These days it is so hard to filter through the drama, devastation, lies and hopelessness. It is around every turn in our social media feeds. It is popping up in just about every commercial on the telly. It is in every conversation that starts with, "How are you doing during the shutdown?" We are reminded every day when we have our kids at home doing school, staying up way to late, sleeping all day as we stay home from work.
I urge you to do a couple of things to keep stress, anxiety and depression away. I believe it is possible to have a healthy, resilient and thriving life if you put these 4 simple things into practice in your life and the life of your family.
1. Turn off the news. Gain information on best practices for your family and turn off the news. I learned everything I needed to know in the first week and everything after that started a political tsunami that was not relevant to me. I can't do anything about shutdowns, new social distancing rules, governors banning what seems to be a great medication or anything outside my immediate community.
2. Focus on your immediate community. Call your neighbors when you go to the grocery store to see what they need. Plan to go out of your way to positively affect the people who live on your route to the store. Put a card in your neighbor's mailbox. Kids draw a picture and tape it to their front door. Infect your community with bright spots to help clear the gray clouds away. 3. Keep the gray clouds at bay with what you choose to focus on. These past few weeks have been cloudy, gray and cold. Winter has come back where I am. We have to be intentional about what we put in front of us and our family. This is my verse from now on, Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Keep a gratitude chart on the table and have everyone write on it every day.
4. Don't dwell or focus on the negative. I can't get bogged down in the loss of my daughter's Senior year. No tennis meet and she was striving to go to State. No BETA convention and she was representing her school in the drawing contest that she already won 2nd place. Maybe no prom and her dress is beautiful. Maybe no graduation and all the family was coming and another opportunity for my parents and my birth mother's family to visit again. Her college tour is cancelled and will now be a virtual tour. WAIT!!! I am focusing on the negative (to make a point). I have to focus on the positive! I am spending more quality time with my family. We have a movie marathon going on. We planted a garden together. My new washing machine will be here Wednesday---I have't had to do laundry in over a week (that is positive, right?). I've found some good recipes. I have contacted all my neighbors when I go to the store and delivered them some groceries. Today, April 6th, is my husband's birthday. We are saving so much money not going out to eat. WHAT DO YOU FOCUS ON? Today, I started a new topic in my FB group: Rise Above Stress, Anxiety and Depression. I post every morning at 5am. I would love for you to join me for strategies to shift your mindset away from negative thoughts and how to reboot your brain to think on the positive when it wanders on its own. The link for Steeped In Purpose is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182504291810649/ I would love to see you in the group! Where does your mind go when it wanders? I truly believe your focus determines your reality.