Hard times create strong men.

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“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain

I came across this quote a while ago on Twitter. It struck a cord with me, because it’s true. We live in a constant cycle. I’ve talked about this in terms of mental health before, about how you have to stick through the bad and it’s terrible, but good always follows. There is a natural rhythm to life, some of it comes without outside help, but I think that a lot of it does come from the kind of things we indured.

We get lazy when things are good, we don’t work as hard, we don’t put our nose to the grindstone, we get comfortable and that comfort puts us at a disadvantage. The opposite is true for hard times. To survive we’ve got to give it everything we have and by doing that we tend to start an upswing. I know it’s not always this simple, but hardly anything in life is. This is a generalization,  but I think its a good one.

I also think that most people would agree with me when I state that right now we are in the middle of hard times. We have cities on fire, a global pandemic, economic collapse, rapid injustice, government overreach, massive unemployment, breaks in the supply chain. I could go on, but lets just stop and say that we aren’t doing so great right now, both as a nation and for most, as individuals. It’s hard to see an upside to this. There might not be an upside to the actual events, but there is one when it comes to how we grow through them.

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Using the pandemic as a tool to better ourselves after it ends:

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This whole pandemic came at a bad time. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by it, the kind of overwhelmed that makes you able to stare blankly at a wall for an hour. Yeah, you know the type.

I’ve been trying to combat it, in some ways I’m doing the things that I would do to try and fight of my depressive episodes, which is pulling out all of my coping mechanisms and making sure I’m doing the things that bring me joy, but this one has also included a lot of self reflection.

Obviously my short-term goals have changed, but not having anything to do has led me to think about what all I want to do and what is most important in my long-term plans. The change of routine has made me think that maybe my routine needs to be changed permanently. Not to this state of nothing, but to something different than it was before.

The fact is I liked the change at first, I liked being knocked off my rocker. I didn’t like the impending doom, but I thought that the change might bring something positive, and I think it still might. Certainly the pandemic itself is a negative, but there can always be a silver lining, and I think there is. I think the world as a whole is going to come out more thoughtful. We’ve been given so much time to think, we’ve been given so much time to care. I think we’re going to use both these things to our advantages.

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Realigning your goals in the wake of everything:

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The world has shut down, so maybe some of your goals have been moved to the back burner, after all, how are you supposed to have monthly goals when you can’t even tell me what day of the week it is?

Life happens, and it happens without our permission. We don’t have a say in the matter but we do have a say in how we react and how we adjust. I said in a previous post that I think both the “rise and grind” tactic and the “panic and do nothing” tactic aren’t healthy in this pandemic, and I stand by that. You shouldn’t be trying to be the next big thing, you should be focusing on small amounts of progress so you don’t fall behind and you should add on goals that are made just with your mental health in mind and nothing else.

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Seven Things:

 

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On COVID-19 and Mental Health:

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Hi, it’s me, a sometimes mental health blogger who realized that I might have picked the worst time for society to stop talking about taking care of your mental health.

But the truth is, I was taking a break because I needed one. Things are weird right now, and though I’m handling it pretty well, I think I speak for everyone when I say even those who are handling it well still feel the dread and uncertainty that comes with a worldwide pandemic.

Even if you somehow were not worried about the illness itself, isolation can get to you, and so can the uncertainty when it comes to our economy and jobs. It’s great if you’re handling it well but it’s also 110% okay if you’re not. It’s okay if your spending most of your time stress eating and hiding under the covers. It’s hard times and you’re allowed to feel them. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I feel like I’ve seen two viewpoints, the utter panic one and the “grind” while off the clock one, and honestly I don’t think either one of them are very healthy. Panic is bad for you, forcing yourself to stay up to date on the stats and the latest news can plumet your mental health. So can trying to hard to be productive in a time when stress has infiltrated everyone’s lives.

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