For most of us, 2020 has been outrageous–CIVIL UNREST, COVID, DEATH, CHAOTIC POLITICS, FIRES, FLOODS—and we still have three months to go. The news cycles these days are teeming with catastrophes. Unfortunately, all this staying at home gives many of us too much time to think. I feel myself slipping into a funk and not taking life in stride.
We all overstate things at times, but the constant barrage of bad news tends to make us feel our country is going to hell in a handbasket. Mind you, none of the horrible stuff that has occurred this year has personally happened to me. I simply identify with all the misery and wallow in it. More importantly, the year doesn’t even get close to the worst year of my life. But yet….
With so much evil lurking, it’s easy to make the leap of overgeneralizing and believing lousy things always happen to us, conveniently forgetting all the good. Then, we began catastrophizing– overestimating the importance of something bad that happens and believing the world has truly come to an end.
Another tendency we have is to fill in missing information with something negative. For instance, we never think the guy who promised to call tomorrow didn’t call because he was in a traffic accident. We assume he did not like us. By jumping to conclusions, we can make the situation worse than it is. And that’s easy to do this year. Nothing is certain, not even a vaccine.
So, what to do? Here are a few suggestions.
- Limit intake of news and politics. Staying informed is important, but immersing oneself is not healthy.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Reach out to positive friends and be an optimistic comrade in return.
- Do something for others.
- Get outdoors and exercise.
- Engage in an activity you enjoy.
Together, we can make it through this crisis one day at a time.
Note to readers: I must confess I wrote this blog for myself. The past week has been tough, and I needed a pick-me-up.