+
upworthy
Family

Why this grandmother's advice went viral and is so very needed right now

Sometimes that pat on the back we need the most is our own.

Why this grandmother's advice went viral and is so very needed right now

Grandmother offers advice for living through difficult times.

There’s no shortage of advice for getting through difficult times. Unfortunately, most of that advice is either painfully unrealistic or reeks of toxic positivity. Solid advice that is both helpful and comforting is hard to come by, which is why this advice is going viral for all the right reasons.

The advice comes from Elena Mikhalkova—or rather her Mikhalkova’s grandmother—and it goes like this:



My grandmother once gave me a tip:

In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.

Do what you have to do, but little by little.

Don't think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.

Wash the dishes.

Remove the dust.

Write a letter.

Make a soup.

You see?

You are advancing step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Rest a little.

Praise yourself.

Take another step.

Then another.

You won't notice, but your steps will grow more and more.

And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.

Can we all just pause for a minute to take a deep breath and maybe wipe the tears from our eyes? Because I don’t know about you, but this advice is just what I’ve needed to read almost every day lately.

I suspect I’m not alone in this either because Mikhalkova’s advice is being shared all over the internet.


.

With COVID-19 raging again and many of us (dare I say, all of us?) struggling with one thing or another, this quote hits. Unlike the clichéd “one foot in front of another” advice that can seem both demeaning and overwhelming, this advice offers concrete steps to take.

Wash the dishes. Make soup. Rest, and praise yourself.

These are things I can do. Well, maybe not soup, per se. But cookies. I can make cookies. And maybe you can make soup. Or knit a scarf. Or sweep the kitchen floor. This is enough.

What this advice taps into that other tidbits lose sight of is that when we’re in the midst of a calamity, even the most simple and everyday tasks are more difficult. Making lunch can seem monumental and the mere thought of doing virtual school for another few weeks can make us take to our beds, sobbing in the fetal position. Advice to “look on the bright side” can be patronizing and counterproductive. This advice does none of those things but, instead, acknowledges that even a small step matters. It doesn’t dismiss the pain, but recognizes that even thinking about the future can be painful and that progress sometimes looks like making it through the day without crying

This advice also goes beyond the “sun will come out tomorrow” reminders and acknowledges that things might not be better tomorrow or the day after that. It will take time for wounds to heal and difficult times to pass, but we need not passively wait for this time to come. We can make soup, rest and be kind to ourselves.

In the early days of the pandemic, I remember feeling like there was so much more I should be doing with all this extra “at home” time. Yet I found even the most basic tasks to be more difficult. In turn, I felt guilty for not being more productive. But what I’ve learned—or rather amlearning—is that allostatic load and decision fatigue are very real. Productivity looks different on different days, and sometimes being patient with ourselves is the most productive thing we can do.

Mikhalkova’s advice taps into a mantra that I often recite when I’m struggling: Just do one good thing. Unload the dishwasher. Return an email. Fold the laundry. Hug my kids. Then do the next good thing. Eventually these things add up. Time passes and small steps turn into something bigger.

What I love most about Mikhalkova’s advice—and what is easy to forget in difficult times—is the reminder to praise ourselves along the way. Because sometimes that pat on the back we need the most is our own.


This article originally appeared on 02.07.22


Christine Organ is a writer who lives in the Chicago area with her husband, two sons, and rescue dog. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.



Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

Keep ReadingShow less