I Can’t Take Anymore Surprises…

Dear Dr. Sylvia,
Each day I think to myself “I can’t take any more surprises. I can’t take any more whining. I can’t take anymore bungled messes.”

And then something else happens.

I went into a deep depression after the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing hit the world.
Look, I didn’t know her, and my daily life as I live it was not impacted. So, why was I so upset. I couldn’t really do much of worth for the next few days.

I felt like I lost a grandmother or a loved aunt.

I know, I know, she was an icon for women’s rights, for equality for all of us.

However, this is about what I need to do to not become a mess of rubble as each day offers another surprise or challenge.
Question: How do I/we stay sane in this very tense, strange world of today?

Going to pop!!

Dear GTP,

Don’t! I mean hang in there. We are all being tested to see how strong we are. You may have heard the saying attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: 

                               “We are like teabags. You never know how strong we are

                                                         until we are put in hot water.”

I have been spending my time finding all the overt and subtle ways to de-stress during these stressful days.

Let me be your change cheerleader for a few minutes.

  1. Smile even when you feel like crap: As you become more tense take a few deep breaths (I know, I know, that’s not enough). After the breaths smile, either putting your lips in an upward arc or smile internally. The smile actually stimulates  a release of endorphins to counteract stress hormones and strengthens your immune system.
  2. Beyond smiling, go for a belly laugh: Make sure your belly “jiggles” (easy for some and not so for others… do it anyway). Belly laughs enhance oxygen intake to stimulate the heart, lungs, and muscles. Here’s a joke to get you laughing: 

                              “Did you know there’s a new restaurant in town? 

                                It’s called KARMA. No menu. You get what you


Hope that helped. However, if not go to YouTube and watch some funny bits. Even if you feel lousy, give yourself a few minutes to laugh. That’s how Norman Cousins, MD, helped himself after a dreaded diagnosis. He writes about it in his book “An Anatomy Of An Illness.” Also, now we have ‘laughter yoga’ so, instead of flexing to do the downward dog go for laughter.

  1. Walk barefoot in a park: Do this on a sunny day. Feel the softness on the soles of your feet and also get a good dose of vitamin D (known as the sunshine vitamin) to keep your bones healthy as well as strengthening and stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet.
  2. Do the 7-day SANITY CHALLENGE: I have put together some easy and creative ways to keep your stress down and sanity up. The next challenge will start on October 1 and yes, there will be prizes.

We cannot know from day to day what will be put on our very full plates. It’s a time to help each other not just cope, it’s time to help each other grow and learn more effective ways of responding to well…… everything!

Smile, laugh, walk barefoot, and stay sane. You can do it. We all can do it. And reach out to touch someone (virtually that is) so we can all get through this together.

And whenever you feel down, just think about the power of that diminutive lady, Ruth Bader Ginsburg who overcame challenge after challenge in her life and made all of our lives better. 

Here’s to your success,


Sylvia Lafair