It’s no secret that there’s a lot happening in the world right now and that we’ve collectively been through a lot in the past few years. Life can be hard enough without the weight of global tragedies, conflicts, and politics looming overhead. When tumultuous and divisive events are the backdrop to your everyday life, it can make your own personal struggles that much more exhausting. Cue the urge to pull your comforter over your head and shut out the world! And while we all deserve a day in bed at times, there are healthy ways to hold space for the emotions you experience during hard times before you get to that point.
Give yourself grace
When times are difficult you can’t expect yourself to function at 100%. And even if you can carry on like normal, it doesn’t mean you should. Oftentimes the healthiest thing to do is to give yourself permission to slow down and feel your feelings. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself will only lead to guilt and shame when you (understandably) fall short. Avoid this pitfall by not setting any expectations. Sometimes the bare minimum is more than enough.
Make time for your favorite things
Inject a little comfort into your day by consciously making an effort to do things simply for the fun of it. If needlepoint is your newest hobby, dive in. If re-watching your favorite show for the 5th time brings you comfort, cuddle up on the couch and press play. If baking sweets is your guilty pleasure, bring out the cake mix. It’s important to allow yourself to completely relax and return to the basics. The basics being anything that makes you feel like you’re wrapped in a warm blanket.
Talk it out
When processing our emotions on our own becomes too taxing, it can be helpful to talk things out with trusted friends and family members. If you’re the type of personal that typically holds things in and doesn’t want to “burden” people, this might be particularly important for you. Your friends and family are called your support system for a reason – they are there to lend support! However, if the situation requires more than your support system can provide, it may be helpful to see a therapist. They are trained to guide you through any type of difficulty you may be experiencing.
Focus on what you can control
When times are tough it’s normal to try to grip onto a situation tighter in order to control as much as you can. No one likes to feel powerless. A healthier way of getting through rough waters is to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Release your grip on those things that seem to be fighting against you. Make a list of what you can control – such as your actions and how you can take care of yourself. Whenever you feel overwhelmed take the list out and complete an action. There’s nothing better than ticking something off of your to-do list, even if the list is self-care centered. It will make you feel capable and accomplished.
Turn off the news
It’s important to be informed, but if you find yourself checking in on the news to the detriment of your mental health, it may be time for a break. This is especially true when you are dealing with personal issues that may be heavy or stressful. Don’t add fuel to the fire. Take a break from current events or limit the amount you read / watch.
No matter what you are going through, you deserve the time to slow down and take care of yourself. Follow us on social media for more mental health and wellness tips:
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