December has rolled around once more, and COVID is still with us. Are you as tired of all the restrictions and mandates for our good or for naught as I am? Do you wish for this hyper-cynical society and global sense of craziness to be over with? You are not alone, my friend. It doesn’t matter what side you support; this way of life is not productive or healthy living and working in a profession. I feel like I have been plunged into a deep hole with no ladder or rope to climb out.
Joy and newness are all around us, and life goes on, yet the number of suicidal, depressed, and hopeless people are at an all-time high since records are being kept. It is not about “adjusting” to the “new normal” – there is no such thing. According to www.cnbc.com, 51% of young Americans say they are depressed or hopeless. According to usafacts.org, 48% of Americans are depressed or hopeless. We are a nation in a crisis of despair. The University of Chicago said in July of 2020, the people of America are living in a normalized sense of hopelessness. In October of this month, www.healthline.com stated that we have an epidemic of loneliness, anxiety, and depression which has tripled since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
Each year, I give my clients and reads an exercise on evaluating how their year was, what they want to keep, and what they want to eliminate from their personal and professional lives. This year is no different, but it takes on an urgency from which we must all grab hold of a lifeline. Albeit a friend, a professional, a member of the clergy, a time of reflection, a spouse, or whomever you trust will listen and not judge what you are feeling and processing to get back into a productive, positive life.
Consider a couple of these questions:
- What positive outcome comes from hopelessness? If you could create a positive environment or attitude in your life, what would that look like, sound like, smell like, and so on?
- What specifically has driven you down into despair? Write those items out. Now look at each one and write out what you can change to turn that specific item into a plausible positive, even if you need help to make that possible. Who could help you do this?
- Who will listen to you, really listen, and not judge what you are saying and feeling? This one activity will lift the burden off your shoulders. Do this without technology in your hand. Face to face in a secure atmosphere works best. By phone is good if the person is not in proximity to you. Then reciprocate to that person who is also carrying their burden.
- Remember that list you wrote or spoke about in #2? Take each item and write out a very simple step-by-step plan to begin to turn your sad mouth into a smile. This takes time, and you have plenty of time to do this. This isn’t a race; it is about becoming “whole” again. Remember, not everyone runs the race at the same pace. It is about finishing.
- Begin to say Thank you. Begin to be Grateful. Begin to see the beauty that is around you. You have a roof over your head. You have technology if you are able to read this blog. You have air in your lungs. You are alive. You have so many things you take for granted because you never stopped to notice what life would be like without them. Yes, there will be some of you for whom life is difficult, dismaying, and even full of heartache. All of the experiences are opportunities for you to grow in character and to become vital to reach down and help another person.
If you would like to speak with me, I am here and I would love to listen to you. Send me an email at: email@example.com and let’s set up a time to talk. I send you off with my very best wishes for a productive month here in November 2021.