Summertime has always been an interesting time for me. When my children were little, they could not wait until school was out to enjoy the lazy days of summer. We would plan summer activities that would include visiting relatives, summer vacations, and vacation bible school with our church to name a few. No matter how many activities we would plan, it appeared summer was never going to end. I would ask myself when do the kids go back to school? As I have gotten older summer flies by way too quickly. Talking to friends and family this summer appears to not be as easy, fun, and relaxed because they are still worried about the different variants of COVID, such as BA.4 and BA.5, they are struggling with inflation and cash flow, and gas prices make daily living not easy.
I recently was having a serious conversation with one of my closest friends, who happens to also be in the medical profession. She was sharing about how bad the mental health pandemic really is and that depression and suicide rates are on the rise. People struggle with talking about such topics, but the struggle is real. Summer also represents when most of us have extra time on our hands and with that extra time we tend to think a lot about what is not going right in our lives and that can bring us down. We may not always be able to control what is happening in and around our lives, but we can control how we act, react, and respond to what is happening. The key is to try and stay calm and in control.
During the summer there are a lot of free local events going on all the time that individuals, couples, and families can participate in. If funds are low and you are looking for things to do just check out the local newspapers, community clubs, museums, and organizations. Churches often have summer activities, and of course, you can refer to google to find out what is happening locally. Do not look for excuses on why you cannot do something, but rather search for solutions on how to solve whatever the situation may be. Solutions are out there. They just might take a little work.
If life is really getting you down and you are feeling depressed or have even contemplated suicide, do not be embarrassed or afraid, but rather stand up for yourself and seek the proper help you might need. Most of the time help is at our fingertips if we are willing to be open and share our concerns with someone around us. We are a village and when things are not easy that is when we must step up and help one another.
For some, these are difficult days, but I believe if we keep our heads up, never give up, and keep on trying this too shall pass. Most of the time when we go through difficult times it makes us stronger when we get to the other side. If we pay attention, we often learn a little more about ourselves and how we can be or do better. This summer not only am I trying to work through all the difficult situations I find myself in, but I am also helping others who are also having a few struggles. When we help others, it oftentimes makes our own situations not look so bad. When the struggle for you is real, pour yourself a tall cool glass of iced tea, grab a seat in your backyard as the sun begins to go down, and count all the things that are going well for you and your loved ones. When your glass is empty you will smile, and it will help you face one more day with hope. If you are not feeling better reach out for help.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.