Janet Marshall is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Living section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter. She thinks most things are fine in moderation.
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I’m intrigued by the plight of the 33 Chilean miners, trapped below ground for weeks already, with potentially months more to spend isolated before they’re freed.
As distant as their plight is from my daily life, I think there are some incredible lessons to be drawn from their ordeal.
A recent story by Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein explains that their ability to peacefully co-exist underground, without going nuts or giving up, hinges on a few key emotions:
– hope—but not false hope
– a sense of purpose
– a sense of camaraderie
In addition, Borenstein writes, people in isolating conditions do best when they keep busy; develop and stick with a routine; and make the best of their time.
Hope, purpose, busyness and camaraderie—they’re the kinds of things that breed resilience and confidence.
So as I read about the miners, I find myself thinking: Isn’t this what we all need—a sense of purpose, hope, social bonds and routines that keep us busy?
On an unrelated note, I visited the Newseum in Washington, D.C. yesterday. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. The works exhibited there represent journalism at its best and provide a moving tour of some of modern history’s most challenging events: Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina and more. Admission is free for children under 18 until Labor Day.
Finally, writer Lindley Estes is looking for people to interview about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If you have the condition or treat patients who have it, please consider calling Lindley at 540-374-5000, ext. 5779. Or, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s working on a story for Healthy Living.