When I was a child, my mom would stress how fortunate we were to having washing machines.
“What do you mean, mommy?” I would naively inquire.
“When I was a child, my mom would go down to the canal with the other women and wash the clothes in the canal.” My mom was born and raised in France.
“They didn’t have washing machines?”
“No, they would clean the clothes by beating them against the rocks.”
At that moment, I gained a new appreciation for the washing machine. I had no desire to go to the river and bang clothes against the rocks, plus that would be an awful long walk.
The world we live in is full of technology that is supposed to improve our lives. With all these innovations, you would think we would be happier then ever. Instead, most of us fight depression to some degree.
I have an optimistic nature, however, this optimism has been tested a number of times. As I struggle to cope with an advanced cancer diagnosis, I also struggle to maintain my optimistic nature.
Here are some simple steps that I have taken that have helped me.
Take a walk in the park. Being out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life can give you a different perspective.
Read a book. It sounds old fashioned, but it can be so comforting. I still have books from junior high that I enjoy reading. The characters feels like old friends and there’s always a happy ending.
Volunteer to read to kids. If you have the time, some of you may barely have the time to breathe, then volunteer in your community to read to kids.
I’ve collected dolls all my life and enjoy displaying them all over the house. I rotate them according to the seasons. There have been times when I will spend hours in the closet rearranging my dolls. Some of us never grow up.
If reading is not your thing, play a sport. Any sport will do. In our area, I signed up to take Tai Chi at the local community center. While getting some exercise, I’ve also made new friends.
Whatever activity makes you happy, whether it’s playing video games, binging on shows, knitting (do people still knit?), coloring, or cleaning out your closet (which can also be very therapeutic and maybe financially viable if you sell on Poshmark), try engaging in activities that will make you happy.
Life is too short to be miserable. Last, if you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to get help.