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Don’t let the world steal your joy. In the last 24 hours, America (and the world) have watched as it seemed the world flipped over and landed on its head without any support. Events have been canceled, A-list stars are announcing they have been infected and are self-quarantining, Disneyland and Disney World have officially announced they’re closing this weekend, and of course, all the stores seem to be out of paper towels and toilet paper and hand soap as if the headless horseman is expected.
So what do we do? How do we keep from allowing our frenzied worry makes us sick emotionally and physically? How do we keep the world from being able to steal our joy?
While I am not a medical professional, I am a human being who has found these 3 tips to help me greatly during times of great stress, fear, and worry as a disabled individual. I hope these help you too! And of course please always consult your doctor(s) and clergy if you have any specific questions or concerns!
#1. Be Kind
It may seem like a silly one to add to the list but I myself was surprised at how rude and mean people have been on social media. Whether their anger and hatred were directed at events and sports teams being stopped, holiday plans ruined, or politicians who across the aisle seem to be truly trying to help EVERYONE, the anger was mind-blowing.
People on Twitter have resorted to calling others foul four-letter words that I cannot even repeat here. Here are a few samples of tweets from individuals who would likely be much calmer if they were only a wee bit kinder and more compassionate.
No more 5ks, NBA, MLS, jury duty, Hollywood is shutting down-BUT YOU WON’T CLOSE OUR SCHOOLS. Protect our kids and those that teach them. I’m out of my mind angry at you. I have pre-existing conditions and have served these schools for years. Stop threatening me. #ClosetheSchools
— Talvimeri (@talvimeri) March 12, 2020
As much as we like to see ourselves as the victims, I doubt the school districts even know who this person is. They are hardly out to threaten us and make our lives miserable.
People laughing at me cuz I’m mad that disneyland is closing when I have the right to be angry bc passes are literally 5,000$ and I want my money’s worth
— mimi ! ?? (@ameeliuhh) March 12, 2020
Disneyland passes are not really $5,000 (last I checked) but even if that’s so, time to get a little perspective.
This catastrophe makes me really angry at Stein, Johnson, and non-voters. Of course Trump voters are still the worst, but this is on all of you.
— random observer (@randomobserver1) March 13, 2020
Whhaaaa? How are those who voted for Trump in 2016 the ones who are responsible for “this catastrophe”?
#2. Stay Positive
For some people, it seems as if the apocalypse is here. The over the top stockpiling of toilet paper and hand sanitizer is the extreme reaction. Others are full of worry and fear and feel lost in their own corner of the world. But I want to remind you that you are not alone and there are many ways to fill your head with positive messages to outweigh the fearful messages you see on the news and social media.
Here are 4 ideas I always use to brighten my heart and day:
- Read the Scriptures. Verses like Psalm 55:22 and Matthew 6:34 are great for times like today.
- Watch a funny t.v. show/movie (NOT THE NEWS). I love to watch something funny like Last Man Standing or Disney’s Monster’s Inc. before I go to bed to fill my head with happy thoughts.
- Read a happily ever after book. I’m not talking fairy tales but something that you know has a guaranteed happy ending. No books where the heroine ends up dying of cancer or the hero commits suicide after returning from the war. I’m talking happy ending books like Jane Austen’s Persuasion or Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links.
- Create a Happy Playlist. Turn off the news and unplug from social media and create a happy playlist that will have your feet dancing and your hips swaying as you focus on your groove versus something you cannot control. I will be posting my “happy” playlist tomorrow.
#3: Talk to Someone
Do you feel alone? Do you feel like there’s nobody listening? If you don’t live near friends and family there is always the option of Skype or some alternative. You are never truly alone. Someone is out there whom you can talk to. And if they’re a true friend then like Winnie the Pooh says, “a friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lie down beside you and listen.”
And if you don’t have anyone you can call, try these hotlines that are nonjudgmental:
Samaritans (USA): “No One is Alone”
Call them at 877-870-HOPE (24/7) or
Samaritans (UK): “We make sure there’s someone there for anyone who needs someone.”
Call them at 116 123,
or you could even put your thoughts and feelings on paper and send it to:
PO Box 9090
STIRLING FK8 2SA
Continue the Conversation
So how are you going to combat the frenzied worry? Stay safe and stay calm!