By Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW
It is mid-February and the nonmigratory hummingbirds have lost all their natural food sources. I make nectar and fill the feeders, feeling sorry for the little guys. They are tiny and live outside in the cold and have no food. The skies are gray, the air is frigid, and the news a continual cycle of body counts and doom. Even the trees looked depressed with their mossy bare branches scratching the sky. Covid seems to have lasted for fifty years and we now have new variants to worry about. Youth suicide up. Employment is down.
And things are about to get better. We have two and soon will have three vaccines. Spring is coming. Those naked tree branches have tiny buds that will burst into leaves and flowers. The sun will come out. The spring flowers will bloom: daffodils, tulips and crocuses.
If you are despairing, take a deep breath and wait. Remember what you look forward to and imagine what it’s like to enjoy it.
If you are depressed, remember that practicing gratitude—even if you don’t feel like it—especially when you don’t feel like it—helps. Always.
Get outside and move. Clean up a messy part of your house/room/garage/car. Play some saucy music and dance. Read a wonderful novel by your favorite author. Take a bath. Learn how to do something on YouTube. Solve one small problem you have been avoiding.
During the best of times, this part of the year in this part of the world sucks donkey butt. This year the donkey butt-ness is especially awful. Just remember: it’s about to get better. Don’t give up. We are in this together, even while physically apart. And soon we will be able to gather together–friends and family–and tell stories of our survival. Hold fast.