A Facebook friend got helper fatigue and posted about her need to rest. She had started seeing only the troubles in the world and felt deep despair.
I’m not blind to injustice and pain. In fact I have an over-functional “empathy gene” that I’m sure my father shared. I can’t go to movies or watch TV. I can’t tolerate music with a lot of dissonance or minor chords.
Because of this, I need to work hard to keep positive. I can’t function when I allow a fearful feeling in my gut.
Here is what I shared with my Facebook friend. I do hope it helps her… and I hope sharing it here may help you, too. (We all face rough days.)
How I Stay Up
(Where I focus) There are SO MANY good people in the world, I meet new ones every day. I look for them.
I had a friend lose her wallet after dark on the riverwalk trail here a month or so ago. Got it back. I’ve had phones and keys and wallets returned. Even had a cabby come back to give me my camera… In VEGAS! And a public bus driver stopped his route to bring me my big bag on my honeymoon in Madison Wisconsin.
In ’75 a friend left her SUITCASE on the subway in Toronto and got it back. I left a handspun shawl on a train from Toronto to Montreal only 3 summers ago, and got it back.
NONE OF THESE MADE THE NEWS. Only exceptions make it in. We are fed the dramatic exceptions in service of advertising, at least on any of the services we get for “free” (excepting public TV and radio.) this includes Facebook and the like.
Ears take in everything. Make sure you don’t listen to any news at all. Let music be your drug and listen to select pieces to bring you up. Here is a “Stand Tall” optimistic playlist I put together for a friend going through a divorce, on YouTube:
Find a toddler or puppy and drink in their enthusiasm for life. Treat yourself to swinging on the swings at a park, or a favorite coffee, tea, or cheese. Find a farm market and give your money to a farmer who grew your food and thank them.
Go on a long walk or sit on a porch with earphones feeding you peaceful sounds. I often choose Ladysmith Black Mambazo or James Taylor, you may prefer Michael Buble or Frank Sinatra or madrigal singing. No minor keys or dissonance…
It’s time for extreme measures to get yourself noticing the good people again. They are everywhere.
Photo: a 5-year-old child I love, gathering violets out of my side yard. Time with youngsters really heals my anxiety.