Life can be hard. Really hard. Heartbreaking. Lonely.
We’ve all been there. And I’d like to think about that with you guys today.
Is there anyone in your life that’s lonely? Had a recent breakup or been widowed? Lost a dog, has a spouse in the military on deployment, or some other difficult circumstance– large or small? How about calling them? If you live near one another, see if you can make a date to take them for coffee/dinner/a drink… let’s reach out this week. Or maybe, let’s reach out this year.
Here’s the starter list I use for myself, or suggest to others, in hard times:
- Counseling: we all deserve support, and sometimes an outside, objective person has insight we don’t. Sometimes too, it’s easier to hear things from a professional, someone who isn’t part of our lives. It seems less likely they’ll tell us what we want to hear to spare our feelings. And there are times we don’t want to “burden” our friends with the hundredth retelling of our sad story, but we NEED to talk about it.
- Exercise: whether it’s running 10 miles, walking around the block, or going to a Zumba or yoga class. Anything that gets your blood flowing is good. There are dozens of studies that show exercise is helpful in dealing with emotional distress.
- Take up a new hobby: learning something new is distracting. I once worked my way through a break-up by learning to knit. My roommate taught me and it was incredibly relaxing. I realized later it was basically meditation. But anything can help… music, painting, rock climbing, throwing pots, anything you’ve ever wanted to try but didn’t have the time. NOW is the time.
- Reading supportive books, articles, blogs: There’s a great blog about divorce, dating, remarriage, infertility, and finding peace with it all, that is wonderfully sweet without being cloying: ablogaboutlove.com. Check it out, some of her older posts are especially poignant. This woman has been through some hard, hard things. She came out the other side, and is committed to helping others through. Beautiful stuff.
If you or someone you know is struggling through heartbreak or depression, what resources do you use or recommend?