There are plenty of worries to weigh one down these days. In addition to the normal worries that most of us have to fret about (our kids, money, career, health, how to tame the internet etc.) 2020 has now layered the coronavirus, conflicts about race and police relationships, and the presidential election on top of it all. Of course all of these things are interconnected. Covid-19 impacts income, health, family relationships, and politics.

But my heart is especially heavy these days after watching the two political conventions on TV. Of course I have my biases and candidates that I support, but it’s hard to hear very different descriptions of what ails the USA and how to fix it. Where is truth? How did “the other side” become so duped? Of course “they” would say I’m ill-informed. So how do we learn to live together and build a better world? Some would say we need to compromise somewhere in the middle. Others say that to compromise one’s position is selling out and we need to be pure.

So, these conundrums have been weighing on me. Maybe you too? I thought it might be helpful to dialogue about recovering sanity and calm, while still letting my natural anger at injustices motivate me to constructive action.

Here are some strategies I came up with:

  1. Let humor help. While I’m annoyed at some of the changes FaceBook has recently made, still there are some funny clips that come my way. And Zoom calls have changed the definition of “business casual.” Here’s how Jim dressed for a recent Zoom meeting with a government official.
  2. Family and friends. Even when we disagree we know that long standing relationships give us people we can trust will be there through the good times and bad. Keep in virtual touch.
  3. Let nature be your friend. Even in the wake of climate change, practices such as walking, biking, and gazing at the trees and sky have brought perspective when the internet gods have played tricks on me.
  4. Do something. It doesn’t have to be big, but it’s better than doing nothing. Currently I’m delivering signs for my political candidates and mentoring people to write Letters to the Editor. Find what is yours to do.
  5. Be active or take a nap. Be willing to do both.
  6. Pray. For some this may mean saying memorized prayers on your knees. For others it’s quietly gazing at nature or seeing the wonder of the human being in front of me (or on a screen). There is no wrong way but lots of right ways to connect with the creative force in the universe. Give it over to God, by whatever name speaks to your spirit.

What helps you?