Blanket of Darkness

It’s simply unrealistic to be happy and positive all the time. There’s so much uncertainty going on that it’s difficult to make sense of it all and it’s easy to fall into a negative place. I struggle with trying to stay informed vs. being overwhelmed with all the ugliness in our world. It’s been months of chaos, Covid and unrest. It’s actually painful to watch our country being ripped apart.

I’m not saying that life is meant to be all butterflies and rainbows. You don’t need to be brave all the time. It’s ok to feel pain and uncertainty. Just don’t stay in the darkness, don’t let it take over your life. Cry it out. Stomp your feet. Ask for help. Get out from under that blanket of darkness.

Strength is part of holding on through any storm. This too shall pass kind of attitude helps us get through the rough times. It doesn’t mean that you don’t feel negative emotions. Instead, be brave and allow yourself to feel those emotions. Confront your fears and move forward and put them in your past. Keep in mind, after darkness there is always light!

Everyone needs to put some effort into surrounding ourselves with things like positive people, positive environments, and positive experiences that bring us joy. Anything that helps to create a more positive life. Who and what you surround yourself with dictates whether or not you have a positive or negative attitude. There is power in surrounding yourself with good things and those people who encourage you to become the person you want to be. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a perfect life.

It’s also important to cultivate an overall sense of well-being. Learn to adapt to life changes by using coping measures.

  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night
  • Exercise -walking, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates are less resistant on joints
  • Meditate
  • Stay in touch with family, friends and your support system
  • Kindness starts with you and the way you talk to yourself. Replace negative, self-defeating inner language with productive thoughts and ideas such as: “Yes I can do this.” Or “ I have many blessings.”
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Ask for help, and accept it graciously.
  • Pace yourself, and don’t feel badly about delegating some of your responsibilities.
  • Focus on what you have and what you can do, rather than on what you don’t have and can’t do.
  • Distractions like music, art and reading
  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Maintain good hydration
  • Consider adding an animal companion to your family.

Some people find that, in time, their attitude improves using these skills. Those feelings of unhappiness, frustration, and anger will lessen with time.

It’s also important to recognize signs or symptoms of depression. It can be tricky to know if it’s psychological or physical. These are just a few symptoms to help you decide if professional help is necessary. The symptoms include:

  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Loss of interest
  • Insomnia or restless sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
  • Feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt or regret
  • Sadness
  • Crying (often without reason)
  • Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate or difficulty thinking
  • Diminished memory and recall
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lack of interest in things formerly enjoyed
  • Lack of energy
  • Cloudy thoughts

Start by asking your your primary care provider for a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist. If symptoms persist or continue perhaps a combination of psychotherapy and/or medication will get you on the back on the right track.

Praying we all find the comfort that brings us peace and happiness during these troubling times🙏🏼

Michele Palermo

Michele is a retired registered nurse who spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine. That's where she learned there's a fragility to life. Diagnosed with lupus, after going through a divorce, taught her to be a survivor instead of a victim. With her career shortened by illness she turned to books. She fell in love with the written word as a young child. To her, words convey emotion. Her new passion is writing. As an aspiring author, she hopes to inspire others on this roller coaster called life.

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