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17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3: 17, 18 (KJV)

Today I offer suggestions of things to do when you have experienced loss and pain, or especially when you’re feeling lonely and vulnerable:

· Start Journaling – Get a notebook, journal, the back of an envelope – anything! And write, write, write. Perhaps set a timer and write for, say, five (5) minutes. During that time write continually, without worry of correct spelling or grammar or punctuation. Write about your feelings, things that anger you or make you feel sad or frustrated. The point is to write. If you can’t think of anything to write, then write, “I can’t think of anything to write…” but just keep writing until the time is up. Try to do this daily, weekly or on some kind of regular schedule.

· Begin Walking / Exercise – Eat Well – Drink Healthy Fluids – and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Decide you will walk to the mailbox today, the neighbor’s mailbox tomorrow, etc. Take small steps but move. If you can’t get outside, walk around your table, or your couch or your bed. Challenge yourself to do just a little more each day. Drink water and healthy fluids. If you can only drink a teaspoon today, try drinking a tablespoon tomorrow. Within a week, maybe you’ll be up to ¼ cup and so on.

· Find Movies/TV Shows that make you laugh. Find something that brings a smile to your face. Try to avoid watching the news for long periods of time or watching a catastrophe over and over again. Stay current without allowing it to completely destroy your joy.

· Contact dear friends who will encourage and uplift – not the ones that bring you down.

· Get a Pedicure/Manicure/Massage/Hair Cut or New Style. If you can’t afford such luxuries, consider taking a longer time to moisturize yourself in the morning or evening. If you can’t get a new hairdo, try putting on bright colored clothing or styling that same ‘do in a different way.

· Kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass or play in the snow. Make a mud pie or build a snowman. Play in the leaves or pick a handful of dandelions. Go to the park or pull out your old bicycle and go for a ride. Get out in nature and do something fun, if you can.

· Nurture your spirit through Nature, Trees, Flowers, Animals.

· Volunteer – Helping others brings deep satisfaction to the one who volunteers.

· Believe that you will get through this.

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