I've been thinking a lot lately about how 2020 has been a year of change and growth. For most people, the challenge to adjust creates stress and worry. As time passes by, we may have a sense that there's not enough time to do everything we need and want to (which can add to stress and feeling discontented). How can we avoid these time pressures and feel satisfied with the moments we live? For this reason, I want to offer 3 ways to continue building hardiness and resilience (in other words, the ability to remain calm in the face of crisis and recover quickly) so that stress levels stay manageable and not overwhelming. This important conversation also applies to the anxiety and worry we may feel with the holiday season/end of year, ongoing pandemic & prolonged stay at home/distancing recommendations, and presidential election.
Social comparisons can lead to strong anxious feelings, low self-esteem, and hesitation to take risks or engage in personal growth. At the same time, social comparisons can help us determine what is normal or healthy and help us to improve our performance and behaviors appropriately. When does comparing ourselves to others become harmful and unhealthy? How can we stop comparing ourselves in unhelpful ways?
RELATIONSHIP CORNER : A Look at Social Isolation due to Corona Virus Distancing Among Those With Chronic Illness
Linda Rodgers’ article discusses the emotional challenges faced by those that are isolating from others and limiting their usual activities to limit risks of catching and spreading COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2. The article offers specific strategies for coping with the loneliness, recommendations to self-monitor for signs of worsening emotional health, and tips to limit risk when leaving the home is necessary.
When we have negative feelings and stress in our life our brain and nervous system learn to be “on alert” more than may be healthy. Some ways that we respond when faced with difficulties include worrying, being “on edge”, and various body sensations and reactions. None of this is fun; enter “relaxation”! Regular daily practice of relaxation can provide long term physical changes in as little as 12 weeks !
I’ve been thinking some time to write a post about dealing with suicidal thoughts. In this post I will offer suggestions on what to do if someone in your life is suicidal or has struggled with these thoughts.
1. Listen and be present with them. Try to listen with a goal of understanding and suppress the urge to panic, fix them, or tell them that they are wrong to think/feel that way.
How are you today? In a moment of stillness and self-reflection, how are you feeling really? You are an amazing person, who gives so selflessly and sacrificially. So many times I wonder how you manage to keep going! Perhaps you “caregive” out of obligation or duty, environmental expectations, learned behaviors, or personality and gifting.
This love letter goes out to those who care for children or family members in need, are caught in the “sandwich” between caring for their children while caring for aging parents, or those who care for the elderly in their community/church or as a volunteer or paid caregiver- in addition to keeping up with work, family, and life.
Are you feeling lonely or wondering how you will manage being alone during this holiday season? Holidays and other special occasions can feel like a punishment in addition to all the other non-holiday calendar years that one faces alone. When alone, I would go back and forth between thinking that I was fine alone and “didn’t need anyone”, or just busying myself and not dwelling so much on being alone, or having a pity party about being alone and wondering which friends I could call to complain about my misery.