I am deviating somewhat from the “Healthy Habits for Bright Light Living” series. Instead of a brief posting providing a new weekly habit, today’s posting will be a bit longer and somewhat of a repeat of an old “Healthy Habit” — Reach Out to Friends. I felt moved to expand on this because I think, now more than ever, the need for REACHING OUT is important.
I had a friend post on Facebook that the relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020. As scary as that sounds, I believe it. Depression is at an all-time high and this saddens me. I mention reaching out to friends because THEY may need to hear from you, but also because YOU may need to hear from them.
I know what I do when I’m feeling funky; I retreat. I hide. I don’t want others to know how I am feeling, or — more accurately — I do not know how to TELL them without feeling like a burdensome baby. If only we could read each other’s minds?!
I write all this to encourage you to CHECK IN WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Ask them how they are doing and acknowledge how difficult this time is for everyone. Seriously, sometimes, we need to address the obvious. I am not saying to be Debbie Downer or Negative Nelly. What I am saying is to acknowledge that this pandemic has been hard so that we can overcome the anxiety and sadness. Your friends may be feeling out of sorts, anxious, and depressed BUT think that you would not understand. In the world of social media, people’s lives may seem so much happier and better than what you and your friends are feeling about their/our own lives.
This simple act of acknowledging the “suckiness” of this pandemic could open the door, level the playing field, and make asking for help a little easier. As I mentioned, asking for help is hard. Sometimes we just need permission. Permission to reach out or simply permission to feel down and affected. It is only then that we can begin to FEEL BETTER, FEEL HEARD, and get the encouragement we need.
Take this initiative a step further, LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU! Let them know how important and wonderful they are. Since we cannot HUG like we used to pre-COVID. Give others a hug of praise.
Seriously, you never know how people are feeling. Behind a smile or a brave facade could be someone who needs YOU. And as I said earlier, YOU may also need them. The best way to feel better is to concentrate on being there for someone else.