Purpose the Positive

Amy Eisenman's picture

Okay, I'll admit it. I have, in a way, not been practicing self care lately. Prime time for the Olympics starts at 8pm and I can't help but keep my eyes glued to the television until coverage ends well past midnight. While staying up that late does not work for my sleep schedule, especially a sleep schedule with an infant involved, I'm justifying the lack of sleep (and self care) with the addition of the self care of doing something (watching the Olympics) which I love so much. Plus, it only happens once every four years! The truth is, I welcome the distraction the Olympics brings especially with everything else we hear about in the news lately.

Each morning I get the daily Skimm which highlights the top stories of the previous day. For the past - oh I can't even remember how long - I dread opening the emails because there, amongst the positive, is the sad/distressing/anxiety provoking/heart wrenching story of another person being killed. I'm not going to get into my personal views on gun control, race, religion, and sexuality because they don't really matter. They also don't help me to draw out the point that current ongoings in our country have created a fear in our world, an increase in anxiety, and a loss for feeling safe. My dread in opening the emails did not come solely from me not wanting to hear about it happening "yet again" but because I'm not sure my heart or my anxiety could take anymore. In this time when there is so much uncertainty and unrest, how do we take care of ourself?

This may make my lack of sleep make a little bit more sense. In my opinion, there is a joy that comes from the Olympics. It is so refreshing to see countries compete with one another and be able to put the political "stuff" aside. It is so refreshing to see medal ceremonies where national anthems are sung, and flags are raised, and a country's pride is able to be displayed. It is so refreshing to not feel the heartache all the time.

In no way am I saying to completely avoid the ongoings of our world. There is a dialectic here. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pain, after all, is a part of life. At times, however, it becomes too much for us to handle and we must take a step back and take care of ourself. We must accumulate more positives or as I like to say, purpose those positives. We must add a little extra positive when things are harder, no matter if that "harder" is due to the ongoings in the world or the ongoings of our personal life.

So whatever it is that you decide to do, take a moment for yourself. Call a friend, play outside, just have some good ole fashioned fun. Life is tough and what makes it tough doesn't always involve us directly. It's important we take the time to embrace what we have, acknowledge the positive, and purpose a little more.