Keeping it together - humanistically

 I've been in a funk lately. I know I'm not the only one. I've got friends. We talk. Most of us are - funky - and not in a good way. Ugh.

It's partially the pandemic and the stress related to that and  - lots of other things. It makes it hard to want to make plans. I run my own business and honestly, if I don't feel like working, no one notices but me. I'm not nearly as effective as I could be if I was - you know - motivated.  And right now I'm not.

So, how should I, as a Humanist, deal with this situation.  Well - here's how I'm approaching it.  

Step one. Accept reality. 

The reality is. I'm in a funk. And, that's honestly ok. I mean seriously, with all that is going on. I'm pretty sure my desire to not interact much with the world except, do my own thing and hang out with family, is a pretty darned good response to a global pandemic. It's me protecting myself.  That's a good thing.

The reality is, we have one job during a pandemic. And that is, to survive it. 

Not wanting to do much - is probably a health response to our current reality.

Step 2: Be OK with NOT being "productive" for a while. 

I'm normally a pretty productive person. I sit on 2 non-profit boards. I publish books, run my own company, have a kid, plus I'm working on a genealogy project. I have very little interest in doing extra for my work right now. And you know what? That's ok. I don't have to be maximizing my impact on others right now. What I can and should be doing, is surviving this pandemic - hopefully, with my sanity intact. 

I have friends who are caring for sick family members, or who are sick themselves. Or they are dealing with loss of job or income or whatever it is. The reality is, everything is harder right now. If you can't do all the extra stuff you want to - that's ok. Again, withdrawing is a health response to being overwhelmed. If you can withdraw a bit - do it. The stuff you do get done, will get better and your sanity will thank you.

If you can't withdraw from things, figure out if you can. You have one job, to survive this. What is the bare minimum you need to do, to survive. You have to earn a living. And take care of your family. That's it really. All that other still will not go away. For more on this concept - read this essay I wrote last month -

Figure out what your priorities are - and focus on 3 things at most. 

Step 3: Relax

What makes you happy? What do you enjoy out of all the things you do and what do you never want to do again?

Make time for and indulge in the things that bring you joy.  I cant' stress this enough. Yes, you have a lot going on. It's overwhelming. We all want to withdraw.  No, you do not have to be productive in your cocoon. What do you like to do that helps you feel alive?

For me, it's watching foreign movies and K-dramas. And Disney movies and let's face it - MCU.  That brings me joy. 

Time spent wasting time - is not wasted if it helps me relax and feel happy.

I do find that when I don't want to do work work, my brain occupies itself with other things. Right now, that's genealogy stuff.  Whatever it is you enjoy, indulge in your guilty pleasures. That isn't wasted time. It's quality time.

Learning More

My first online course, is my course called - Living Made Simpler.

The goal of the course is to teach people how to apply the humanist philosophy to their daily life. The result, for me at least, is my life is made easier when I think - what would a humanist do. How do I live an ethical life of personal fulfillment that aspires to the greater good of humanity?

That's what we are all striving for right?  Humanist philosophers through out history have come up with a solution that actually seems to work. So, I encourage you to learn more and see if it works for you.

The course is a 6 hour video lesson program that is loosely based on my book: The Humanist Approach to Happiness.

The book has been translated into several languages and is in use at a military academy in Canada in addition to being part of the curricula for the UUA.   

I hope this approach helps you - feel better while doing better. 

As always, if I can ever help you on your journey to living a better more ethical life, please let me know. 

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