As usual, I found these suggestions on the Internet. I have, of course, added my own comments, but the suggestions are pretty good. If we’re feeling stressed (and who isn’t?), they might actually help us to calm down and think straight.
• “However good or bad the situation is, it will change.”
Well, ain’t that the truth?! If only we could remember that. Johnny Mathis told us the same thing in an old song. He sang, “Nothing lasts forever. Always is a lie.” And when we’re worrying and fretting, those are good lines to remember.
Even when the situation is good, we’ve got to remember them. As much as we would like life to remain always pleasant, it doesn’t, does it? Bad things happen, and we have to roll with the punches. The good will come back, but it might take a while.
• “Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.”
Amen! And in touch, doesn’t always mean “in sight.” Letters, notes, emails, texts, phone calls are all acceptable ways to stay in touch.
Personally, I like letters, notes and emails best. Forgive me, but texts are not my best way. When I do the others, I can write or type any time of the day or night. I don’t have to wait for an immediate answer. I can send the message on its way, its purpose accomplished, its mission done. I can look forward to getting a return reply in whatever way the recipient likes best.
I think my new phone has ruined texting for me. My phone sticks its tongue out at me when I try to text. It says, “Na, na, na, na. Got ya!” I’ve kind of given up on texting.
• “Get outside every day. Miracles are happening everywhere.”
Sometimes, they’re very small miracles – a breath of fresh air, a blue, blue sky. Sometimes, they’re bigger – walking in the green grass and trees of a park, discovering a small flower hidden in the grass, saved from the night’s frost, watching young animals play together, tumbling and scrambling. They all remind us that “God’s in His heaven; all’s right with the world.”
• “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”
I know I would. When I watch someone who is disabled struggling to walk or even to move, when I hear someone grieve who has just lost a loved one, I’m much happier about my own burden. We all have something that we would like to be free of, but I guess we all have to be grateful for what belongs to us and prayerful for those who suffer more.
• “The best is yet to come.”
During this time of coronavirus, may it be true! I would love to get back to life as I knew it, rather than the science fiction movie I am living in at the moment. Who ever thought such a thing would happen?
Some friends and I were talking the other night, and each of us admitted to some anxiety – the free-floating kind that comes from nowhere and from nothing specific. At the moment, it throws you. So... I have to remember. This will not last forever. Good things will happen again. Life will return, if not to normal, at least to as much of normal as possible. I will be so happy when it does.
• “Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.”
That’s what we tell the kids I teach. When you feel upset, count to ten. Take a deep breath and hold it for a little while. Let it out slowly. Think. Walk away from the problem for a minute. Go off in a quiet corner and allow yourself to relax. They all help.
I also love turning to a book. Books are often what save my sanity. They carry me far away – far from my problems and anxieties. I can laugh; I can cry over someone else’s problems. A book – for me – is better than a psychiatrist, although if he or she works for you, you go, guy or girl. To each his own.
• “Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
And it’s one we get only one chance to open. I want to open it with care and be glad that I have it. I want to make the best of it. I want to share it with those I love. And, most importantly, I want to thank God for it.
Am I happy that I didn’t get the anticipated phone call? Nope. Did I clap my hands when the child in my class threw up and I had to clean it up? Are you crazy? Is my heart filled with delight when it’s 2 a.m. and I’m still awake, tossing and turning? Of course not.
But that’s life – crazy, unpredictable. seldom calm. That’s OK. It’s life, and I’m still glad I’m living it. I could be six feet under. I wouldn’t like that at all!
• “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.”
Well, I’m pretty good about getting up. In fact, most days I get up way too early. My eyes open on the new day, and that’s the end of it. I can’t go back to sleep, so I might as well get up.
How that has changed from years ago! As a teen, I think I could have slept forever. Bed felt so good and was so enticing. When Mom called, I reluctantly rose, but reluctantly was the operative word. Not now. Show up. Yep! I’m there with bells on, ready and eager to perform my duty.
During these times of COVID, some place to go and something to do is a welcome relief from being at home alone.
So, if you’re feeling stressed, try some of these stress relievers.
Hopefully, they can help us get through the long days ahead. And pray for an effective vaccine. That should really make all of us feel better!
PAT LEALI is a Shenango Valley native who lives in Hermitage.