#mindsetmonday – You are not alone

I know that many of us feel alone right now. Whether you are physically alone or are feeling alone even though you are living with others, we feel alone. No bones about it – it sucks. Plain and simple.

But, it won’t be forever. Hugs will come again. Sitting together laughing, reminiscing, commiserating, celebrating – it will happen again. Until then, remember you are not alone. I’ll give you an example. I took a walk around my neighborhood yesterday and saw a ginormous “Happy 18th Bday” sign in front of the house 2 doors down. Later that day, as I sat outside with my girls, a huge line of cars passed by – all of them carrying signs and beeping and cheering. All to wish this young lady a happy birthday. I saw older people (likely family/friends) as well as her peers and friends. The sight of these people coming together despite the situation to celebrate brought tears to my eyes. The kids all sat hanging out their sunroofs talking and laughing. It was such a show of support and love. And I was reminded that we are not alone. That people will always find a way.

Take heart when you’re sad and lonely. Work through the pain and know you will come out on the other side. Love to everyone!

Take this time at home; Make the space and look for the positive

Hello all. And so, here we are – an unknown and scary time for so many. As my parents remember bomb shelter drills and such as part of their childhood, so my children will likely remember self-isolation and remote learning periods. Hopefully lessons will be learned and this won’t be an annual thing…

I know that all the unknowns bring fear, anxiety and worry. And, while I agree there are many things for us as responsible grown-ups to be legit worried about, we CAN NOT let the fear, anxiety and worry overtake us. Now, more than ever, we need to employ our self-care practices to stay healthy, hone our meditation practices, excercise, pray etc. Whatever it takes to stay sane and keep our stress levels down. It’s the constant stress, the constant stream of uninterrupted cortisol that will lower our immunity and crack our sanity. Self-care at this time is not only important for our own peace of mind and stress levels but we must role-model positive behaviors, reactions and responses to our children, families, loved ones, co-workers and those we come across.

So, to this I say – while managing the negative, start focusing on the positives that this experience, this time could bring us.

What positives you ask? Well, they will be different for each of us. But, here are a few I’ve started to keep in mind on my list. Please feel free to add your own in the comments to this post!

Being at home so much offers me the space and time to take stock of my life. I have the time to ensure I am aligned with who I want to be and the values I uphold. I have the time to identify areas that I’d like to work on and improve.

I get to sleep in an extra hour!!!! The time I spent putting makeup on, making sure the kids were ready for school, prepping for dinner and in the car driving is now extra sleep for me – YES!!!

Being at home gives me time for catching up on my reading. My husband teases me as I have a new book coming from Amazon every other week, most of which I have only had the time to skim or research information from. I can now actually dedicate real time to reading! Woo hoo!!

I am able to spend more time with my kids outside of the hours I am working in the office or when they are working on school assignments. I don’t feel so rushed and find I am really enjoying the chatter, the laughter, the stories. Instead of being rushed to get to the “next thing” and rushing them through or only paying 1/2 attention – I am more present with them. While we always had “family-time” in the evenings, we are now doing other things interspersed throughout the day – baking, puzzles, games, walks.

I appreciate all the little things I have taken for granted. Like, greeting folks with hugs, eating out, going to the mall or a movie. Just being able to be free and be out and about.

My house is actually CLEAN – OMG – It Makes Me SOOO HAPPY!!!!!

And though these types of situations can bring out the worst in humanity, it also brings out the best. I choose everyday to focus on the “best’s” that are happening all around the world. The support, the selfless giving, the love – amazing stories of the goodness of people abound. It inspires me, gives me hope and makes my soul happy.

So, while we are all managing our fears and worries – focusing on the positives helps us get through. It gives us comfort. It reduces our stress. It brings us together and reminds us that we are not alone.

What will make your soul happy? Where will you find the positives in the Corona environment in which we are living? Please share – and – take care of yourself!

Winter blah’s?

Hey all, so I realized yesterday as I was leaving the gym that I have heard a common theme from just about everyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks – Does this sound familiar –

“I have been so tired lately”; “I’m so unmotivated”; “I want to do nothing”; “I have been eating like crap and can’t seem to stop”; “What’s going on with me?”; “This is not like me to be so lazy”; “I feel depressed & icky” etc.

Here in Cleveland, Ohio we all know what this is – the dreaded winter blah’s. The sun never shines, it’s always dull, grey and overcast – or worse a whiteout of snow. It’s cold. The snowbirds have all taken flight (my parents included) and it’s just…UGH. I fall victim to this every year. This year I knew it would come and I tried to prepare myself mentally. I made a list of all the good things winter brings. I came up with some ideas for keeping a positive attitude during this time. I had a plan. But before I knew it, I found myself not wanting to leave the house. I wanted to sit in my comfy clothes & eat – pretty much everything I don’t normally eat the rest of the year – IN LARGE QUANTITIES. I found myself going to the vending machine at work and eating peanut M&Ms, I ate a Klondike bar the other night – I haven’t eaten one of those in probably 15 years! This, after a trip to Insomnia cookies with the family and consistently not eating healthy meals. And I wondered – what the hell is wrong with me??? My kids have been puzzled – “Who are you mom”??

Then it hit me – OMG – despite my meager efforts the winter blah’s have descended. They just crept right in under my vigilant watch. Those FXXXERS! Well, it took me a minute, but once I identified what literally EVERYONE I’ve been around has been talking about, I’m now back in full combat mode. I WILL NOT GET SUCKED INTO THE VOID of Winter depression. It’s hard to dig out of. Especially when real depression and anxiety has followed you you’re entire life. But, I’m equipped with what I need and I have a good support network. Every day now I wake up, look in the mirror and order myself to stop the “blah”, I find something (anything) positive to hold onto and I make the choice to role-model the positive for my kids (even if I’m not feeling it). Slowly but surely I’m starting to feel like me again and take back control. I’m not perfect and I have my moments – but I remember it’s a journey and it’s a part of life. This challenge that has been given to me is for a reason and I know I will be ok. The sun always shines again.

So – how do you handle the winter blues? PLEASE SHARE – I need all the help I can get and I have a sneaking suspicion many others do as well. And remember – you choose everyday how you will look at life. Start making the choice that fills your soul with happiness and keep choosing – EVERY DAMN DAY.