we couldn’t control, and while we were all up in our heads, we were missing out on life. living. enjoying being together. appreciating the bounty we have.
We had to make some changes so we could begin putting our lives back together, and craft a quality lifestyle in the midst of a pandemic and political and social unrest.
- First and foremost, we limit the news we watch. I subscribe to a newsletter that provides a summary of what’s going on rather than commentary.
- I mute social media posts from people who share vitriolic posts or are combative. (My daughter has gone so far as to have deleted her Instagram and TikTok because she found the content she was receiving upsetting. Some of my friends are taking a break from social media; I’ve decided to limit my time on the platforms and focus on creating uplifting content.
- We take time out each day to get exercise. Mostly, we walk, and at times we could only walk in the neighborhood. Walking is calming, it is good for the body and most people can walk a little bit even around a small neighborhood, like we did.
- We get fresh air and a change of scenery, as much as possible. As our state re opened, we were heading into the warmest time of the year, but we still make an effort to get out and about. We visit quiet parks and sit by the pool.
- I make a point of meditating every day. I had gone off my 20/20/20 morning routine, twenty minutes meditating, twenty minutes of yoga and 20 minutes reading or listening to inspirational materials. It worked for me, and now I’m back.
- We started planning special activities like going to different parks or the beach, or meeting up with a friend and getting lunch outdoors. I’ve loved getting dressed up and enjoying beautiful outdoor restaurants.
It’s time we take our lives back, my friends. Things won’t be “the same” for a very long time, so we are going to have to consciously choose. I encourage you to sit down and think about the things that are important to you, the things that make you happy, and healthy and prioritize and plan them into your schedule.
Sometimes, we need help working our way through various issues in our lives. I have turned to therapy several times along my path to healing. Recently, I learned about Better Help, an online non-emergency mental health program that pairs you with an online therapist. It’s completely confidential and because it’s all done online you don’t have to worry about going in for an appointment. Click HERE for more information. *this is an affiliate link
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