I’m writing this post because someone I know is dealing with health challenges. In fact, three — no, four — people I know, friends or family. Severe health challenges. It can be depressing, but here are some helpful offsets.
Time Magazine had a bunch of tips in this week’s issue. When you look at these suggestions, don’t be put off, as I would have been when I was younger, by the simplicity of them. As I wrote here, sometimes you can lift your mood with a simple change. And while lifting your mood won’t solve a horrible, life-threatening situation, we know by now that sometimes, living through that stuff is a matter of putting one foot in front of another, and continuing to function from one minute to the next, until you have a string that adds up to an hour or a day. I’m writing this for the people in my world who are suffering.
Here are the suggestions from Time, and if you’re interested, it’s the October 2, 2017 issue:
- Explore life without social media. Cutting back can reduce anxiety, among other benefits.
- Order delivery and send your laundry out. People report greater happiness when they buy themselves free time rather than things.
- Embrace your positive emotions as they happen. Labeling and categorizing positive emotions–i.e. examining them as they’re happening–can increase frequency and duration.
- Let go of grudges
- Visit your local tiny greenspace
- Keep your friends as close as your family
- Deploy random acts of kindness
- Write a thank-you note
- Snap a smartphone photo. It’ll refocus your attention significantly.
- Drop almost everything (stop multitasking)
- Get some sun.
- Jot down what you’re grateful for.
- Think about doing someone a favor. Helps almost as much as actually doing it.
- Do a mini meditation.
- Buy tickets to/plan events. People get more joy from experiences than things, and many memories sweeten with time.
Although age has no lock on illness, sadness, and grief, we do tend to experience it more as we get older. Even having to deal with new limitations can be a drag. So it’s good to have strategies for staying mentally strong.
Also, in our efforts to look, act, sound, and feel young, we sometimes forget that simply being sentient and, optimally, vertical, is a blessing to be grateful for. Here is a post I wrote called Getting Old is a Privilege. Because sometimes we forget what really matters.
What about you? Do you have some strategies for dealing with sadness and pain? Please share.
PS: last week, I wrote about staying brave as we age. My funny and thoughtful friend Roxanne Jones shared a link to her own post on the same topic that she wrote in 2015. You can read it here.