Reasons To Feel Better
I want to help you find some good in your day, today.
I don't want to negate the things that are happening that aren't good. I will not downplay any anxiety or depression you're feeling. I won't tell you your stress levels, your losses, your missed opportunities, and your unprecedented difficulties, pandemic-related or otherwise, aren't actually that bad. I know you're struggling, and I can't speak to what degree.
I just want to point out some really, really, good things. If you feel up to it.
First, take a deep breath, and on the exhale just relax your shoulders, your neck, and your jaw. You are alive. You are free to inhale and exhale at will. If you're reading this, you have a phone or a computer that works, and some time to kill on Facebook or emails. You probably have a roof over your head, maybe even a not-too-shabby living space. I think there's a very good chance you have people who love you and care about your well-being too, however close or far they might physically be from you, and however overt or subtle they might show you that care.
I'm guessing you have moments to be proud of over the course of this quarantine. Triumphs as small as maybe making your own mask or as big as keeping your kids alive in unpredictable times. There's a good chance you have also been generous in some way... offering to help a neighbor, friend, or family member, maybe staying calm on a phone call with someone who was struggling, maybe donating $5 to some cause that moved you, maybe cracking a joke to ease the stress of someone who needed a moment of relief in a heinous day. Maybe you helped make someone's quarantine birthday or graduation or Mother's Day special. Maybe you shared some uplifting stories or silly TikToks that brightened a friend's morning or night.
I hope, if you're committing generous acts for others, you're also doing small and big things for yourself: finally finishing that book or watching that film you wanted to see, getting some extra sleep, letting yourself daydream or just be lazy, easing up on the negative self talk and just sitting with things, as is, letting it be somewhat OK. Perhaps you're even finding ways to treat yourself. Little gestures like putting on a fave outfit just for you, listening to a podcast while you soak in the tub, replaying your favorite music albums, playing your favorite games. Maybe you're learning things too! How to make a DIY birthday cake, cut your own hair, fix or makeover stuff around the house, maybe even a new dance move or yoga pose. Maybe you've found yourself summoning compassion you didn't even know you had, for your neighbors, your community, your social media followers, your coworkers, your grandparents. Maybe you've already proven yourself to be braver, stronger, smarter, and more resilient than you realize, and you can ease up on yourself even more.
Need more reasons to feel better? Here are some more that might do the trick (*tip, you kind of have to want to feel better, which can be tricky sometimes. No judgment if you're not in a 'feel better' mood today. Let's check in tomorrow):
1. This episode of Some Good News has hundreds of reasons to remember the good in humanity and be a genuine fan of 'ordinary' people in the world.
2. There is some really, really, really good streaming content out there that you (hopefully) have time to watch a bit of or listen to. My current (less stressful, more uplifting) faves:
TV: Midnight Gospel, Magic For Humans, Middleditch & Schwartz, Sex Education, The Good Place, Better Things, Patriot Act, GLOW, Rick & Morty, Last Week Tonight, Insecure, Dave Chapelle: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, Ramy, Broad City, Feel Good, & Our Planet
Youtube Channels: Philip DeFranco, Some Good News, Charisma On Command, School Of Life, Hot Ones, NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, Honest Trailers, Spirit Science, Tofu Chan, Randy Rainbow, Trey Kennedy, Tabitha Brown, Lindsay Ellis, Nerdwriter1, and Kurzgesagt - In A Nutshell
3. You are not beholden to 'The News'. Mainstream news doesn't function as a good-and-bad meter. It focuses almost exclusively on the things are wrong, suspicious, or just plain f**ked about the world. You are not biologically wired to watch news cycles 24/7 or even 1/7. Your very recent ancestors (I'm talking 1-2 generations ago, even) were not this news/conspiracy theory obsessed because it wasn't being shoved down their throats by every medium accessible on TV, computers or in their pockets on phones. Nothing 'extra bad' will happen if you limit your news intake and start being choosier about your sources. Embrace a bit of the unknown. Let the news and the state of the world be what it is and surrender to the little slice of life right in front of you. Cheer yourself up, with better content, with self care, with a good phone call or letter to someone you love. Listen to your favorite song or the sound of beach waves. Take another deep breath and think about everything you love and can cherish right now. Let yourself cherish those things, not because they could be gone tomorrow, but because you deserve to let yourself feel OK in this moment.
4. I, in my humble corner of both the online and physical world, care about you. I am living out my own struggles in real time and some days are much easier than others. But I'm here. I'm thinking about you and the rest of the world with as little judgment as possible and as much wide open empathy as my heart can hold (actually its a lot--I'm a decent empathizer). I think whatever you're doing during this time is OK. I think all your feelings are valid. I think you bring value and depth to the world simply in your beingness, and I'm grateful you're alive. If you're still not sure, comment below or send me a message and I promise to shower you with genuine love and compliments, even if it's been a while since we talked.
Look, I don't have it all figured out. I have complained today, and vented, and given in to fear, and felt overwhelmed and stressed, but I also found time and space to feel lucky, as is. No one has it all figured out (and if they claim to, they really don't).
I can't promise perfection. No one can. But we're here anyway and we may as well make the most of it. Be kind to yourself today. :) Keep up the daily devotions to your kids, your yoga, your art, your new cat, your mantras, your crafts, your garden, and your family. I see it and it helps me stay inspired and grateful.