None of us know what’s ahead. The country feels unsettled. Regardless of how you voted, or if you didn’t vote at all, we’re all in this together. We’re all facing a degree of uncertainty about the future.
This is not a political blog; it’s a mental health blog. These are anxiety-provoking times, and there are no easy answers. But here’s my best prescription, and it is a simple one.Practice kindness, every day, as often as possible.
Be kind toward yourself, toward those you love, toward those you don’t. Be kind to people you’ve never met.
Give people the benefit of the doubt. Recognize that your irritability is about the sense of uncertainty that we’re all breathing in. Smile at people. Let them merge into your lane, just because. The energy it takes keeping them out is misspent. It doesn’t lift you up; it drags you down.
Kindness might not sound like a mental health coping strategy, but in fact, it is. Positive daily practice is what improves symptoms, and faking it until you make it works a lot of the time. Behave as if there’s a good future ahead of us, and then do your best to make it so.
Am I oversimplifying? Am I advising complacency?
Absolutely not. But I’m talking about small acts that can happen every day, at any time. Ask yourself if you’ve been kind to others, and if the answer is no, then rectify that.
Focusing on concrete steps you can take and things you can do RIGHT NOW in the face of uncertainty is a powerful way to cope. It’s a hopeful and brave act to be kind. It’s a place to start.