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Not showing up for every argument

Finding moments of peace at Bog River Falls (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

I’m learning a lot about myself through a pandemic, job losses, deaths and school closings. I’m not only experiencing various emotional rollercoasters, but sometimes it feels like I’m jumping aboard all the carnival rides. The one consistent issue I’m working on is not showing up for every argument. 

I know. It seems simple, but then I feed into the sarcasm or snarky comment section of a post. I feel vulnerable or shocked by someone’s lack of research. I get a bit judgmental and feel that my input would really make the world a better place. It usually doesn’t. 

I find the times I am the most agitated is when I’m not following some sort of routine. I’ve forgotten to exercise or I’m pulled in a variety of work conflicts. I become distracted to the point where I find my day finishes with little accomplished. For example, I recently made a friend mac and cheese, except I forgot to add all the cheese. I gifted someone a bowl of cooked noodles with the essence of cheese. That is not even my most recent or worst cooking mishap. Don’t worry. No one was poisoned in the consumption of those noodles or any other recipe failures.

I am becoming more adept at recognizing when a Tilt-A-Whirl of tasks only keeps me spinning. During those times I look for something that will anchor me. It may be time to bring out those quarantine puzzles, start a new game of Catan or look into a different long-term project. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health shows that repetitive movements and left-right activities such as jumping rope, coloring or painting can be self-soothing in moments of stress.

Thanksgiving and holidays bring their own level of anxiety. Expectations can be heightened while families gather. College students come home, and new rules are put into place. Throughout it all, I’m grateful that we live in a place that allows us to get outside and roam around. The amount of green space between me and the critics online and in my head provides enough space so that I don’t feel compelled to show up for every argument. I hope you are able to find ways to exit your own stress even for a short time. Happy Thanksgiving. 

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