I’ve been seeing a troubling increase in social media posts lately by fellow warriors who are at the end of their ability to cope. This makes me feel incredibly sad and powerless, and I want to reach out to those of you today who feel like you just can’t go on.
Firstly, I want to encourage you all to monitor your depression. Depression is not always characterized by sadness. Sometimes it’s just a sense of feeling numb or empty. If you are depressed, please reach out to your doctor or therapist for help. Call a hotline. Tell your best friend. Do something. Don’t just live with it.
In addition to reaching out for help, here are a few suggestions of things you can do to shift your current mindset:
- Create something beautiful. Creating art of any kind is one of the most uplifting activities in the world. Now that all instruction has gone online, take the opportunity to learn to knit, crochet, draw animals, paint with watercolor or make a DIY cloth mask. It does not matter what you create, just start somewhere.
- Make someone’s world better. When we are inside our own suffering, we tend to withdraw from the world around us. When we give to someone else, alleviate someone else’s suffering, we find a new sense of purpose in our lives. The more purpose we find, the more we see our own value in the world.
- Accept things as they are. Pain is exacerbated by fear. When we fight our pain, we wrap a layer of fear around it, and this creates suffering. When we accept things as they are, they tend to shift on their own. I use a simple meditation technique of breathing into the pain, opening to it and accepting what is right now.
Above all, understand that everything changes. If you are in pain right now, I promise you this will also change. Look out the window; the trees do not beg the leaves to stay on their branches, and the clouds do not ask the rain not to fall. The flow of nature is constant. This moment of pain will not last.