There are mega tornados in Kentucky and snow in Hawaii. Politicians bicker like bullies in the playground and gun violence makes it feel like the old west. The take-out arrives cold and a new Omicron variant has joined the menu.
These days, the sun will come out tomorrow sounds like fake news.
No surprise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there’s a parallel pandemic going on – Covid’s toll on mental health. It’s a combination of stress, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness, frustration, anxiety, and most of all, fear.
There’s no vaccine for the parallel pandemic. As with Covid, the severe cases are those who were already vulnerable like substance abusers and the mentally ill. Similar to most things in life, the parallel pandemic falls on a spectrum – you may have a touch, a lot, or something in between.
Beat the parallel pandemic now! Tweak your life. There are solutions . . . ways to get around pervasive doom and gloom and feel the sun, inside and out.
Catherine Price, author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again writes, “[True Fun] Is the feeling of being fully present and engaged . . . the thrill of losing ourselves in what we’re doing and not caring about the outcome.”
How do you make it happen?
There are a lot of ways – you just have to find the right mix. Here are a few suggestions.
Bake Bread – It’s fun, tastes good, and kneading make you feel like you’re beating up on those awful national politicians. Add crushed nuts to enhance the experience.
Move – People aren’t designed to sit inside watching Netflix. Take a walk or a run or a bicycle ride. Whether it’s down the block, in a park, or on the beach boardwalk, get moving.
Have a pity party - Choose your favorite people on and off line, your favorite treats, and party safely like it’s 1989. The only rules are you have to laugh and not talk politics.
Do something you love - Always wanted to play the ukulele? Study Neanderthals? Learn Zumba? It’s all available . . . safely online. Take a leadership course with Bill Clinton, cooking lessons with Gordon Ramsay, or chess with Garry Kasparov. There’s also Philosophy with Superheroes, Communicate with your pet telepathically, and The Art of Clowning. Something for everyone.
Embrace nature. Studies show that bringing nature into your life soothes the cranky demon on your shoulder. Go for a walk in the park or stroll along a beach or lake. If that doesn’t work, bring nature into your house with plants and grow lights.
Limit the news. It’s always bad so you don’t have to see or read it twelve times a day.
Read a good book with a happy ending. It beats trying to figure out the latest lawsuits in Washington.
Spend time with your dog. Prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The same goes for you.
Embrace your inner artist. Do something creative – listen to (or make) music, paint, draw, or cook a special meal.
Do a family tree. It’s really easy on Ancestry.com. You never know who (or what) you’ll find buried in your family history.
Be positive. Smile and laugh more. It does make a difference.
Use your imagination. It may be rusty but get it going. Your imagination can lead to all kinds of places that take you out of the latest doom and gloom. You never know what you’ll find.
Dance, laugh, smile, and have fun. That’s what life is all about.
About the Author
Dr. Jeri Fink is an author, photographer, and family therapist. She believes that we can challenge the myths of aging to find joy, creativity, and productivity in our “goldenyears.” She is a baby boomer with 37 published books, hundreds of blogs and articles, and a trilogy-in-progress called The Old Lady Who Went to Sleep and Woke Up Young. You can find her mini books at www.bookwebminis.com and her 7-book fictional series, Broken at www.hauntedfamilytrees.com. They’re all available on Amazon.