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“Keep on keeping on.”


You’ve probably heard this phrase many times. While its meaning is, “to simply push forward in the face of challenges,” actualizing such a proposition isn’t always an elementary thing to accomplish. This phrase can be applied to pretty much every aspect of our lives in the past year.

Perhaps you feel discouraged by the torrent of confusion and negativity that surrounds us due to the pandemic, or maybe it’s the feeling of monotony and inadequacy that seems to increase with each day. These are challenging times for all of us, but the world does keep turning. With a few tips for keeping your marbles together and a little effort, we can all make it out the other side.

Tips for keeping your sanity:


• Gratitude. Despite current hardships, we all have much to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude can remind you of the many positive and good things there are. Focus on the small, pleasant moments each day brings. Reflect with gratitude on everything good and positive in your life and in the world.

• Plan. Find an online cookbook and plan this weekend’s meal or that old family recipe that you have wanted to try. Order take-out from a local restaurant. Make a list of your favorite family puzzles and games and choose one to play today. Choose a couple of books you’d like to read. Maybe it’s a hike this Saturday. Or maybe it’s the meals you are going to eat at home for the next week. Plan what needs to be accomplished at work.

• Health. Getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercise and avoiding harmful habits, are even more important when we’re bombarded with uncertainty about the future. Simply getting outdoors every day is proven to lift spirits.

• Connect with others. Have meaningful interactions with the people who are close to you, whether they are distant or nearby. Contact friends and relatives with whom you don’t regularly interact. Smile, even though wearing a mask, when you have to run those errands. Hug everyone in your house every night and every day. We gain a sense of place when we strengthen and build our social network.


• Organize. Organizing elements of your life gives you a little structure and sense of control. Whether it’s uncluttering a closet, emptying unneeded files in a drawer, clearing the paperwork off your desk or making your bed every day.

• Reduce information overload. Limit screen time. Stay informed and updated on the news — but limit your exposure to TV images of pain and suffering so as not to become overwhelmed by grief. Consider reading the news online or in a “real” newspaper instead.

• Have fun. Listen to upbeat music and dance — it’s very therapeutic. Laugh regularly. Read a good book. Be creative.

• And one final tip: Give yourself permission to cry as needed. It’s healthy and a normal human compassionate response to suffering, and we are all suffering. Even the most resilient people need to vent the buildup of sadness we are living and witnessing.

It’s a hard time we are all going through, together. But we can get through it together, while holding it together. Reach out for help when you need it. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness — it’s a sign of strength. “It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to feel sad or frustrated. We are just humans. We have emotions.”

Heidi Shadel is a Cumberland business owner and graduate of Frostburg State University with a masters in business administration. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter at Heidi Shadel @heidiann73 or email her at heidi@atr-hr.com.



Heidi Shadel is a Cumberland business owner and graduate of Frostburg State University with a masters in business administration. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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