04-20-19 – In Praise of a “Bad Pick” by Linda Lovely and Robin Weaver

Friday, February 23, 2018

Do Unto Others…and Yourself!

By Linda Lovely

This month’s theme is how to get through tough times. We all have them, and we all cope differently.  Here are my three strategies for tackling stress, sadness, frustration and/or anger.

(1)  Do something nice for someone else. Aid a nonprofit. Volunteer.
I wish I could say I tend to do one of these things as my first reaction. I can’t. But when I do take this more altruistic route, I always feel better. Helping someone else solve a problem is rewarding and takes your mind off your own problems. What does doing something nice for someone mean? I could be as simple as taking cookies to a friend who’s been ill or asking a recent widow/widower out to a movie or dinner. Of course, you shouldn’t be doing this to talk about your own troubles! Volunteer work for any organization with a cause you believe in is also therapeutic.  

(2)  Do something nice for yourself.
This is especially effective if I’m stressed or overwhelmed by deadlines. Take time out to treat yourself to something you really enjoy. For me, a massage is about the best relaxation, anti-stress option I can think of.

(3)  Write it out.
Not a surprising answer for an author. If I’m upset (okay, most often if I’m angry), I’ll write in great detail (often with multiple exclamation points) about what has triggered my wrath. The document may be a Letter to the Editor or it could be addressed to the person or group proposing some idiocy. Ninety-nine times out of 100, this letter goes in the trash. However, it is very effective in helping me blow off steam. (It also gives me great fodder for how one of my heroine’s might react given similar provocations.) There’s also the possibility that I’ll save the angry tome for later editing into a rational argument against whatever (in my opinion) idiocy is being suggested.

For me, the worst thing I can do when I’m upset is NOTHING. If I keep emotions bottled up, they just multiply and eat away at my happiness.

Recently, I was looking for a prize for a reader giveaway and came across a wishing ball. I’d never heard of one before, but I thought the idea was brilliant. The beautiful glass ball came with a pad of slips. Every day, you were encouraged to write something on a slip-- either a wish or something you were grateful for--and drop it inside the ball. This may be an excellent mental health aid—reminding ourselves every day of our blessings. There are real reasons for us to be sad or angry. But we can’t forget the wonder and joy of just being alive.  


Judith Ashley said...

Great post Linda. Where did you find the Wishing Ball? I've several glass balls but not a Wishing Ball that I can put slips of paper in. I do start my day in Gratitude (written and spoken) and it helps set the tone. I also agree that volunteering, doing something outside ourselves has a double reward - we distract ourselves from our challenges and we are contributing. Massage? You've hit upon another of my 'go to' treats. I'm not a Letter To The Editor writer nor do I post on Facebook, etc. about these issues but I do think about them and sometimes write an 'article' for myself. And thanks for the information on the Wishing Ball!

Diana McCollum said...

I really enjoyed your post! And I'm wondering where I can buy a wishing ball? That is a great idea!. I can't tell you how many gratitude journals I've started, that have fallen by the wayside. Cheers!

Linda Lovely said...

Judith and Diana, I loved the wishing ball, too. If you type wishing ball in google search you'll find several options. Among the prettiest ones I saw were offered by Henrietta Glass. http://www.henriettaglass.com/products.ihtml?styleposition=42

Robin Weaver, Author said...

Those wishing balls are really beautiful--as are gazing balls for the garden. I wonder if the gazing balls evolved from wishing balls.

Sarah Raplee said...

Great advice for getting through tough times, Linda! I like the Wishing Ball idea, too! On a really bad day, you could take out the 'wishes' and read through them to cheer yourself up.

Barbara Strickland said...

The world has become such a frightening place but I still believe in the power of one. Adding ones together gives a whole lot of people. Even with writing I read every post, comment 8/10 times, buy books to show author support, follow on all media. It doesn't save the world but it help someone. I do it even when it isn't reciprocated. We have to stand firm as individuals and help others until the idea becomes universal. Paying it forward gives us joy.