This time of year can be hard for some people, especially for people who find themselves experiencing SADD. Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder affects a lot of people! Essentially, it is when people experience depression during the winter months. Part of this is caused by the decreased Vitamin D accompanying the lack of sunlight, and sometimes also the holidays are hard for people.
2020 has already been an intense year, to say the least. And if you are finding yourself feeling depressed (or more depressed than your usual amount) during this, you’re not alone.
So what can you do about it? Especially during this time of stay-at-home orders?
Give yourself a fucking break.
Seriously. Put off for tomorrow what does not need to get done today. Let yourself have an extra 30 minutes of laying in bed. Eat what you feel like having. We are literally living through a pandemic, y’all. Our normalcy is being rearranged – and depression (seasonal or not) has a metaphysical reason for demanding rest.
Something I’ve read about briefly is ayurvedic medicine. Within this medicine is the idea of your body being closely aligned with the sun, that our bodies naturally need less sleep in the summer and more in the winter. Our eating habits change seasonally as well.
This is not me saying “depression during the winter is natural, just deal with it”. BUT I am saying that one of the healthiest things we can do is listen to our body. Give yourself the grace and give yourself the space to do your best every day, no matter what that looks like.
Sometimes my best is waking up early and doing yoga and exercising before the sun rises. Other times it’s waking up at 9:30am and eating cookies for breakfast. Life is all about balance, and it’s important that we hold space for ourselves.
So what are some winter activities to do during this time?
❄ Drive around and look at Christmas lights
❄ Make hot chocolate at home and have a game night
❄ Sit in front of a fireplace (in real life or on YouTube) and cozy up under a bunch of blankets
❄ Watch Christmas movies
❄ See if there’s any local Christmas light “events” (In New Jersey, the PNC Bank Arts Center has a drive-thru Christmas light show and they charge a small entry fee per car)
❄ Read one of your favorite chapter books from when you were a kid. (The Inkheart trilogy is my go-to)
❄ Have a movie night (Harry Potter is my go-to!)
❄ Do your favorite winter activities safely!
Remember, you are entitled to your feelings. Right now does suck. But this stork will pass. It might pass like a fucking kidney stone, but this too shall pass.
So, things have changed since I last wrote here. My funk has transformed into inspiration, but not after me going through a low.
Whether you want to call it depression, or part of the spiritual awakening, or an existential crisis – for what felt like an eternity, I was feeling like my life wasn’t my own. Not in a dissociation sense, because I know what that feels like and this wasn’t it. But I felt like my life didn’t feel like my life. That if I were given the ability to choose the aspects of my life, the life I am living would not match that. Does that make sense? I was feeling unsatisfied, overwhelmed, lost, and hopeless. This was beyond me feeling like I was in a rut – I truly felt like I didn’t fit in to my own life.
Last Saturday, I decided to do some autumn-cleaning. I wasn’t feeling relaxed in my bedroom, and this is the only space we have in our current living situation that’s ours, which makes it of more importance to me for it to feel like home. Spiritually, I felt like I had too many crystals out. I had the intuitive thought that all of the energies of the 40+ crystals I had throughout our room was getting to be overwhelming, and as I am a spiritual person I’m more in tune to these energies. I made sure my Google Slides presentation was up to date (this is how I keep track of the names of all of my crystals), and I put the crystals I wasn’t feeling drawn to in a box. I cleansed that box with Palo Santo incense, and put the box in the attic. I then went through my books that I have in the room, and decided to only keep the books in the room that I actually intend on reading in the next few months. The rest of the books – most of my books – are in the attic and are easily accessible should I need them. I then reorganized my other things – my pictures, elephant figurines, dresser, etc.- and anything that didn’t feel necessary, I put in a box. I went through my clothes and organized them too, and anything that I haven’t worn in a long time I put in a garbage bag. I put the box and the bag in the attic. Essentially, I redecorated the room and did a variation of Marie Kondo’s cleaning. Instead of asking myself if each item brings me joy, I asked myself if it resonated with me. They say (I can’t remember who “they” is) that your home is an extension of your mind, so if you’re feeling cluttered/scatter-brained, it may help to clean your room, etc. This did help me feel better, to have my bedroom feel like a reflection of myself.
I went for a long walk the next day. As I was walking, I whispered out loud all the things that were bothering me and told the trees the things on my mind and on my heart. I had the intuitive thought that the reason my life doesn’t feel like mine is because I am not holding space for myself. I am dimming myself down to be the version of me that I used to be, the version of me I think others are expecting me to be. So if I don’t feel comfortable within myself, how the hell am I going to feel comfortable with anything in my external world?
So I talked to the trees. I said that if a friend was telling me everything that I just said, I need to do for myself what I would advise my friend. Below are a few bullet-points of that conversation.
Me: I don’t feel satisfied with my job. It doesn’t feel like something I want to do, and it doesn’t make me happy. What I would tell my friend: Your job does not define you. It is a way for you to make money, but if it doesn’t resonate with you it does not have to be apart of your identity. Write out a list of pros/cons of working there, and see how you feel after seeing it all on paper. Also: My job does not make me happy in the sense of me feeling excited to start the day, but I don’t dread logging in. Apathy isn’t the goal emotion for your career, but sometimes a job is just a job. It’s not forever and it doesn’t have to be my passion, especially if I remind myself that this is a stepping stone.
Me: I don’t know where I want to move to after our current living situation, but I know that I don’t want to stay here forever and I’d like to get our own place soon. I don’t know what to do. What I would tell my friend: The good thing about where you are living now is also that it’s a stepping stone. You’re not stuck there. But it is where you are now, so I think it’d be beneficial to make the most of it while you’re there. The time is going to go by either way, so if you can help it, don’t be miserable. Also: If we’re not moving for, at the very least, 15 months, why should I worry about it now? Why should I spend so much energy planning for something that’s so far away and has so many variables? I can think about it, and plan the best I can, but realistically – there is not much I can or should do until it gets closer. So just check ✅ it off the mental list and move on.
Also, after this conversation, I felt HUGELY inspired with regards to my writing. If I want to be this successful writer and reach the goals that I dream about, then I need to put in the work. I need to do the best I can now, because putting it off until later isn’t going to help me. Would I rather watch seven hours of Parks & Rec or work on writing blog posts and Instagram captions? Some days I’d rather just relax and watch Netflix, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if I ask myself that question every time I go to the app, chances are I’ll be binge-watching shows a lot less.
I’m a spiritual person. Most likely, if you’ve read anything else I’ve written on here you are already know that. A lesson I’ve been struggling to learn lately is finding a balance between surrendering my earthly need for control to the universe but also taking control of my life. While this has been a dilemma and something that’s weighed me down for awhile, today I’m starting to understand it a little better.
I surrender my need for my life to look a certain way, while understanding that I have the power to change my life. I surrender the idea that I need to achieve xyz by the age of 30, but I claim the power to create my own reality and achieve my goals.
For example – I want to be earn a living by being a writer. I say affirmations every morning after my yoga, and I see visions of my future working from home in my gorgeous home office, but I won’t get to that point without doing work. I release the need for the path to getting there to happen a certain way, but I know that I need to actually put in the work to get there.
And so…an announcement. 🥁 Last Sunday, Sept. 27th, I printed the very first draft of my first book. It’s 16,000 words and needs a lot of editing, and I know that it’s nowhere near done, but it’s still an awesome feeling to be holding my words. I sat down to write today and I started to repeat myself from what I’ve said already, so I decided it was time to edit what I have so far, and organize it into chapters so it’s also easier for me to navigate. In one month of writing for one hour every week, I have 16,000 words. It feels uncomfortable to say because of my low self-esteem that I’m working on but – I am proud of myself and of this accomplishment. I hold space for this achievement, and I am passionate about the work that needs to happen to get this book anywhere close to being ready for publishers.
I also am inspired for this blog and my social media presence. I can’t have the audience of my dreams and reach people without consistent content. I can’t schedule inspiration, but I can take advantage of inspiration when it happens and put a plan in motion to be worked on afterwards.
It’s okay to not feel inspired all the time. It’s okay to feel lost, and it’s okay to feel shitty. There is strength in feeling your emotions, and there is strength in taking back your power.
Happy Tuesday! Here on the East Coast (I’m along the NJ border along the Delaware River, so we’re not really “East Coast”. My hometown, which is five minutes from Seaside Heights, is the actual coast), Tropical Storm Isaias is rolling through. I’m taking advantage of the covered porch in the house I live in now and am working outside. The rain is coming down hard, but with my noise-cancelling microphone on my headset the callers are none the wiser!
Yesterday, the Full Moon in Aquarius peaked at 11:59 am EDT. Last night, I did my first reading with all three of my oracle/tarot decks.
Deck #1: Moonology Oracle Deck
Deck #2: Spiritsong Tarot Cards
Deck #3: The Mystical Beasts Oracle Deck
Before diving into the reading itself, I want to provide some insight about this full moon energy.
As usual with full moons, the energy can be felt the day & night before, during, and after. Any rituals or practices can be done on either/all of the days and will still be under the full moon! According to @truly.intuitive, this full moon builds energies of the Lionsgate Portal. The planet of awakening and change, Uranus, is very active under this Full Moon, as Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius. This Full Moon helps us come to terms with things that need to be released. I read somewhere else and can’t remember the source that said this Full Moon specifically is less for manifesting and more for releasing negative energy and letting go of toxic behaviors.
So with all that in mind, let’s dive into the reading I had!
This is what my reading space looked like
I’ve been working with my Moonology cards since March, and I feel like I have a good bond with them.
For a three card Full Moon reading, according to the booklet that comes with that deck:
Card #1: What is falling away and what do I need to forgive? Card #2: What’s the illuminated Full Moon showing me? Card #3: What comes next?
And the cards that I pulled:
I know, right? Some heavy stuff. And to keep this post from getting into close to novella standards 😂, I’m only going to share the sentences from the card descriptions that resonated with me.
Card #1: Disseminating Moon – “Take time to breathe out”. “The intensity of the full moon has abated – and what are we left with? That’s what this card is asking you. It suggests that the situation you’re asking about has now peaked and it’s time for you to regroup and learn from your experiences rather than blindly forging ahead. Have faith that what is happening is for the best. Try to accept the way things are now, and give yourself and others time out to relax”
Card #2: Waxing Moon – “The energy is gaining momentum” Note: As I was shuffling the deck this card was on top of a few that turned over as I was shuffling. I ignored it and the universe was like “JENNA this is your message!” “This card…indicates that you can create the reality you’re dreaming of, though it will take some work and you’re not quite there yet. Where do you want to go and do you believe that you can get there? Either you can just keep meditating and focusing on your desired outcome or you can make the courageous commitment to take more practical steps towards your goals”
Card #3: Waning Moon – “What do you need to release?” “What do you need to release? This card can be very positive but it can still be gently suggesting that you let something go and some trying so hard.”
Y’all I was shook. I had started this reading with the intention of seeing what this Full Moon’s energy is teaching me, what I am meant to learn right now. And while these may seem vague, for the situations on my heart last night, it resonated with me to my fucking core.
But the reading didn’t stop there. I also asked my Spiritsong deck for what message those cards had for me.
I drew the Nine of Feathers – the Porcupine. This deck is an actual tarot deck and not oracle cards, but the suits are different. The Nine of Feathers is this deck’s version of the Nine of Swords.
Card – Nine of Feathers – The Porcupine – “Perspective and Self-Empowerment” “Porcupine is equipped with all he needs to protect himself. He wears his quills with honor, and uses them to confront his fear. A mentor for the vulnerable, he’s here to show you how to protect yourself from your own painful thoughts. Step back and look at the big picture. Things are not as bad as they seem. Focus on your priorities, listen to your inner-voice for guidance, and make the conscious choice to believe that tomorrow holds great promise. KEYWORDS: Overcoming fear, perspective, self-empowerment, solutions, resurgence”
And lastly, I consulted with my newest deck, the Mystical Beasts Oracle. This deck was actually written and illustrated by some local artists/cool people!
Card: Rat – The Heart Looker. This card talks all about living in love – having every action and every thought be from a place of love.
And I’m telling you, this reading energized me so much. And once I wrote about it and processed it, I felt so tired. This is one of the first times that I did this practice without shame, without holding back, and with truly leaning into my interest and leaning into my intuition.
All together, the summary of the messages from this reading that I interpreted was I need to step back from some things – look at the big picture, and let things breathe. Take some pressure off of the situation and let it be. As far as my future is concerned, whether I decide to take action and actively work towards my goals or just daydream and manifest – either is fine and I am right where I am meant to be. I need to continue to do shadow work and see the behaviors I need to unlearn, and I need to remember to treat every situation with love. (And this is not saying that I can’t feel negative emotions, but. I’m working on responding rather than reacting, and I should work on choosing to respond with love). All in all, I am exactly where I am meant to be in this moment.
I’m not sure if this is interesting for you to read or not, as this reading was very personal to me and my journey. I don’t feel strong enough in my practice to do readings for anyone else…yet. That’s definitely something that I’m working towards. I’m also not sure if this content is appealing to everyone, buttt I’m going to trust that this is what I need to be writing, since I feel called to write it!
For the rest of the day, I’ll be enjoying the cooler air the storm brought with it and reading outside. Tonight we can still feel the Full Moon energy! I hope y’all have a great night with this full moon 🌝
…can you hear it? I can. I’ve been ignoring its calls.
Saturday was not the best day in my head. I was feeling insecure in my body. I felt insecure about my relationship and was so concerned with people’s perceptions of me. I had a decent afternoon spent with my future mother-in-law and my fiancé, but it all came rushing back at night.
My fiancé is amazing, you guys. While we were playing Yahtzee with his mom and her boyfriend (who are also great), he let me be mopey and off. He gave me space, and allowed me to feel my feelings. When we got home, he held me by the shoulders and would not let me shower until I opened up to him.
I was honest. I told him that I felt insecure (“Gross and unhappy“ I said, while clutching my stomach rolls). I told him I was thinky about our future – where we’re moving, when we’re moving, him starting paramedic school, getting our finances in order. I told him I was stressed about laundry and grocery shopping. And he held space for all of that. And he kept asking me “What else?”. Finally, I bared my underbelly and told him what I was most thinky about.
I don’t feel fulfilled with my job.
Now, I’ve talked about my job before. I work in a call center. I answer phones, acting as a virtual receptionist for 100+ law firms across the country. I also have other responsibilities too, but that’s the gist of it. It’s a job. It pays my bills and I know the universe provided this opportunity as a way to provide for me financially. It has been a blessing to have been able to work this entire pandemic from home, and to be able to have health benefits and paid time off. It’s a good job…but it doesn’t inspire me. I don’t feel excited talking about it. I don’t dread going to work, which is great, but I also am not excited to go to work. I work for eight hours a day, as most people do. I think it’s kind of a waste to spend 33% of my weekdays doing something I feel indifferently about.
And before someone is like “you have to make money to support yourself, blah blah blah”. I agree. I know I do. I know that I’m going to have to work, and that I can’t earn money by reading a book by the lake or by camping out under the stars eating ice cream. But – we only live this life once. Why has it always been to work in a 2-star-out-of-5 job to pay for bills? Why has that been what everyone has been told to achieve? Am I really that crazy for wanting to love what I do, and to do what I love?
Back to Saturday. I told my love that I don’t feel fulfilled with my job, and he brought me in close for a hug. Then he held my face in his hands and kissed me, saying “You were born for more than working in a call center.” and went on to say other super sweet things.
Keep this ⬆ in mind.
Yesterday, Sunday, our friend came over to go swimming. While my love and his brother went venturing up the creek farther than us, we waded near my favorite tree. We talked for an hour, at least, about our life. Our friend is actually my love’s co-worker, and her and I became friends through him. We spent this time catching each other up on our past traumas. I opened up about my mental health struggles, my parent’s divorce, living with my mother before moving out, etc, and she opened up as well. It was a great bonding time. We also talked about our dreams and our hobbies. And it was during this conversation that she said “You’re smarter than working in a call center. You’re more than that. What do you actually want to do?”.
Y’all. I almost fucking cried.
Because I am a firm believer that if something is meant to be heard, it is said to you more than once. If the universe/God has a message for you, it will not go missed.
So what do I want to do?
I want to be a writer. I want to study psychology and hold space online/virtually for people to be open and vulnerable about their mental health. I want to become a counselor or some figure that can help people with their struggles. I want to study spirituality and philosophy and religions. I want to study astrology and dream interpretation and tarot. I want to have a platform that reaches an audience that holds space for people to come as they are. I want to offer services to people at a low-cost. I want to run a blog and write books and maybe even have a little farm with pigs and goats. I want to earn a steady income as a librarian, or at least working in a library.
And this is a great dream. And it is great to dream. But I can’t keep letting myself slip back into the depths of the abyss of my depression and letting the darkness overcome me because I’m too fucking scared to claim this dream and do something about it. I can’t stay where I know and expect these new things to come my way. “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”.
So, it’s about time I start doing something and working towards my future. And I can’t wait to see what I, that writer Jenna, accomplishes ✨
This past New Moon peaked at 1:39 pm EDT on Friday, May 22nd. As with all new moons, during this energy is the best time to reflect, create manifestations, start new projects, etc. Typically, a New Moon’s energy can be felt the day before, the day of (obviously), and the day after. So just to be sure I didn’t miss it, I had my crystals charging since Thursday morning through Saturday night, and I used my moon water soap for my showers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Yesterday I spent some time journaling about what my life looks like in 10 years. I chose 10 years specifically because I use Rachel Hollis’s Start Today Journal and I have been feeling like I need to revamp my 10 dreams. At first they had me on fire but then the more time went on, the more I’ve been embracing my spirituality and getting to my true roots, the less those dreams felt like mine. So I journaled a lot yesterday. And my life 10 years from now as I see it today is, I think, a modest, nice life.
I’m going to spare you all the details (because 1. that isn’t the full point of this post but 2. I want to keep most of it for myself), but essentially I am married to the love of my life, my boyfriend that I’m dating now. We live on 10+ acres in a nice 3 bed 2 bath house (not fancy or extravagant), in my head I see as a barn house/log cabin style. We have two healthy happy kids, a boy and a girl. And I work from home as a writer.
The reason I set the scene like this is because I had a thought weeks ago that has been on my mind ever since, and I want to get y’alls perspective.
So I want to be a writer, and I am a spiritual/mystical person. I have a half dozen or so book ideas as of right now, but I had the thought that the book that will be most successful first is the book that I’m living right now.
So let me go through that a bit. The book ideas I have are in the YA, thriller, and personal development genres. The YA and personal development books are based on my life and the thriller book is an idea I had when I was little, so these ideas are near and dear to my heart and personal. But I have a feeling that the lessons I’m learning right now, the growth I am experiencing, is going to be the book that is the easiest to write and also the one that starts off my journey as a successful writer.
Once I sat with that thought, I honestly felt lighter. I have been feeling such a pressure to write (from myself). I feel like I cannot call myself a writer until I have written manuscripts, I cannot call myself a poet unless I am up until 4am every day writing poetry, etc.
The truth is…I write, so I’m a writer. I write (and sometimes think in) poetry, so I am a poet. In this day and age of labels for everything, sometimes it can be daunting to embrace a label for yourself. It can feel naive to call yourself something if you have a standard as to what that something should look like.
So why did I feel compelled to share this? Because only YOU know YOUR truth. All too often I see people open themselves up to validation from others or offer unsolicited advice to others. We need to understand, and remember, that people can only understand something from their own level of perception. So their “advice” may not fit what you were expecting, and that could cause discouragement. But keep the above in mind.
For example, a very good friend of mine is still in contact with her ex. I’m not a fan of this, I don’t like him for how he treated her when they were together, how he treated her during the break-up, or the few weeks after. Personally, I would have cut him off completely. But I also was not in their relationship. I don’t know him well, I met him once or twice and then through stories of when she would talk about it. But I was not there for all the good or all the bad. I have never been through a break-up in general, much less one after being with the person for 2-3 years. So how can I give her advice? I can’t, and shouldn’t. (I did multiple times, and eventually realized that I was telling her what I would do if I were her. She never asked for advice or what my opinion was, so who the fuck am I to offer it?).
Let’s try to think of advice as dick pics. No one wants it if they don’t ask – it can be hurtful, off-putting, and completely change your perception as the recipient of the thing if you didn’t ask. And if it is asked for, then it should be handled tastefully and only within the bounds of the recipient’s consent.
Maybe that’s a stretch of a comparison, but honestly I think it holds true.
So with this in mind…the majority of the people that you meet, will continue to offer advice and their opinions even when you didn’t ask for it. And these comments will be from their level of perception, which is crafted based on their own experiences. So if Aunt Sally thinks you need to go to college to be successful and then you talk about a brand ambassador deal you were offered, Aunt Sally is going to say some hurtful things to discourage you. Aunt Sally does not mean to be nasty, but her perception of what she would do if she were you, is she would go to school to study medicine. And maybe Aunt Sally has been through some shit, and she never got to pursue her dreams of becoming a veterinarian, so to hear her 20-year-old niece “throwing her life away” is going to set her off. And while having this context does not excuse Aunt Sally, it does shed some light on her actions. You cannot change Aunt Sally or control what she says to you, and you probably aren’t able to tell her straight up “I don’t care what you think” because it’s going to start shit with your mother and grandma and the whole gang, BUT you can tell her “I respect your opinion but I still feel like this is right for me.” and then walk away. And you have the control to not hold on to whatever she says to you.
(Note: I don’t have an Aunt Sally. I was never offered a brand ambassador deal. This is just an example. However, I do have a friend who talks to her ex who I gave unsolicited advice to, so I do have an idea of what I’m talking about here).
To conclude: deep down in your gut, past the recycled expectations of others and your worries and fears and “junk” – you know what you want for your life. You know what is best for you. Take what other people say with a grain of salt, and trust yourself.
Also, consider that maybe the season you’ve living right now will make way to something amazing in the future. I have always felt that the good in life outweighs the bad, so if that doesn’t feel right for you right now, then the good stuff is still on it’s way. ☯
It’s no secret that we’ve all, collectively, have been going through something within this pandemic. We have all been affected by this time. Curfews, grocery restrictions, changed plans, stay-at-home orders, to say the least. Everyone has been grieving the loss of their normal routines in different ways. Some people are acting as Facebook News Reporter, sharing every article and “researching” every statistic. There are other people who are cleaning everything all day. Others are binge watching TV. Others are just ignoring all the rules and still having friends over. Others are complaining about not being able to go to concerts, watch sports, go out to eat dinner, etc.
Can we all agree on one thing, perhaps? That the way things were before all this started, was not working? That the way we handled our lives – was not working for us?
“I don’t know why you’d say that! I think things were just fine before”.
Really? Then why can’t you sit still? Why are you so uncomfortable with silence? What are you ignoring that you should face? What trauma have you been pushing down that you need the distraction from? Why are you so damn eager to go back to the rat race and the hustle-and-bustle and the diversions from you having a relationship with your mind?
So many of us never process our feelings. We push down our wants, our dreams, our desires, and follow a path that doesn’t feel right. We follow something that’s expected, or that doesn’t match our ideals anymore. We choose divorce over working on something that isn’t even broken. We push our kids into any and all activities to get them away from us and out of the house. We ignore our neighbors. We disregard our friends and family. We choose drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, video games, absolutely anything possible to numb our feelings because it’s easier to ignore it than to face it. We go through our days on autopilot and our nights numbed or altered. Now that we finally have the free time to just relax, we can’t handle it.
What are you running from?
(I’ve said this before and I’ll say it as many times as I need to. I don’t have my psychology degree (yet!). I’m not a psychologist, therapist, shaman, guru of any kind… but I research as much as I possibly can and I love to learn. And just because I may not have any accreditation does not mean I can’t still be right.)
“So what do you do? Just stare at the wall all day? I need to be DOING something”
No, I don’t stare at the wall all day, silly. I write. I journal my thoughts. I do yoga and meditate and move my body. I read. I also work from home. I pray. I research places to visit, things to do, recipes to try, etc.
But, I get that. I used to not be able to sit still for a full minute. (I’m serious, my boyfriend made me try. Multiples times, and I would fidget after 15 seconds). Because my anxiety, my learned trauma, made me feel as though if I wasn’t productive, if I wasn’t actively doing something at all times, something terrible would happen. I would be wasting time. I’d be wasting the whole day if I didn’t get every single thing done. And that’s how most of us live. Constantly on the go, “the rat race”. Chasing productivity with a blind eye to everything else. And now, things are still. We are still. We have food, shelter, technology, etc, but we’re worried about football? We’re worried about not having new seasons of TV shows?
I gotta say it. That’s bullshit. These are clearly first world problems, but we cannot think outside of ourselves to see the big picture.
Well, I can help with the big picture.
Think of Every. Single. Thing. you could possibly be grateful for. And if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, try to imagine yourself from 10 years ago. What do you have in your life now that you used to dream about? Imagine yourself at 10 years old. What lessons have you learned since then?
I have my list below. It’s not everything (that would be way too long and boring for y’all. You’re welcome), but it at least should help a little bit with gaining some perspective.
This took me not even 10 minutes. And I feel happier thinking of all the good things I have around me. Like breeds like. If you focus on the negative, negativity will surround you. If you force yourself to think of the positives, you’ll be open to seeing more good things. (This thought process is Law of Attraction 101 that has been said many times in The Secret, The Four Agreements, and most religions).
I know this feels hard right now. But if all you are asked to do is stay home, then this isn’t difficult, this isinconvenient.
Of course, those of us with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health afflictions may be feeling this harder. And to these people, I say that you are not alone. Not only is the entire world going through the same situation, but I understand the struggle. I have had anxiety for my whole life and depression for most; I understand the sneaky, sly ways they warp your brain. Which is why it’s especially important for us to surround ourselves with positivity. To take away the strength of our mental demons and build of walls of good in our minds.
Emotions, any/all of them, are meant to be felt. So if you’re feeling depressed, then sit with that. If you’re feeling anything, sit with that feeling. Talk through it (even if to yourself, I’m talking out loud to myself all the time). Write about it. But remember that all emotions pass. Don’t hold onto the negative ones, let them pass.
So I’m going to assume that you’re in a better head space now. You’re feeling grateful, you’re feeling grounded and less stressed. What’s next?
Being a sports fan or a reality TV show fan or an anime fan or a fan of any show (or anything, really) is nothing to be faulted for. You should have interests and you’re allowed to be passionate about things that make you happy. We all should have hobbies and things that bring us joy. But, in all reality, we can live without most of the things we have in our life. We CAN live without sports. We CAN live without TV. We CAN live without Netflix, festivals, etc. Granted, it may not be as fun or as enjoyable of an experience, but life can still be done without the extras. And realizing just how little we need to live is important.
“Well if I’m not watching baseball during baseball season, then I’m not living.”
Yes you are. You are breathing, and your heart is beating. You are living.
I think an issue society faces is all we see is what is shown to us, rather than thinking for ourselves. And we tend to fall into routines and habits, which is a natural thing to do. But we usually forget to make time for being outside. For mindfully eating. For calling our parents or our kids. We forget to be intentional. Why do we do what we do? What is it even that we do? How does that make us feel?
Maybe self awareness isn’t something you’re interested in, and that’s fine. I support whatever makes you happy. (I mean if you don’t even know yourself then you can’t really be happy…)
“So you said that the way things were before wasn’t working. How do you think they should be, then?“
I think we should prioritize happiness. And love. I think that we should stop complaining about bullshit, petty crap and be grateful for another day. Be grateful you have xyz to complain about.
I’m not going to get into much about politics, but I do think we need to start prioritizing the human beings and living things on this planet. I don’t think money should be more important than health. I don’t think greed should be more prevalent than nature. I think we need to take a step back and realize that we won’t be able to argue about politics if we don’t even have a sustainable environment to live in because we took everything we could from Mother Earth.
Everyone is struggling right now. And everyone is allowed to feel sad during this time. 99% of the world’s population has never lived through, or even seen, a pandemic. It’s scary. But instead of getting angry about not being able to watch sports, check your priorities and remember why you like them. Think about the traditions, the fun, etc., and find a way to incorporate that into your life now. Play catch with your kids, watch old games on YouTube, etc.
To sum up, I kind of can’t stand what this time has brought out in people. It’s replaced common sense with stupidity, it’s replaced logic with fear, and it’s scary to see how many people cannot think for themselves. How their only thoughts are what they’ve read online, and how asinine of an idea it is to challenge what they’ve read instead of just accepting that as truth.
So accept this as your truth: I am reading this on something that is internet-enabled. I am able to access the internet. I am grateful for all the internet can show me – all the good, all the lessons, all the history and miracles and wonders of the world. I am grateful to have electricity, to be breathing, and to have <fill in the blank here>.
Challenge yourself to go past the walls you’ve built to keep everyone else out. Read books. Go for a walk. Sit out on your front step. Meditate. Write in a journal. Have some damn perspective. This is not going to last forever, and the way you handle this is going to be how you handle every obstacle you’ll face from this point out. So do you want to be negative, be scared, and complain? Or do you want to learn why you think the way you do and how you want to start thinking? Do you want to accept life as it is, or pursue more? Do you want to push yourself to the best of your ability, push yourself to reach your highest potential? Do you want to stop running from yourself and finally find some peace?
I want to thank all of the healthcare workers (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, Doctors, Techs, CNAs, LPNs, Transporters, etc). I want to thank the teachers. I want to thank the delivery drivers and grocery store workers and those in the food industry. I want to thank the artists and musicians and small businesses for doing things a bit differently. I want to thank all the essential workers and those of us switching things up ans do I want to let the parents know who are now home school teachers that y’all are killing it. I want to acknowledge all the sense of community we’ve been extending to one another. May we find peace during the chaos. May we find love in ourselves, and may we treat our minds as well as we treat our possessions. Wishing you all peace, love, strength, and perspective during this time.