Still Here, 2020 Edition

Still Here, 2020 Edition

Recently, a friend on Facebook decided to ask us all to share one thing that happened this year that was a positive, to try and collect any and all good news in one place. It was a good idea, and as I thought about how I would respond to something like that, I thought of some of the good things that have happened this year. I’ve had some pretty nice successes at work. I’ve connected on a deeper level with my wife, and managed to stay connected to a close group of friends and family. Those were good things, but at the end of it all, I kept coming back to something I talked about at the end of 2019 on the Find Your Voice Podcast, and then again on this very blog on January 1 of 2020.

“I’m Still Here”

Quick Thought #17 – Most of Our Discomfort with Compliments Could Go Away, if it Were Common

Quick Thought #17 – Most of Our Discomfort with Compliments Could Go Away, if it Were Common

What occurred to me as I thought more about this study, was that both of these are easily fixable. Giving and receiving compliments would not be such an anxiety-inducing activity if we simply practiced it more often. It’s the fact that we so rarely give people compliments that makes this awkward, and when the kind words of a friend, or even a stranger, can have such an important impact on our days, and our own struggles with self-worth, this is hardly a thing that should be so rare.

So, here’s my challenge, for myself, and for you. The next time someone does a really good job on a project, is especially good at their job, or just looks sharp in a new outfit, tell them. Even if you don’t know them very well. It will matter to them, and you’ll get to practice something that will make you a better, happier, person as well.

So, How Are You Doing?

So, How Are You Doing?

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today, because, frankly, I think we’re all talked out on the subject, or at least I feel like I’m all talked out right now. If you don’t realize that anxiety and other mental health issues are sitting heavy on all of us this year, I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that will convince you of it. I want to talk about some good things, because, why not? I want to appreciate the following:

No matter what happens with the election, the sun rose today. It will set tonight, and rise again tomorrow. And I am here to see it.

I am thankful for the many friends and family members we’ve been in touch with in the last few days, even if it’s just to text and say “WTF”?

Laughter, because sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh, and it’s good for you.

You are here, reading this. You’re Alive!

Hope, that as long as there is a tomorrow for any of us, there is hope in the fact that things are always changing in the world, and in our lives.

Love. For each other, and ourselves.

Nature.

The technology that lets us all check in with each other, across the world, at any time.

What We Really Need is Compassion

What We Really Need is Compassion

I see this a lot in our communities as well. Again, empathy when dealing with an individual child, or supporting a loved one with a mental health struggle is great, but trying to feel the pain of all of the abuse survivors we are likely to come across in the world online, is a sure way to overwhelm yourself and burn out. I’ve seen it over and over again. Much like COVID-19, these issues are global, and huge. Trying to take on that much pain is an impossible task, and isn’t actually going to be helpful. Much better, is to develop compassion. As the guests on the show discuss, compassionate emotions push us to act. That act, helping others, does more good for them, but is also good for us. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, and shutting down, we are taking some small amount of control over the situation, and acting on it in a way to helps. We become the helpers that Mr. Rogers so famously talked about. Being a helper, makes us happier. It sets aside our own anxiety and struggle to do something, which is always a good way to move beyond those things.

So, the question may be not only what are you doing to take care of yourself during this time of great anxiety, but what are you doing to help others?

Quick Thought #15 – Stigma Around Mental Health Issues May be Lessening During COVID-19, but Will it Stay That Way?

Quick Thought #15 – Stigma Around Mental Health Issues May be Lessening During COVID-19, but Will it Stay That Way?

You may have seen someone talking about this on social media, or in an article online, or somewhere else. I’ve seen it in numerous places. The idea is that, right now, with a pandemic, racial justice issues, and everything else that we are dealing with, suddenly talking about anxiety and depression, or being lonely and…

Another Birthday and Another Reminder That We Are Not Alone

Another Birthday and Another Reminder That We Are Not Alone

Last year, on the day after my birthday, I was writing about how it wasn’t exactly the birthday I would have planned, spending the day flying home after my Mom’s funeral but it wasn’t all bad. . My wife and I will both be dealing with our losses for awhile, and there will be times…