With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I would devote another week to the issue.
The world has a lot going on right now. Much of it feels like the proverbial train wreck. Price goug … I mean inflation is putting the economy at risk. The stock market is falling from the rafters after the wild party of the last several years. War on the other side of the world threatens to spill over into Europe. And let’s not forget the ever-present spectre of the past two years, COVID-19. The United States hit a milestone this past week—one million COVID-19 deaths. Yay us? 😔 (Needless to say, I still mask in public. In fact, I never stopped.)
So, with all this going on, how can you keep from losing your mind?
First, find someone to talk to. Chances are, you aren’t alone in your feelings. Every day on social media, I read about someone feeling alone, only to find out that they aren’t. Somebody else feels the same way they do. Reach out; you never know who needs you as much as you need them.
Second, take a walk if you’re able. At least try to get out in the fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes. Walking around the block every day has made an enormous difference in my attitude and outlook. Watching the local vegetation cycle through the seasons has been something I’ve not had the time to pay much attention to. And I’ve never been much of a bird watcher. Still, I want to identify the various winged critters that I see daily.
Third, change your diet. And I don’t just mean what you eat. Change the channel. Listen to different music, read a book instead of watching television, talk to your neighbor, dance around the kitchen. Find a way to step out of your rut to see the world from a different perspective. Don’t dwell on the disasters unfolding around the globe. There is nothing you can do to change what is happening outside your sphere of influence.
That is where you can do the most good. Change the things you can. When my inner monologue was negative, so was my life. The more I thought of myself as a piece of crap, the easier it was to become one. Negativity begets negativity. On the flip side, the more I looked for the silver lining in any situation, the better things got for me.
It takes practice to flip the script. You have to recognize and acknowledge when it’s happening. That’s where changing your diet comes in. If the news is getting you down, get out of the house and watch the birds.
And today’s photo? I got that done in honor of Suicide Prevention Day in 2019. The semi-colon is symbolic of a story not yet complete that more is yet to be written. The butterfly symbolizes change and natural growth, telling us that we can continually evolve and grow into something more than we already are.
If you have feelings of worthlessness and feel the urge to end it all, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, or dial 988. Talk to someone. Please.