On Her Own

Your weekend assignment

How are you all doing?

I’m tired, folks. There’s been a lot going on in the world these last couple of days, weeks, months, and years. All of us have been affected on every level, from individual to global, with some events affecting only us and some events affecting more of the world. Many of us have hit what we believe to be our limits over and over and over again. This weekend, if you’re there once more, try one or more of these:

Reconnect with loved ones. Make some time and space, in-person or virtually, to be together with people you care about and who are meaningful to you. If you often text, think about picking up the phone or hopping on a video call. If you’re geographically close enough, maybe go grab a meal or just hang out in person. Hug each other. Take some comfort in loving and being loved, no matter the actual topic of conversation.

Escape from the outside world or distract yourself from it. It’s not healthy to do this forever, but a little break may be exactly what you need before you take a deep breath and dive back in to reality. Turn off the news; snooze the friends and pages whose posts raise your anxiety or anger; give yourself permission to not think about and not talk about The Big Stuff. Go binge your favorite show; immerse yourself in some comfort novels; dive into a marathon session of your favorite fun hobby.

Serve others. Turning your attention and energy outward, in areas you can control and to people you can concretely help has been proven to improve your psychological health on a number of levels, from alleviating feelings of powerlessness to increasing your personal satisfaction and happiness. And I don’t mean send money, thoughts, and prayers – I mean get out there and get your hands dirty. It doesn’t have to be towards what you’re specifically worried about right now; there are always people who need food or even just help around their home.

Treat yourself. Self-care can become overly indulgent, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it entirely. You’re struggling. We’re struggling. Be gentle with yourself and have yourself a little spa day, eat that slice of cake, buy that lovely scarf or funny t-shirt. You don’t need to spend money to do this either – an extra-long hot shower or bath with the favorite scrub you already own will do, or digging into your secret chocolate stash you were saving for a rainy day. It’s that day.

Express yourself. Write, draw, sing, whatever your mode of creativity is, exercise some of it over the next few days. Your product can be about the events you’re processing or about something completely unrelated. It doesn’t have to be complete and it doesn’t have to be shared, though you may find enjoyment, or at least catharsis, in showing your work to others. I suggest, though, it should be something tangible, so you can see, feel, or touch what you have done.

Me, I’m going to try a little bit of all of the above. See you Monday.

Hi, I'm Annette.

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