COVID-19 · Current Events · mental health · Self Care

What to Do When the World is Falling Apart: A Guide to Self Care During Troubling Times

Are you angry at what is happening in our country and fighting racists on Instagram? Do you find yourself unable to tear your eyes from social media and the news? Did you have to pull out a book, a candle, sleep medication, and a sleep meditation just to get a few hours of sleep?

Hi. I’m Katie. And if you can relate to any of the above, congratulations! You’re a human!

The world (okay namely The US let’s be real) feels like a dystopian movie. In the past 12 months, we’ve had a devastating global pandemic, Black Lives Matter Protests, wildfires in California, record unemployment rates, and now a terrorist attack at the US Capitol.

In other words… it’s a lot. Life is overwhelming. And that’s not even taking into consideration anything that is happening in your life!

I know that on the day of the terrorist attack… I was angry. And I wasn’t alone. Watching such a preventable attack on democracy and human decency is horrifying, especially considering how many discussions were had about race and white supremacy this summer. But I’m angry. And I’m ready to battle racists in the comments and take down white supremacy, and I think you are too.

BUT. To do that… we gotta take care of ourselves. We can’t get burnt out. It’s easy just to spout out rhetoric, but we have to be at our best for this.

So, if you’re feeling at a loss, here are x ideas for self care when the world is falling apart.

Meditate

I wrote a blog post about some of my favorite meditation podcasts. I’m currently using Insight Timer, which is an app, and I try to meditate every morning and night. I’ve become so much more self-aware!

Move Your Body

Okay this is a big one. Movement will give you endorphins, and also will let you take out your rage on something. If there was ever a time to invest in a punching bag, it’s now.

Eat

Okay, I’m not encouraging you to binge eat, but listen, if you’re craving ice cream right now, eat the dang ice cream. If you honor your cravings instead of pushing them away, you’re actually less likely to binge eat. And let’s all be real, we know that chocolate makes us feel better.

Talk to a Friend

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is open up to a friend about how we’re feeling. You can just text and ask when they’re free to chat, and just express your feelings. I’d recommend talking with a friend you know feels similarly about everything going on.

Cry

There is something so cleansing and healing, and sometimes even empowering, about a good cry. If you need to cry, let yourself do so without embarrassment.

Take a Bath

Light some candles. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Use your favorite bath bombs or bubble bath and just clear your mind and relaaax. This is a great way to relax your mind and get the tension out of your body, which I think we all need right now.

Talk to a Professional

There is absolutely no shame in talking to a therapist or mental health phone line. They are trained to help you cope through difficult times. I go to therapy at least once every week, and I can say with full honesty that it has truly helped me get through the past year, and the past fifteen years. Here are some mental health resources that might help you: The Crisis Text Line, Mental Health America, & NAMI.

Create Something

Expressing yourself through art is effective and powerful. Write a poem, a short story, a novel, paint, color, etc. Creativity is a powerful.

Recite Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are so important in my life. I say them every morning and night while brushing my teeth, and throughout the day. Positive affirmations really help me recognize and change destructive thought patterns and negative self talk. I use the app ThinkUp and also add affirmations that I write, or sometimes find on Pinterest.

Read a Book

Choose a childhood favorite, or a book that you know will be light reading material and escape into another world.

Bake or Cook Something

Play some music you like, and make something that you can enjoy. Baking and cooking are great ways to nourish both your mind and body. You can even make something for a friend, which will really bring joy to both you and them!

Take a Nap

Hey, if you just need to drift into dreamland for a bit, there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re exhausted by everything going on around us, try taking a short nap to rest your body and mind.

Journal

Journaling is another essential part of my daily routine. It helps me process my thoughts and emotions in a healthy and effective way, which I think we all need right now.

Listen to Music

Taylor Swift just released her two bonus songs from Evermore and they will definitely make you feel things other than blind rage.

Give a Gift to a Friend

St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as having once said “It is in giving that we receive” and I really think that’s true. Maybe it’s because giving and receiving gifts is one of my primary love languages, but I get so much joy out of giving someone something that brings them happiness! It doesnt have to be anything huge, you can Venmo them and treat them to coffee one day, or give/lend (if you can bear it!) a loved one a book you already own and think that they will ejoy!

Watch an Entertaining Movie or TV Show

The Office is on Peacock now, and 17 Again was just added on Netflix! Also have you heard of Our Lord and Savior Bridgerton?

Unplug from Technology and/or Social Media

I try to take a weekend every month to log out of Instagram, because it is so beneficial (and necessary!) for my mental wellness. I absolutely love the community I’ve found on Instagram, but I can get wrapped up in the constant busyness of the app. Especially right now, it’s okay if you need to unplug for a day or two for your mental health.

I hope that these ideas are helpful and help bring you some peace, but remember that there is still hard work to be done. We have white supremacy to take down, after all. Once you are ready, come back to the battle. Your voice is needed.

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