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  • Writer's pictureLaura Perry

What to do when the world is getting you down

These days, it feels like the world is falling down around us. Or the sky is falling right onto our heads. Or something like that.

What can we hold onto when it feels like everything is coming apart? I have some suggestions.

The Ancestors: Whether or not we know exactly who our ancestors were, we know they survived hardship - because we're here. Let's allow them to inspire us to keep on keeping on. Honor them in song and in daily activities like baking bread. Sing to them. They are the ones on whose shoulders we stand.

Nature: Find it wherever and however you can. If you can get out of the city to some semi-wilderness, great. If not, find a local park or even just a favorite tree in an otherwise paved-over area. Nature isn't separate from the city. In fact, connecting with nature in urban areas helps keep us healthy and sane. Allow yourself to connect with whatever is growing where you are: dandelions, clover, shrubs, trees... and look around for the animals, too. There's wildlife even in the middle of big cities - look around for squirrels; look up to see the birds! Did you know there are red-tailed hawks in New York City? It's all part of nature. And so are we.

A Garden: Growing your own food provides exercise, fresh air, and a sense of satisfaction (and also a bit of food sovereignty, which is nothing to be sneered at these days). In my apartment-dwelling days, I grew tomatoes and herbs in pots on my balcony. Now I have a large vegetable garden in my suburban back yard. I know people who share plots in urban community gardens. Grow what you can, where you can, and encourage your friends to do likewise.

Each Other: Community is a balm, as the saying goes. It's true. Social media allows us to connect with like-minded folks from far away, but it can also be isolating. No amount of {{hugs}} comments can quite substitute for the real thing. So find some local friends; just a handful of people can make a big difference in how easily you can get through the day. Some of the best places to find new friends who share your values and interests are organizations that also espouse those values and interests, whether it's an activist group or the local garden club or hobby group.

The Wide World gets scary sometimes. Let's find some ways to hold ourselves, and each other, together so we can get through it all. We can do it.

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