I find myself feeling like I am on a roller coaster, my emotions all over the map. At times frightened about the reality we are in to feeling the warmth of the sun washing away those fears and providing a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
As an avid golfer I was happy to learn that the golf courses were opening this week. Golf has a therapeutic effect on me. So after a drawn out winter topped by self-isolation for the last seven weeks I was relieved to know that I would soon be out enjoying a round.
On the other hand we heard this week of the passing of my wife’s cousin due to Covid. That came as a shock as he had been in the ICU but came out and appeared he was recovering. What frightens me is that when I first heard he had the virus I made the comment that if Johnny can survive this I have a chance as well. Aside from the sadness, his passing now has me reflecting on my own mortality.
Along with those extremes there are all kinds of other unknowns in between that find my thoughts racing from positive news to negative news. There are times when it is difficult to function. My work easily overwhelms. Normal spring time chores like yard work, that were enjoyable in the past, now feel daunting.
Not only is it normal to have such a range of emotions, it’s also okay. We simply need to find the ability to talk about it and be real in our conversations. Talking about it helps. Verbalizing how we feel forces us to hear our own thoughts. Often hearing our thoughts out loud adds a different perspective.
Late last week I found my anxiety levels elevated. My son noticed that I seemed “off” and commented about it. I started talking about my anxiety levels and as I talked and heard myself I came to a quick understanding that my anxiety was rooted in my thinking and not in reality. It helped me change my thought patterns and, quite quickly, changed my emotional state.
Last night my son looked at me and said that I seemed to be in a better place. As a side note I obviously wear my emotions so they can be seen by others. Perhaps I need to work on that.
As I thought about his comment I looked back to what I had done during the day. I remembered I had done some outside work, I had chatted with two of my neighbors (at least 6 feet apart), and I saw others out and about. There were golfers going by on the golf course. I must have had a sense of moving back towards normal.
This week is mental health week and so it is a good time to become more aware of our own mental health. Perhaps if we take some time to reflect we will come to a deeper understanding of ourselves. In spite of isolation we need to reach out and connect with others. As we make those connections we will find that our mental health improves. It just simply feels good.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with our thinking. What will tomorrow, or next week, or next month bring? Live today for all its worth. Don’t let the fear of the future control today. Connect with others. Connect with yourself. And enjoy the day. Make it a good one.
“Today, just take time to smell the roses, enjoy those little things about your life, your family, spouse, friends, job. Forget about the thorns—the pains and problems they cause you—and enjoy life.” Bernard Kelvin Clive