A little bit selfish

An easy nature walk is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate circumstances.  (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

I have spent the last million years of quarantine, the various Defcon stages, and the reopenings-closings making sure that everyone is OK. I’ve formed study groups, given up my office, and helped neighbors and friends. I’m not patting myself on the back, because I am not alone in this community group hug (if a hug could still happen). 

Recently I was doomsday scrolling and feeling a bit sorry for myself. When those feelings pop up, it’s my warning to take a social media break and avoid the downward spiral into an abyss. It didn’t have anything to do with any serious issues. I was just feeling trapped. Those times I want to grant myself a pass to be a little bit selfish.

I know. I can hear the Hallmark holiday movies playing in the background, so I want to make sure I won’t end up on the naughty list. I guess I’m combating a severe case of “fight or flight.” I keep telling my husband if I run away from home and take everyone with me, it’s not considered abandonment. It’s an adventure. He reminds me that there aren’t a lot of states or countries where I’m allowed or where I’d want to safely stash myself. I will address his smug rightness at another time. Darn you, COVID. 

So fight it is. A friend of mine always posts each day throughout November what she is most thankful for. I don’t always see each post because I am avoiding my social media rabbit hole, but I applaud what she is doing. (See doomsday scrolling above.) I may not be posting it, but each day I pick out one thing I’m thankful for. 

I’m learning that it’s OK to take small steps. Not everything has to be a grand gesture. It will be OK if I take time to learn something new, it’s just not necessary to completely wipe the slate clean and start from scratch to do it. So if you see me running outside, I’m not running away. I’m just going around the block. I’ll continue to find joy, to be thankful and to look outside for inspiration.

With schools going virtual and business restrictions being dialed back into place I hope other people find the time to look at their own mental health. Sometimes we need to look out for ourselves so we can be ready to help other people when there is a need. Stay strong. 


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today