Annie Lane: How to feel less powerless

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Readers: A great number of you wrote in and responded to “Feeling Powerless” with some wonderful suggestions to help. Below are a few. Thank you very much for your positive input.

Dear Feeling Powerless: I think there are many, many people feeling the same way, including myself. Here are some things I do to put positive feelings out into the world:

— I donate blood. It is something physical that helps others.

Email newsletter signup

— I donate to charities when I can. I make sure the money is really being spent well by checking on their ratings.

— I volunteer when I can by helping an elderly neighbor go grocery shopping or run errands.

— I adhere to “no news Friday” by turning off the radio or TV and read a book or listen to music or do a puzzle.

— I engage with my family and friends, cooking a good meal, going to the beach, doing crafts, etc.

I hope these suggestions help or get you thinking about other ways of engaging in positive mental health.

— Breathe Deeply

Dear Breathe Deeply: These are wonderful suggestions. Thank you for sharing.

• • •

Dear Annie: That was a great post. Thanks for publishing it. It is an exact copy of what I have been feeling for the last couple of years, and my answer has been: When you are going through hell…just KEEP going!

— Keep Going

Dear Keep Going: Or as the Queen of England says, keep calm and carry on.

• • •

Dear Annie: When I see the horrific suffering of the brave Ukrainian people, I am reminded of all that I have that I normally take for granted. Now even the simplest of life’s pleasures seem so sweet.

— Grateful in


Dear Grateful: Thank you.

• • •

Dear Annie: I’m writing in response to “Feeling Powerless,” who is having a hard time with the pandemic, rising gas prices, the war and grocery stores running out of her cat food.

After my first daughter was born, a pipe broke on the main road by our house, and we had a boil water advisory for a few days. I had to boil the water for her baths and everything else. Anyway, we met some friends for dinner, and I complained about the water boiling and how hard it was to do it. One of our friends was raised in Sri Lanka and said, “Oh, I know, my mom had to boil all of our water for my entire upbringing.” Well, needless to say, this gave me a whole new perspective.

I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad for complaining, but just to put things in a new light and maybe help them feel better. When I am upset about things sometimes, I ask myself if it is a real problem or a First World problem. Usually, it’s the latter.

— Trying to Stay Positive

Dear Trying to Stay Positive: Wonderful advice. Thank you.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to