• Diane C

It's OK Not To Be OK

by Diane Cretin


I recently wrote a blog post called Tidings of Comfort and Joy. But what if you are not there; what if you are just not feeling joyful? It’s OK not to be OK. But it is good to try to get to a better, healthier place.


I admit to being fortunate that I have family to shelter in place with. Although every moment is not joy filled as we are quite human, I am happy we are together. Even though I am an introvert who restores by peace and quiet, I cannot imagine being by myself at this time.


I am not a trained mental health professional. But I do have thoughts as I have people close to me who struggle with mental health issues.


So here are my acknowledgements, thoughts, and prayers for you.


Being lonely is not pleasurable. I understand how it might be easy to slip into anxiety and/or depression. One of my prayers for you is that you be able to look at yourself truthfully and acknowledge how you are feeling, both mentally and physically. If your mental health is taking a hard hit, please don’t pretend it is not. I realize this may affect your pride. But you cannot take steps to help yourself if you say everything is fine when it is not. If you are struggling, please ask for help. This could involve contacting Colleen Soldate, our Caring Ministries Director. This could also involve seeking professional help. If you don’t have insurance, here is a list of places you can call. Please don‘t go down a nasty rabbit hole by yourself. Ask for help.


Here are some thoughts.


Prioritize Healthy Choices

When we are stressed, it is easier to slip into unhealthy choices. Notice your habits around eating, exercise, sleep, and substance use. Take care of your body.


Relax. Take some deep breaths, listen to music, take a shower or Epsom salt bath, make a soothing cup of tea, use essential oils, take a break from social media. If you watch television, make sure you watch something that makes you feel good rather than causes more stress.


Read things that bring you pleasure. Perhaps your favorite author released a new book this year and you missed it with all that has been going on. This would be a good time to read it. You might read some poetry. Maya Angelou and Wendell Berry come to mind.


Be Kind to Yourself

Make yourself a priority. Decide to focus on you. Take time to determine what is causing you to not be at your best. Then take one step towards making things better. Just one small step. You may need to focus on the most essential routines and basic needs each day. Be flexible with your expectations. Talk to yourself with the kindness you would use when talking to a good friend.


Connect

Whether you prefer to text, call, or use Facetime, make contact with someone you value. My best friend moved to Oregon this fall. We do our best to connect once per week via Facetime or a phone call. You could join an online community group via zoom. Colleen Soldate or Allie Shoulders can help you chose one offered by our church.


Know That You Are Loved

This may be the hardest thing for you to accept if you are in a bad place. You may not feel loveable. Sometimes we don’t act lovable. That is OK. You need to be your authentic self. Hopefully you realize that there are people who love and value you. God loves you deeply, even if you question that. I don’t know of anything we can do that will make God not love us.


I was watching something on my phone a few days ago and it went to the next song, which I had never heard. It was the official music video for River by Josh Groban. Here are the beginning lyrics of the song:


Some days I can't say why I'm feeling lonely

And some days I am too proud to ask for help

And I stumble through the noise trying to find some peace

A stranger in the crowd, I lose myself

So I walk down to the river

Where the troubles, they can't find me

Let the waters there remind me

The sun will be there when we wake

I walk down to the river

Though I might not understand it

It's not always as we planned it

But we grow stronger when we break

So I walk down to the river

I walk down to the river


I pray that you find your “river” that can make you feel better, that you connect with at least one person whom you can be totally honest with, and that you can believe that you are deeply loved.


Please reach out if you are struggling. People really do want to help. You are worth it. You are worthy.


Continued blessings,

Diane


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