I heard something this week in a Mental Health Works webinar that I found very powerful.  It was the idea that most of us drink coffee or tea or something from a mug throughout the day.  We lift that two-pound mug to our lips countless times without noticing.  But what if we had to hold that mug full of steaming tea or coffee over our head all day long?  Would we start to get shoulder pain?  Palpitations?  Stress headaches?

So the bits of anxiety or negative thoughts that we normally process throughout the day is like lifting the mug to our lips over and over.  It doesn’t register because it doesn’t weigh too much and it doesn’t last very long.  But when situations like the current one occurs, it’s like holding that mug over our head non-stop.

Breaking news happens every few minutes.  Jobs are affected.  Bills keep arriving in the mail.  The food in the fridge dwindles and needs to be replenished.

That mug above our head is getting heavier and heavier.

So now more than ever, we must be aware that if we lower the mug and take little sips, we can handle it.  It isn’t as heavy.  Follow positive accounts on social media.  Decrease how often we check the news and the numbers.

And focus on what we can control.  We can wash our hands with soap and warm water.  I’ve never been more grateful for these hands of mine and all they’ve been through recently.

One day we’ll be using our hands to welcome new people we meet, to clap at epic performances, to gesture while making in-person presentations, to hold the door open for the people coming behind us.

But for now, let’s be thankful for our health, grateful for those we love and willing to toe the line.

And put down that mug.