Connecting with People … Online vs Offline

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Recently, dear friends of mine posted these messages on their respective Facebook pages.

“Reminding all my friends and family my house is a safe zone. Coffee or tea can be on in minutes. My dining room table is a place of peace and non-judgment, where people and ideas are fed. Anyone who needs to chat is welcome anytime. We can talk, share a laugh or two, or I can just listen. It's no good suffering in silence. There is always food and we can eat and cry. I will always do my best to be available...you are always welcome! This is an old value that has been lost to technology...a text, face time, gif or

emoji is not the equivalent.  Many friends struggle, but you don't need to treat loneliness with isolation.  I don’t want any of you to forget.  And if you live across the country or across the world, call me, or tell me to call you. I will always make time for you ❤️”

And also this message too …

“Depression is real! I'd like to see my friends post this message to show you are always there if I need to talk to you or if you need to talk with me.  It takes a village … be ready!!!”

I have seen these messages floating around on Facebook and I of course, immediately “Loved” the post every time I see someone post it.  I had even proceeded to copy and paste and share onto my Facebook because I believed in the message whole-heartedly.

But … I hesitated.

I hesitated because in my mind this is a rather serious topic that I felt was more appropriate to keep  OFFline and keep it more personalized with face to face connections with people  Valid point.  On the other hand, social media can be a helpful tool to let others know that we’re not alone … Yet I hesitated whether to copy and past and share the above message.  Why?  Why is talking about stress, anxiety, depression a stigma that people don’t share online?  Fear of being judged before getting the whole story?  The recent news coverage of some high profile personalities such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain makes us really stop to reflect on the importance of connecting with people. I have noticed more and more, that people are becoming more open about some of their struggles.  This is good news.  We need to hear these stories to to connect with our own personal lives.  I personally have had my shares of ups and downs.  I prefer opening up about my ups and downs in person verses online because I'd rather have people see me in person and know and see that hey, despite my ups and downs, I’m doing okay.  Yet despite my personal preference for one-on-ones, I am here sharing my thoughts with you  ... hopefully with the hopes of letting people know we're all in this together to support each other and meet them where they're at.  (warm smile)

“When “I” is replaced by “We” … even illness becomes WELLness”

I recently had lunch with good friends and I found myself willingly opening up and sharing my Winter Blues struggles this past Winter. It was the combination of feeling stuck, not being able to drive when I want to (due to a progressive blindness), and the fact that it was an especially long Winter made it one of the more difficult ones for me.  By being open about it, my friends  comfortably supported my struggles which in turn, allowed them to open up and share some of their struggles.  One friend shared that he went to see a doctor to talk about how to deal with stress and anxiety issues related to work and when the doctor suggested a small dose of medicine, my friend had expressed extreme hesitation and reluctance because he would always choose no meds.  And he went on to say that when he asked the doctor about how many people take meds for stress and anxiety, he said, you would not believe the sheer, overwhelming number of people who are taking meds.  It was a head-shaking moment.

I wasn't expecting to open up to this topic, because sometimes it can be a heavy topic for many.  Yet it was enlightening to recognize that we're all figuring things out, searching for something to help them to deal with our own version of daily stress and anxiety, yet don't want to take the path of meds unless absolutely necessary.  The good news is there are natural alternatives besides meds and that's where I am fortunate to share my own personal experiences of success with the Amare products.  "Amare's product philosophy is not just about helping a depressed person to feel normal again, but is about helping the average person to feel amazing. "- Dr Shawn.

The beautiful picture below is one of my many meeting spots with friends and family.  I call it one of my many "patios"!  (warm smile)  Since I no longer drive anymore, I sometimes feel stuck and antsy without a car and can easily get bummed.   So having this beautiful community within walking distance allows me to "get out there" ... get some fresh air, enjoy the sunshine, go for walks/runs because these are the moments when your body is feeling it's best mentally (what  achy knees! warm smile).  More importantly, it;s a good reminder to count your blessings and focus on all the good things happening in your life.

What about you?

What are some of the activities you do to appreciate the important little things in life?

What are some of your favorite go-to spot to relax and appreciate what's in front of you?

What are some of your favorite activities and hobbies to keep your mind focused on the good things in life?

Comment below.  Love to hear other people's ideas and stories!

Village-of-Tosa
One of my Many Patios (warm smile)

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