If you’ve lived for a significant amount of years, you’ve had tough times. I have too, including stressful jobs, the death of loved ones, and bouts of depression. While I can’t say I have the cure for every ill, I can share a few things I’ve learned along the way.
- Let yourself feel negative emotions. Many of us are taught to dwell on positive emotions and try to be happy or cheerful all the time. But that is counteractive to our health if we deny all our negative thoughts and feelings. If I’m sad, or angry, or frustrated, I let myself experience that emotion. I find it will pass more easily if I let myself linger there for a little while. Then, if I get stuck there for too long, I reach out to my doctor or mental health professional.
- Try to keep things in perspective. Depending on the situation, we can try to step back and see if this is something we’ll remember five or ten years from now. I’ve taken it further. It sounds weird, but I’ve found comfort in realizing the world doesn’t revolve around me. One day, I looked up at the Chugach Mountains, and thought they were here for millions of years before me, and will be for millions more. My mistakes and problems are nothing to them. And that was oddly comforting to me.
- Know it will get better. Maybe not right away, but it will happen. In times of depression or grief, I know that I won’t hurt so much one day in the future. That gives me the strength to hang on. For one example, my mother died seven years ago this month. I still miss her, sometimes terribly. But it doesn’t hurt as much as it did. I found a way to keep going. And I know that will be true with every setback and tragedy. Life will change, but I can live through it. And I bet you can, too.
I recently had the opportunity to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert. They sang “Tough times never last, strong people do,” and I discovered a new favorite song. Here is the link to find it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx5lhvXD8Mg.
Lynn Lovegreen has lived in Alaska for almost fifty years. She taught for twenty years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering at her local library. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.