Get up, get dressed, get out…
A little exploration from some Soller minds…
By Shirley Roberts
I find when I am at my happiest I have used my own mantra. ‘Get up, get dressed and get out’. The biggest blessing, I have in my life, is the ability to forget. So many awful things happen to us, our families and in the world that if we carry them around with us all the time depression is the only conclusion. The ability to file things away in the back of the mind has always been part of human nature. These days its called ‘Mindfulness’ as if it is a new concept.
Optimism is a mixture of genes and mindset. You can wake up feeling low and then when you have ‘got up, got dressed and got out’ you begin to have daily experiences which make you smile and think. Often the day just gets better and better, and you know that for great chunks of it, you have been happy.
I am not advocating the style which says you can think your self happy no matter what the circumstances. You can teach yourself to try and see the positive in terrible circumstances or then you can just cry. The point here is that everyone has their own way of dealing with this.
One of the most important lessons life has taught me is to surround yourself with as many optimistic happy people as I can. It really does rub off and is infectious. Feel sorry for pessimistic folk and then steer clear. You are no-ones’ moody punchbowl. If you’re happy and you know it ‘Clap your hands’…
Breathe, just breathe… this is the mantra of many in the fitness world. It works for all in daily life too as shallow breathing, panic attacks and awful feelings happen when the breathing is not right. No need for classes and teachers just concentrate on your breath. Follow many of the exercises easily found on line. Having wonderful breath getting to all parts of your body is like a miracle cure for sadness.
Be happy my friends
My friend told me that being sad for her was like carrying her own personal rain filled cloud with her. She could keep it in tact for some of the time and then it burst and soaked her to the skin. I have heard many definitions of sadness and this one works for me. Sad comes in degrees from bad news and bad experience sadness to overwhelming. There are times when sadness might take you to a Doctor for help.
For me my mantra is the same, whatever I feel like. Get up, get dressed, get out. allows me to expose myself to the elements and begin that day’s life. It is rare that sadness lasts all day if I keep myself busy. ‘Oh yes’ I hear you say but what about when ‘I come home alone and sadness engulfs me again’. My answer is loud music, mindless TV and resist the temptation to go to bed too early. My sad friends go to bed earlier and earlier to try and sleep their sad thoughts away. I find it better to lose myself in a book than do that.
Life is grim in 2021 after 18 months of Covid restrictions, little money and many job losses. Everyone has the right to be sad that life isn’t how they want it to be. Everyone also has the right to allow the sad feelings their place in the mind but try and move on to towards the light of happier days ahead.
The brain needs plenty to think about to be relevant. This is for one’s own benefit and also in the art of conversation. I was in the company yesterday of a group of friends who declared certain subjects off limits after the ‘five-minute rule’. A five-minute window of moaning and then a brand new conversation or say nothing at all.
The friends developing this said they were so very bored that all local conversations followed the same routes. We talk of lock down rules and the lack of mask wearing by the ‘tourists’. We talk of lack of vaccines and want to blame local government. We talk of having the same group of people in our lives because friends who normally travel here can’t currently arrive. We speculate on how we have personal knowledge that a new lockdown is just around the corner. So it goes on and on with every group having its five subjects which are returned to again and again.
So the fight back begins and a gentle silence is interspersed with new subjects. It took a bit of getting used to with my three friends. We have become so used to moaning about our lot and not talking about much else.
The Easter message for some is ‘change the record’, ‘stop moaning’, and help each other’s mental health by engaging our brains.
Good luck – I can guarantee it will be harder than it sounds…
Yesterday I had a ‘lonely’ conversation. This was with a friend who is extremely sad and lonely at present. She gets out for a coffee and occasionally has lunch with a friend. She goes to a Church and is glad of the people she sees there. None of this is enough for her as this is not the life she has enjoyed in her nearly 80 years of life.
One of the many truths in this situation is that she was very lonely before the pandemic started. When she and the rest of Mallorca endured one of the hardest lockdown periods last year she was less isolated. Efforts were made to contact her by phone and Zoom and she spoke to people she hadn’t seen in years.
Now, in April 2021, the visitors from the UK she normally relies on can’t get here. Her local friends, like her, are cautious about how often they go out and where they go. The Zoom chats have all but finished as few wanted to continue them once the doors were open.
Her mobility is not what it was and every day her feelings of aloneness get worse.
I saw on one of the London Church groups websites I follow that ‘single aloneness’ has been their major project in the Pandemic. Age in Spain have created a hotline for regular phone calls to all who sign up for a chat. There are probably many communities working on this and I am glad of their work.
If there is a solution to this, it starts with the awareness that this is a problem…
Happy, Sad, Bored and lonely are four of the words which are defining us in 2021. The narrative is what it is, but the way out is as individual as us.
We now begin a new journey as the State of Alarm in Spain lifts. A new normal is round the corner and this applies to our mind set as well as our bigger picture.
We are all Human and we will find a way to grow into the self we choose to be. I want to enjoy the journey, I hope you do too…