My Advice for Bad Times

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We all go through them. Some of us may have them last longer or be stronger, but everyone has bad times.  Life is messy and, even in the best of times, shit happens!  Jobs are lost, romances fail, cars break, apartments get robbed, and an endless list of things can happen.  Just misplacing your phone can bring on a full fledged panic attack that nothing short of holding it in your hands will calm you.  These bad times can last a long time, so what do you do?  Friends prattling on about how “ things are going to get better,” never helps.

Funny, how if you learn to live with a bad situation, you are judged for not taking the problem serious enough.  There is no winning, but things could be much worse, it’s just hard to see.  Step one, explain to your current self that your future self will be incredibly grateful if you hand off a body that is both functional and in-shape.  This might seem stupid, but the idea helps, it tells you that the older version of yourself will still be here and that life goes on.  So damaging your mind or body to express sorrow or anger is a counterproductive act, and most times, you will live to regret it. 

So eat, and eat healthy.  That cheap, fatty, greasy crap you eat to feel better when you’re sad is poison. How many 40-somethings have bigger boobs than their sedimentary spouses?  Fast food will hurt you, and your body will show it.  You don’t need to diet, just learn what to eat.  When I’m sad, a bowl of soup and a turkey sandwich is all I can manage, but I’m always glad I ate real food.  Amazingly, the health of your body allows room for you to be accepting of your own skin.  This helps your mind too, it functions better when you’re physically healthy.

More than just eating, make your three meals a day a sign of safety and security.  In ancient times, only the most wealthy had food security, but now it’s common.  Why?  The gift of eating three beautiful meals a day is certainly a reason to rejoice, so don’t waste that moment on unhealthy food.  Discover the astounding variety of good food, eat colorfully and internationally, make cuisine an adventure of a lifetime.  Never stop journeying, eating is both a test and a reward, so do it wisely!

Did you stop reading?  When I was young I would read several books a month, but somewhere along the way I stopped. Don’t!  Reading is essential for keeping your mind receptive and elastic.  Books allow an individual a perfect opportunity to free your mind and occupy someone else’s thoughts for a while.  Books give perspective and insight and has a depth that is needed when dealing with serious problems and issues.  The voice of the author can sooth an overactive mind and succor a wounded psyche.  The ability to step out of your problems really helps in hard times.

Lastly, remember that times of extreme happiness and sadness are short lived, the ability to be at peace with the universe is the ultimate goal and the path that we walk to eternity.  Take a second and smell that rose, it’s why there is that saying.  Watch the bird on the fence, it’s part of your environment and a important piece of the universe.  So I stop and take a mental picture of that perfect sunset, it reminds me that I alone was there at that moment in cosmic history, never to repeated again. 

If you need time, being sad is OK, but remember things are going to get better!  Yeah, it doesn’t make me feel better either.  Just take care of yourself, it could be the most worthwhile thing you can ever do.