Since I was a little girl, I have heard the saying “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It is a fairly well-known saying used when discussing something difficult in your life. With everything going on in our world right now, ( i.e. COVID, Black Lives Matter, sick friends and family, financial hardships) I could not stop thinking about this saying. The only problem is I found myself following up the cute saying meant to make you feel better with “but what-if the lemons are rotten?” Because let’s get real, that is how our lives feel right now.
No matter how hard we struggle, persevere, push ourselves through, it seems there is something even more terrible waiting for us on the other side. So how do we manage during a time when there is no break. No light at the end of the tunnel. Unless you are like me and think the light is a train coming straight for you to pummel you into the ground. I want to know what the answer is in dealing with everything coming at you one right after the other. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is just one, but rather many.
I know personally during these hard-global times I have tried all the normal coping mechanisms: diet, exercise, seeking help from others. I have even added escapism into reading and writing literature (although I do not claim these are healthy options). Maybe they have all seemed to work for a while, but I have never been able to keep this up in the long-term. The failure to do what I know I should to ease my mind only perpetuates the stress of the day to day. Nothing has seemed to quiet the thoughts that any moment life as I know will change into something completely unrecognizable. And not gradually either. All at once. It has gotten overwhelming and more than it seems I can manage.
Although there is never an easy fix to keep your mind and body healthy, it has become more difficult than ever. This is a unique situation in that it is not simply happening to me or you, but to everyone. We must remember we are not alone, despite the feeling of isolation. I know my experience is different than my friend, my neighbor or my coworker, but the basic issue is the same. Try and remember although they may not be going through their day the same as you, the global issues influence everyone. Be kind and understanding. It is not a time to isolate yourself even further and pushing your own views onto others can do that. (Even when we wish to impart what we feel seems like it would be common sense.)
And if you are anything like me and have tried different ways to keep your spirits up but have found it only works for a while, consider that a win. Occupying your mind or body for an hour, a day, or a week should be seen as it is. Positive. Once I thought about my inconsistencies and what I thought were failures this way, it was easier for me to handle. So, continue to look for other ways to help guide you through the onslaught of disturbances in your everyday.
Take this time to try something you may have never thought of, change your mind about your path every day, do what it takes to make yourself stay strong mentally and physically. We live in the 21st century where everything we do is immediate or fast-paced. We must remember our attention spans are short, so it would prove that staying with one activity during this isolating time would not be enough to keep us sane. We must remember to diversify and be kind to ourselves. We only have to get through one hour, one day, one week at time. Try to remember there is only now, everything else is out of your control.
Stay safe. Stay kind. Stay Strong. Move forward, and we will all make it. Now I am off to try kayaking. Wish me luck!