I know it’s tough right now. Take care of yourself.

While I’ve learned how to look to what’s good in my life (yes, it’s a genuine learning process), and while I feel the blessing in my life, I definitely feel the heavy weight of all that’s going on in the world, in the people around me, and how it affects me.

This takes me back to when I was severely depressed and plagued with panic attacks.

If the Chicago weather wasn’t somewhere between 73 and 75 degrees and sunny with no more than 6 mile an hour winds coming from the south, it was terrible weather in my eyes. And it totally affected my day. It was too cold, too hot, too gray, too wet, too windy, too depressing.
That’s just the weather. The rest of my life was similar– not a whole lot of wiggle room for joy. From the outside looking in, it was a good life, I held a nice posture, but really, it was burden, and I wanted… peace.

I often prayed not to wake up in the morning. Working out was my savior because I always felt much better afterwards. It was my medicine, and I understood that even then. If I stopped, I was in trouble.

Right now, we all spend an unprecedented amount of time on the screen to connect with family and to work from home. We stress over the uncertainty of our financial health. Basic things like going grocery shopping and deciding to get a haircut is an ordeal. Our relationships are challenged by being at home together, or being apart, for so long. The uncertainty of how the world will be, and even the upcoming election, looms. And if you are really paying attention and privileged enough to have your feathers deeply ruffled around the civil unrest as a call for some serious self-reflection or to act… all this is a lot to take. It’s the kind of overwhelm and burden I felt when the world wasn’t in a pandemic that many are feeling now over their basic day to day living and planning.

It seems silly, but keeping it simple makes a world of difference. I promise you.

Get enough sleep. Find yourself a routine that will clear your head and get your mind and body relaxed.
Learn to breathe correctly. It will change your life by changing your physiology and thereby the lens through which you see and experience life.
Drink enough plain water. Coffee isn’t water. You can drink coffee, but drink more water.
Act on what you need to do. Look to your bones, not to your head. You’ll feel it in your bones. Don’t let your head win.
Educate yourself constantly. Expand the mind.
Don’t look to the choir for validation; this will eventually spiral you down. Instead, look to where true credibility is. A drug addict goes to a drug addict who’s cleaned up. He’s not going to Warren Buffet. He’s not going to his favorite anchor-person on CNN or FOX. He’s certainly not going to the social media threads.

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