First Aid for the Soul

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10

Image result for peace

Much has been written and discussed about out recent election.  So I’m not going to bore you with my political ideology because, frankly, who cares!!

Regardless of whether you were blue or red it has been a VERY stressful time for us all.  Now, without much of a break, we’re jumping right into the holiday season which carries  it’s own special brand of stress.  Yes, it’s the joyous time of year and all that jazz.  However, it also is the time of year when depression is at its highest.  During the holidays the  loss of love ones and old wounds that can be opened hit us particularly hard.

Might I suggest a few things you can do to combat this stress?

  1.  Take a walk.  Yes it’s getting cold and the days are shorter, but you need the sunlight AND the fresh air. It’s a documented fact that some sort of exercise done outside significantly helps with the blues.  Even if you can’t get out during the day, it’s an excellent time to get out and see the holiday lights in your neighborhood.
  2. Realize that there are no perfect families.  I used to lament that my family wasn’t the Hallmark family you see on TV.  However, the older I got and the more I talked to other people, I realized that there are no “Leave It to Beaver” families out there.  Heck… even “Leave It to Beaver” times weren’t the best time for women in our country.
  3. Watch a video from “On the Road with Steve Hartman.”  Often heartwarming and never disappointing.
  4. Watch this video on gratefulness with Brother David Steindl-Rast.
  5. Escape into a good book, sports or binge-watch something.
  6. Set aside time to pray and/or meditate.
  7. Text or call an old friend and reconnect.
  8. If you can’t be happy….fake it!!  Denis Prager, the Jewish theologian,  states; Happiness — or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one’s unhappiness on others — is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.
  9. Take a technology day off.  Shut down the phone, computer and tv.  You might go into withdrawal for a bit, but you’ll get used to it.
  10. Simplify your life.  Clear out that closet, trunk or room.  Organize your paperwork.
  11. Put God first.  In fact, this should be first on the list.  Make an effort to start your day with God.  Realize that outside of the election and holiday, there is always God.

There is no disputing the fact that these are indeed tough times.  So I end this blog with a quote from someone who endured much sorrow and had every reason to be stressed.

I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Whoever is happy will make others happy too. – Anne Frank
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