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  • Writer's pictureSamantha

Monday Musings: When Life Feels Heavy

Spending a weekend with loved ones, celebrating American life, serves as a valuable reminder of what is important. These moments are essential to combat unease in a chaotic world.

Today's pace of change is so rapid that it often seems as if my teenage experiences in the 90s occurred 50 years ago instead of 25. My own teenagers are astonished to learn that I lived in an era where leaving home meant being without instant communication with my parents. Both of my oldest children have confessed that they wish they had grown up during my time — free from cell phones, relentless breaking news and social media. It's quite sobering to hear this from kids who have been raised with the technological advancements that were promised to enhance our lives for the better. In these times, parenting feels heavy.

I don't have any wise words of comfort. I think we do the best we can by limiting our kids technology use and screen time. Encourage more family time and one-on-one conversations, and lastly, make our kids feel like they matter and are important regardless of the messages they hear from their peers or society.

What I'm offering today are ways I move from the heaviness of responsibilities to a more peaceful mindset through decompressing, recharging and refocusing on what I can control.

Read Historical Books — These works remind ourselves that every generation has faced its own unique challenges. While modern society may encounter these challenges at a faster pace, books help us appreciate our resilience in overcoming the adversities of our time. They also offer valuable lessons for us to learn from. Kristin Hannah's The Four Winds (set during The Great Depression) and The Women (set during the Vietnam War) serve as excellent examples of fictional yet historically accurate literature.

Celebrate Nostalgia — I like to listen to music and watch movies from the 90s and early 2000s. It was a time when life was more care-free and I harbor many great memories with family and friends. I share 90s music and movies with my kids and offer up personal stories to provide context. For example, this weekend, Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" played in the car while I was running errands with my middle child. I shared the meaning behind the song and how old I was when it was a hit. This sparked a fun conversation between the two of us. We listened to a 90s Spotify playlist with tracks from Eagle Eye Cherry and Third Eye Blind. For me, it was pure joy.

Journaling — It documents our achievements, worries, fears, and aspirations and helps us organize our thoughts. Journaling is a grounding practice with therapeutic benefits. It also enables us to revisit past entries, reflecting on our progress and reinforcing the idea that worrying does not change what lies ahead.

I hope that you will benefit from these "coping" strategies. I believe that we are all trying our best, so it's important to be patient with ourselves. Our generations, Xennials and Millennials, have faced numerous challenges in the past, and we will overcome this one as well!

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