WIT & WISDOM: This too shall pass

With our recent fine weather I’ve been doing more than my usual five-to-10 miles a day walking, an activity that, with many of my countrymen, I developed during the lockdown, when there was little else to do, writes Adam Harbinson.

Last week was idyllic as I walked along the Donegal coast from Moville to Greencastle; it was magical, and it struck me again, that while we all know the value of regular exercise, fresh air and social engagement, we might never really know just how beneficial such days are for our physical and mental health.

But what perhaps, on the flipside, will our memories of 2020-2022 be in 10 years time?

We’ll be asking ourselves, how on Earth did we remain sane?

Brexit has wreaked havoc on our economy, piled on top of which was Covid-19.

I can still feel the cloud of gloom that settled on me when a radio announcer was suggesting that all over 70s would not be allowed outside the door of their homes for 12 weeks.

Thankfully it didn’t quite come to that.

Then came the murderous war in Ukraine, with pictures being flashed onto our screens of European families hiding in cellars in fear or their lives, not to mention the bloody carnage.

But how does this bad news affect our mental health?

To further exacerbate my potential for anxiety I can tell you that five of my close friends and family members are suffering from life-threatening health problems; one has even invited me to his 73rd birthday party, when he and I know full well that in reality it’s a ‘going away’ party.

I’m in my mid-70s and while I feel as mentally and physically fit as I was in my 40s, the thing I hate about my age is that so many of my contemporaries are dropping like flies.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Firstly we must regulate our intake of deadly news; regular exercise and getting out into the countryside is helpful too.

Gratitude is of vital importance, so let’s get a pen and paper and make a list of the many aspects of our lives for which we can be truly grateful.

But is that enough?

You might say no, but since there might be little we can do to help our suffering brothers and sisters, we must recognise the need for serenity to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can.

One thing’s for sure; this too will pass.

Read more from Adam at www.adamharbinsonbooks.com

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