So much of the 2020 havoc has broken my heart more than once this year. I’ve been trying a new approach to cope in this past month that has given me a lighter, more optimistic, outlook. I wanted to share in hopes that it will uplift and inspire you to add some brightness to your world. This year has felt like we've all been force-fed a helping of something toxic. Some of it has been new, like the pandemic. Some of it has been ongoing, like the hate and violence against fellow humans. While shining a much-needed spotlight on the disease of hate and violence, where change needs to happen, the 2020 mayhem has felt depleting. Like many others, I emotionally managed the chaos as best as I could but then something inside me began to overload. Every time I read the news, I felt anger. Every time I scrolled through posts on social media, I felt anger. Every time I passed by a neighbor’s house where they were having a party without social distancing or masks, I felt anger. Every time I was challenged with friends or family to join in on something I was uncomfortable with - and declined, I felt anger. Finally, all of this anger boiled over and I chose to stop! I decided that 2020 was not going to imprison my mental state and keep my happiness hostage any longer. So, I did two things. First, I started running with an uplifting and life-affirming playlist to release my stress; and second, I made a conscious decision to cut people some slack and let go of my expectations of other's actions. Do you know what happened? I felt relieved; I regained a sense of freedom; and I even recaptured my happiness. It was like I put down an anchor I’d been carrying around for months. I realized I was wound so tight that anything anyone did that didn't live up to my expectations would trigger me into depletion, stress, headaches, and anger. I also realized I wasn't moving my body much and was only living in my head. Once I started moving my body - with the intent to exercise; to release stress; to help my inner health; (not to look better but to feel better); I was able to process my anger and let it go. Ultimately my point is this: if you let the actions of others consume you and make you angry, it will slowly destroy your peace and happiness. You deserve better. You deserve to put down that weight and focus on your own harmony. While we are living through the hardest year many of us have ever lived through, remember to cut your fellow humans some slack and share some kindness. If you can't, at least do not add to the chaos by causing others harm or pain. And most importantly, cut yourself some slack, and see that you're doing your best to cope. Allow yourself to let go of what you cannot control. Having a recharging exercise outlet that gets your body moving can help tremendously in releasing stress during this stifling year. Running was my example. Find an outlet that works for you. And when your anger threatens to boil over, there is no reason you cannot take a time out for yourself to take a breath and gift yourself a pause. Doing so can give you the fuel to keep moving forward in 2020. Even though it may not seem like it during these challenging times, the truth is that when you're more balanced in your life, you can better handle whatever happens, no matter how messy or disturbing it may be. May you find recharging outlets that free you from what’s holding your happiness hostage.
Kelly Stone Cramer Kelly@HappinessRecharge.com