This pandemic has had an interesting impact on me that I did not expect. Initially, I felt the fight or flight response, which translated as me pouring lots of excess hours into work, house cleaning, meal planning, and exercising. This wasn't the unexpected part, but it was exhausting. Once my adrenaline and stamina wore thin, I got over the urge of needing to be in constant motion. The threat didn't feel any less dangerous, and it got me thinking about my mortality more so than ever before. When I think back to the beginning of this year, life seemed unlimited and full of potential for a fresh new decade. It's funny how life itself can distract us all from its end, but the reality is that the end has always been inevitable even when it wasn't as intensely realized. Aside from heart disease and cancer, which are the leading causes of death in the United States, unintentional deaths are also at the top (falls, traffic accidents, and unintended poisoning). While that’s morbid and hard to think about, it is the reality we live in. But today's latest threat has awakened me to this fact even though I knew it was there all along. For me, I think it intensified because the danger feels closer with constant reminders in my community and the media. When danger is felt, human survival instincts kick in, like how I initially experienced fight or flight in my need to be in constant motion, but what's left afterward is the fear of loss: loss of past comforts and normalcy we once knew, loss of innocent people we didn't know and those we did, loss of loved ones, and loss even of ourselves. It's easy to feel panic, anger, and sadness when experiencing or fearing loss, but I believe there is power behind this fear and we can pivot with it so we can reap an incredible benefit. What if we leaned into the fear and faced our mortality head-on, allowing for something to unlock within us to be the greatest versions of ourselves? If this pandemic has given you the ongoing ephemeral awareness like it has for me, maybe this is our opportunity to begin feeling more alive, to live fully not someday, but today. Today you can love deeper, say more meaningful things you don't want to be left unsaid, take great care of yourself so you have more energy to thrive, stand up for yourself and others, be brave to stand confidently in your skin, be kind to others in your life, be generous with your time and resources to those in need, help others when you're able, be accountable when life asks you to take care of your responsibilities, learn something new, appreciate and respect the nature you belong to, laugh so hard you snort or cry, put your heart into the things you aim to achieve, love yourself for who you are, and feel thankful for the life you are experiencing. We may not be able to control what threats we face, but we can live deeper in spite of them. You have the will to be your best, so why not use today's fear as the motivation to be the wind in your sails to add positive balance to your life to live more fully? Take care of yourself always and prioritize recharging your self-care often. Kelly Stone Cramer https://www.happinessrecharge.com For more uplifting messages, view all past recharge tips here. Feel free to connect with me via email at Kelly@HappinessRecharge.com.
This content is considered to be life advice and not for medical purposes. If you need medical attention, please consult your doctor. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness, rather it's a sign of strength that you're advocating for your self-care.