How to survive….

The fighting, the loneliness, the sadness. These words describe the atmosphere that we’re having to endure. People are not faring well during this awful time. I am not immune to the despair people are feeling. I wish I could help the people that need help. So, I write this. This is what I’ve been taught to do during times of absolute panic. This time is now. Although it’s October 1 and my favorite month because it’s the start of the holiday season, this season will look and feel a lot differently than any other season in recent memory.

How to survive this time? Hug the loved ones you can as tightly and often as they’ll let you. Take care of each other. Go online and pick up the phone to check on family and friends. Tell them you’re thinking of them and their family and offer condolences to people who’ve lost loved ones. Those people may be suffering alone right now and need support. Grief is a very long process and doesn’t end at a funeral. Many people are grieving right now. People are grieving not only the loss of loved ones but the loss of normalcy. For many people, being together with friends or loved ones is how they live every day and what they look forward to. Even though I’m an introvert mostly, I see people suffering the loss of human contact. We have to take the time to take care of each other as best we can.

Write. Write in a journal. Diary. Blog. Say how you really feel and mean it. When I lost my mother at age 12, I would write very often. I would write songs and poems about her and my loss. I would write until there was nothing more to say. How did I survive? I wrote.

Music is another outlet that should be utilized during this time. It doesn’t matter what type of music you like. Maybe try listening to a different genre of music or like me, try playing an instrument no matter how awful. I’ve been practicing piano for months now on and off and it’s challenging, rewarding, frustrating and I can feel myself growing inside because of it. I’ve also tried singing. Not my forte but actual singing with scales and learning songs. It’s not pleasant. But, trying something new is what it’s all about.

Another artistic outlet I like to utilize is painting or drawing. Again, these are not my forte and will never be but putting color on a piece of paper or canvas can be breathtaking. And you never know where you’re passion could lead you. I will go from drawing cartoon characters to painting a tree with cherry blossoms blowing in the wind. Both made me smile and both took time away from thinking about the misery and sadness people are feeling right now.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember to breathe. It sounds silly but taking care of yourself can keep you taking care of others. So, breathing and/or breathing techniques can actually do a lot for your anxiety levels or depression. Taking some deep breathes reminds you that you’re alive and never take that for granted when others are just trying to breathe.

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