I wanted to just talk for a second about some of what I’m seeing as I’m talking to people right now, both personally and professionally. As human beings, we need homeostasis. We need stability in relationships psychologically, emotionally, vocationally, financially, in all these ways. The hard thing about where we’re at, as individuals and as a country and as a globe, right now is there’s very little homeostasis.
You can’t even walk out your door without seeing things are different. You can’t get on your phone, turn on the TV, listen to the radio. Everything’s different. There’s all this conflict. Social media is just rife with conflict. And so everywhere we go, everybody is afraid. Everybody disagrees. It can create anxiety, it can create sadness, fear, all this stuff.
So here’s the thing: that’s the state that all of us are in right now. The question is, what are we going to do about it? We are in an uncertain time. The latest numbers that I’ve seen have been that calls to depression hotlines are up something like 800%. So people across our nation are feeling this as a whole. We have to find stability for ourselves in the world that we live in. We have to identify things that are destabilizing. So if social media, ironically on my Facebook right now, is destabilizing for you, you need to get off of it. At least take a break. If the news is causing you anxiety, don’t watch the news or don’t watch as much of it. If you come away from certain conversations feeling more depressed and more down than you did before, move away from that.
The only thing any of us can do, myself included right now, is pay attention to the things that feel safe and life giving and encouraging and nurturing and move toward those things and move away from the things that suck us in like a vortex of fear and depression.
Ironically, again, a lot of that’s social media. A lot of that’s the stuff that we’re seeing on the news. A lot of that is certain conversations we have with certain types of people. So my encouragement is, pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to what you need. We aren’t going to get stability externally right now.
It doesn’t seem like anybody else externally is going to be able to get it for us because nobody knows what’s going on. Everybody tries to act like they are. Then we end up fighting and that creates more instability. So pay attention to the things that help you create stability. Take walks. Practice mindfulness. Learn to just slow down. Read a good book instead of flipping on your phone before you go to bed at night. Sit down and do something creative or have a conversation with your kids or your partner. Play with the dog. Do things that are going to create normal patterns in your life. Those new normal patterns that are calming and helpful will reduce levels of anxiety and fear and depression in your life and help to provide some sense of stability for you, even when things are going crazy externally. I would love to hear your ideas. If you got them, feel free to comment on this post and always feel free to hit me up if you got thoughts or questions. I mean, we’re all in this together right now, but happy to help however I can.
Andy Brown is a professional counselor who specializes in marriage, sexuality and young adult issues. He and his wife, Caitlin, have been married since 2004 and have three lovely children. Andy enjoys swimming, coffee, kayaking, snowboarding and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.