How Are You Surviving This?

This week sucks.

Do you feel that? Or is it just me? Because from the looks on the faces of people around me, I’m gonna take a stab that it’s not just me.

We all have our own stuff going on, all the time. For me, it’s ongoing health problems and mid-term projects coming due; you probably could name a few things that aren’t so great right now too.

And then there’s that one really big thing: the election. Yuck. It makes my muscles seize up just to think about it.

I could wallow and whine for a few more paragraphs, but I have a better idea: let’s figure this out together.

How are you surviving this? When anxiety kicks it up a notch, when the weights of the world seem to have landed in your stomach, what keeps you going? What spiritual practices, relationships, scriptural texts, or favorite quotes carry you through?

I’ll go first, and then I want to hear from each and every one of you in the comments. Consider it a cookie jar full of wisdom for dark days. We could all use some extra cookies, every now and again.

So here are a few things that keep me going:

  • Worship life. I’m blessed to be a part of an institution that worships together daily, but even weekly church helps out alot. There’s something about singing and praying together that feels like sharing the burden around. I’m always more ok when I walk out than when I walk in.
  • Asking for prayer. I’m so grateful to have Christian friends! I’ve found lately that if I can work up the gumption to ask someone to pray with me (not for me, with me) it has profound effects. The same goes, actually, for praying with someone else.
  • Taking walks. Just moving. Seeing the simple beauty of the sky, a fallen leaf, breathing some fresh air. It feels like a reset.

Your turn! If you’re still alive (and I’m assuming that you are if you’re reading this,) then you’ve survived some hard times. What keeps you going?

7 comments on “How Are You Surviving This?

  1. It’s been MISERABLE lately. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Here are some I turn to:

    Working out. Went for a run this evening and it helped.

    Massage. I’m getting a massage this weekend and it literally COULD. NOT. come soon enough.

    Eating well. I find when I stress binge I end up feeling worse than when I started, even if it relieves stress for a minute. Chocolate and wine can help, though. 🙂

    Prayer. Though sometimes my prayers are just, “Please help us.”

    Choosing my battles. Got way behind on homework last week, decided I’d let it go and would pick up with the new week instead of trying to make it up.

    A good cry. Broke down the other day in my car. Felt a lot better afterward.

    • I love all the body-care in your strategies, Katie. Our bodies ARE ourselves. If we’re good to our bodies, we’re being good to our whole selves.

  2. Sometimes after rough days, I sing alone as I drive home from school. Singing helps me find a conduit for what I’m feeling, and helps me find the patience to be compassionate with myself (on tough days, I feel crushed under feelings if inadequacy). When I can, I remind myself that I am doing my best.

    Stolen moments of mindfulness, like car singing and deep belly breathing, or like shower meditations, also are helpful for me.

    Physical affection with other humans also is lifesaving to me. Hugs force my brain to accept that I am not in my struggles alone, because when I’m struggling, I feel isolated.

    • Yes! There’s something about taking a shower and just really enjoying it that is absolutely therapeutic. And hugs are making this week HAPPEN for me.

  3. I, too, am having a rough week. In general, I decided that I just need to be more tender with myself. I was away with a prison ministry group over the weekend and missed out on a lot of sleep. I didn’t have the opportunity to process very well and by the time I went to bed Sunday night I was spinning from the anxiety and tiredness. I definitely learned my lesson about over-committing.

    So I decided to allow myself to take a few naps and not feel guilty for it. I also indulged in some candy and beer on Halloween….and a few other times this week 🙂

    Lastly, I decided it was super helpful to reach out for help. I made a point to set up time with a few friends Monday and Wednesday to just talk so I could keep processing my weekend experience. During CPE this summer, I found it really helpful to name my anxieties and share the experiences with others to help me process it myself. It shocks no one that I have anxiety, but I never talk about it. And that needs to change. Oh, and I coerced my boyfriend to drive up to my house to give me a hug. I’m thankful for such great people in my life.

    • Naming stuff is so significant. Candy and beer is nice too 🙂 But like Brene Brown says, we can’t selectively numb. If we try to numb our pain, we numb everything, including our capacity for joy, which means that candy and beer is a lovely treat, but only successful if we’re doing the OTHER stuff you talk about too. Thanks, as always.

  4. This really helped shift my perspective on how I can infuse “my” life with God’s love and guidance. <3

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