These are, in fact, difficult times.
Social injustice, racism, terrorism, hate.
It’s everywhere: news, social media, television.
It’s always in the challenging times, the times of crisis, when we tend to lose hope and gain fear. Or we get angry. Or we just start to lose ourselves. And we feel there is no outlet.
In these times, it is vital that we stay connected.
To ourselves. Our hearts. Our truth.
And to each other. To love. To unity.
If you’re feeling uncertain, scared, overwhelmed… know that it’s okay and that you’re not alone. We can navigate this together. Staying open and taking care.
Here are a few ideas to help you stay connected and take care of yourself during difficult times. Use what works for you and share other ideas that aren’t on the list. Let’s help each other out as we tend to ourselves. Take good care, my friends.
Allow Yourself to Feel It
Know that your feelings are valid. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you’re angry. Or both. Maybe you aren’t even sure how you feel and the uncertainty is making you anxious. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Allow yourself the freedom and space to feel it. You won’t be able to work through the emotions by suppressing them.
Write It Down
Writing can be a powerful tool to process feelings, thoughts, and events. Grab a journal or your lap top and just let the words flow. Don’t censor or edit yourself. Get it all out of your system and onto the page. Not only is it liberating to express yourself, but it also gives you a sense of clarity about what it is your feeling. Sharing what you wrote can also be very healing. Whether it’s with a friend or posting online, don’t be afraid to share your words. You have a voice. Use it.
Work It Out
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions in the midst of challenges and it feels paralyzing. I don’t know what to do, so I don’t do anything. I get stuck. The best way to pull yourself out of that space is to actually, literally, get up and get moving. Go for a walk, do yoga in your living room, or hit the gym. Just do something. It’s good for your body and your mind!
Talk To Someone
Talking it out is so beneficial. If you have a close friend, call them or go out for coffee. Communicating how you feel and processing events out loud is another powerful tool for healing. The conversation allows you to both speak and listen, possibly gaining another perspective. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional if you need to. Your emotional and mental health are priority, don’t let anything stop you from reaching out.
Take a Mental Health Day
When you get to the place where you can no longer effectively do your job or get through the day without breaking down, take a day off. There is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow when it comes to taking care of yourself. Take the time to tend to yourself and your well-being. When you are healthy and at your best, everyone benefits. Do the work to be that person.
Create a Plan of Action
All too often we feel helpless in times of crisis or grief. It can be empowering to realize that there are things you can do. Creating a plan of action can be just for you personally; a way to process and take care of yourself. Maybe it’s just a checklist of things you’re going to do each day to help get you through this time. Or maybe your plan of action involves using the situation to serve the greater good. Whatever it is, write it down and use it as motivation to move forward.
Do Something For Yourself
Don’t forget to be good to yourself. In times of crisis and chaos, it’s easy to forget about self-care. But staying connected to ourselves and our well-being will keep you grounded and present – and healthy! For self-care ideas, check out 31 Self-Care Ideas, my go-to list.
When crisis hits, it’s natural to recoil and go into protection mode. Of course, it is important to take care of yourself, but part of the healing process is giving back and getting involved. Look close to home for places and ways to get involved. Talk to your neighbors or city leaders about what you can do. Be open and honest with those around you; sometimes emotional support is the most powerful thing you can offer.
Continue To Check-In With Yourself
Make a daily habit of checking in with yourself. Use a personal journal to note how you feel and what’s going on around you. Keep coming back to that silent moment of self-reflection to stay grounded and present.
Find a Positive Support System
Know that you don’t have to go it alone. Find friends, family, or people in your community to connect with. Share your experiences with them and involve them in your healing process. Don’t be afraid to rely on them for support when you need it.
What other ways can you develop a strong self-care practice during difficult times? What have you found most effective for yourself? Share in the comments below!