Tough Stuff

Staying centered during times of crisis: GL's editor-in-chief on the state of the world this summer

I don't think we've ever done an article that I hoped would be completely irrelevant by the time you cracked open this magazine. But, sadly, that's probably not going to be the case.

This summer should have been a summer "off." (Actually, remember when every summer you got to be "off"? When you threw cares away like bio notes from third quarter? When your biggest bummer was going to the freezer and the only flavor of popsicle left was the weird-tasting orange one? Yeah, me either.)

I forget who promised this, but the world was supposed to be *better* this summer. Not saying I thought COVID was going to be cured, the climate was going to be unchanged and our country was going to be united singing "Kumbaya" around a campfire, but what I didn't expect there to be was a scary, serious conflict impacting our world.

At press time, Russia is still attacking Ukraine and the 44 million people who live there (over 25% of whom have now had to leave their homes and become refugees, losing everything they have ever known). And while the images of human suffering on social media are heart-shattering, the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people have been awe-inspiring.

For the record: I am really sick of writing about crises. And I am really sorry that the world seems more and more like a senseless place. You deserve better. While I can't say that life used to be carefree, it sure wasn't this.

In our super connected existence, our challenge is to figure out, well, the right amount of being connected. The right amount of (factual) news to consume, the right amount of conversations to engage in about tough topics, the right amount of time to spend worrying about the world you are inheriting. And, though we can give you our best advice, it's OK to listen to yourself and figure out what feels right in the moment.

So when it seems like life is ricocheting from one bad thing to the next, how exactly do you stay calm and centered enough to recharge?

I suggest the following: Put down your phone. Walk outside. Lie on the grass. Stare at the sky. Watch the clouds float by. Breathe.

Remind yourself that you are one person and that you are doing your best. And, if you want to, you can do amazing things to help change the world...or you can just give yourself permission to relax and rest.

Then get up, go inside and figure out one kind thing you can do for yourself *and* one kind thing you can do for someone else. Then go eat a popsicle. Just not an orange one.

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our June/July 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.


by Karen Bokram | 5/19/2022