It seems like every time I pull up social media or turn on the news, there is something else to be disturbed by.  From the devastating hurricanes  of 2017 to the horrific shooting in Vegas, it seemed like we just couldn’t catch a break. I read an article about a man convicted of raping a 12 year old and after having served time in prison for the same and the rape of another child, years later is being granted joint custody of the child, he impregnated his victim with. Meanwhile, the rest of the world was mad about silent protest, paper towel throwing presidents, comments about women not knowing football, vice presidents walking out of football games, and Dove commercials.

The lions and tigers and bears of 2017 were everywhere and even if we would like to have ignored them, the truth is that we couldn’t because the things around us, play a vital role in our mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

We could try to ignore the effects of recent events that may or may not have impacted us directly, but doing so would have only 1. hindered our ability to properly address areas in our lives where those things may have caused conflict and 2. hindered our ability to be empathetic towards those who may have been more greatly effected than we were.

Natural disasters, mass shootings and other events have the capacity to be traumatic for those who experience them because they can cause individuals to suffer from PTSD, paranoia, anxiety and can even lead to depression. The lack of proper support should be noted to be a risk factor that increases the likelihood of a person experiencing the prior. The financial devastation that can occur from unexpected events is also a risk factor that can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health concern in unexpected situations. If nothing else, these types of events simply hurt, and depending on who you are and what your connection is to the circumstance, sometimes they hurt like hell.

While different people respond to things differently, one thing that we should all acknowledge is that people have feelings. You do, I do and so do the people we encounter every day. To belittle the experiences of other is to be heartless, and well… who wants to be that kind of person.

2017 was just plain hard. I will even go as far as saying that as for the United States of America, if nothing about what happened in the world impacted your mental capacity to some degree, then I kind of wonder if you are even alive. 2017 brought tears, laughs, blank stares and more. It was one of those years that could make you question all of humanity and one of those years that at times may have had you wanting to just throw the whole year away.

So today, on New Years day and just incase 2018 is anything like what we experienced as a nation in 2017, I have decided to help you effectively navigate through the Lions & and Tigers & Bears… or regular stuff, of 2018 by giving you a few effective tips:

  1.  Remember, Even if you don’t… someone cares!!! For every life taken, every home lost, every false accusation etc., there is someone negatively effected, whether it be a family member who loves them or a friend who needs them… someone ALWAYS loses. Just because it’s not you, doesn’t mean you should be insensitive  about it. To you it may be nothing, but to others it may be everything.
  2. Words hurt and once they are put into the atmosphere, you can apologize for them, but you can never change what you said. Think before you speak.
  3. Petty is not cute. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes petty just makes you feel better. I’m guilty of it and you probably are too, but petty only makes things worse. I can’t count how many times my petty came back to hit me in the face simply because it did not solve the issue. Temporary gratification is not the key for future success (that alone will preach), but anyway… in 2018, lets do away with petty.
  4. Suffering in Silence does one notable thing: it keeps the issue hidden. As hard as it is to humble ourselves enough to admit we need help. 2018 is not the year to suffer in silence. There are people like myself, longing to help you through it, but we can’t help if we don’t know. Speak up in 2018.
  5. Lastly, The golden rule is still very golden. Treat other’s as you would like for them to treat you. It sounds so simple, yet it is apparently so hard for us to grasp. Lets not spend another entire year treating people like crap, wondering why good things keep skipping over us.

2018 can be a really good year if we make it a really good year. Trust me, I know the struggle is definitely sometimes real, but the goal is to overcome every mental encounter!

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