I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and out-of-sync lately. Maybe you have, too.
Like so many others, I am tired of not seeing my friends and family. I am tired of feeling grief for so many who have fallen ill or lost their lives. I am tired of saying let’s wait and see how things are next month.
I am tired of feeling like life is on hold, and at the same time that it is passing me by.
It’s not easy, but I keep reminding myself to return to the wisdom of the stoics and focus on what is in my control, not what is outside of it.
Regardless of what is happening that is outside of my control, I can always choose how I react in the moment.
It's not easy to remember — and it's even harder to put them into practice — but these three simple sentences have become my mantra in the past few days:
I can be kind. I can be present. I can be grateful.
I can be kind to my wife, to my neighbors, and on the phone with friends and family.
I can be present with my son, with the books I read, with the tea I drink, and with the leaves falling outside my window.
I can be grateful that no one in my family has been hospitalized due to COVID. I can be grateful that the grocery store remains open and is well stocked with food. I can be grateful that when things are challenging for me, there are people I can turn to and ask for help.
In order to help me live these mantras, I connect them to my existing activities and thought patterns.
When I am missing my friends and family, I remember to be kind to those near me.
When I am thinking ahead to when it may be safe for our son, Shilo, to finally meet and hug his grandparents, I remember to be present with Shilo and shower him with the love and attention his grandparents would.
When my glasses fog up from wearing a mask, instead of feeling frustrated, I try to remember to be grateful for my health and the health of loved ones.
If you are also feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty, despair, and longing, know that you are not alone.
We are all navigating this unique and uncertain time, each in our own way. These times are challenging. And exhausting. But I am certain of one thing: we will get through this, and we will be stronger for it.
With kindness, presence, and gratitude,
P.S. I'd love to hear, how do you stay grounded during times of uncertainty? Share your thoughts and learn from others in our community forum for members. →
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