We are living in turbulent times and it just might be taking a toll on our well-being, our health, and ultimately our lives. I think I can assume that everyone is overwhelmed from the ongoing developments of our national political scene and the world at large.
The wildfire of conflict and questioning and anger and fear is at an all-time high as “Breaking News” slams us every day. We simply must take some action to clear our heads, so we can all survive this madness. Here are five specific steps to take that will help you feel more grounded and better able to manage the stress of it all more effectively.
Consider these tips for self-care to maintain our mental and physical health.
- TAKE A BREAK.
We are consumed with the onslaught of breaking news, facts or alternative facts, and strong opinions that seem to be pouring out at an alarming rate. We are traumatized relentlessly and any recurring stress can be damaging and destructive to our well-being. We can take control of how much exposure we allow ourselves to consume.
In order for us to have a mindful perspective, it’s important to stop the inundation of information that can be overwhelming to the point of utter confusion and chaos within our thoughts and ultimately our voices.
No matter how submerged we are in the mainstream media, it’s critical we take a break from it all on a regular basis: Turn off the T.V. Get off of social media. Stop listening to talk radio. Turn it all OFF and give yourself some time to think about other things in your life. We need to be mindful, intentional, and thoughtful in how we respond to the unfolding landscape of our times. Taking a break will refuel our strength, clear our perspective, and restore our endurance.
While you are taking that break from it all, simply BREATHE. Stop going and doing and igniting your emotions with more stressful things in your personal life. Try to simplify your daily tasks and responsibilities and clear your schedule for some quiet time.
Every day, it’s important to make time for yourself: Go for a walk, listen to your favorite music, take a nap. Shut down. Spend some time in your own white space. Allow yourself to do NOTHING AT ALL. Stay quiet. Meditate. Pray.
Take this time seriously because this is where you will refuel, restore, and refresh your peace of mind. Clearly, we all need it.
- DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE.
What brings you JOY? Do that. It’s important to make time for those things that fill you with satisfaction: Read that book you’ve been dying to read. Are you a gym rat? Go sweat and grunt and get your best workouts in now. Do you love cooking or baking? The kitchen is calling your name! Maybe your passion is in creative arts? Paint, journal, draw, play the piano, knit. Do whatever you love that taps into your expressive self. Are you a collector? What are your hobbies?
Take the time to dive into these elements of your life that you love. Doing so will inspire and evoke beauty, fun, and enjoyment. Don’t deny yourself the things in your life that bring you pleasure. You need them now more than ever.
- SPEND TIME WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE.
This is the time where you need to be surrounded by people you love. Spending time with loved ones is the best thing for your mental health. Go on a date with your spouse. Plan a fun activity with your kids. Snuggle in with your family and watch a good movie. Hang out with your closest, most trusting friends. Plan a fun get together or outing. Call your best friend and catch up on things OTHER than the news. Go visit your mom, your dad, your aunt, your sister, your brother, your great aunt… Host a dinner for your family or friends.
Reach out to those you love and connect with them in a significant way. Spend extra time with them to fill your tank with needed connection, laughter, belonging, and ultimately love. Be with your people. The support will do a world of good.
- MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE.
Helping others brings fulfillment and joy. These days, many of us might be feeling helpless and hopeless, perhaps even unheard and unseen. We might sense things are completely out of control. We probably have passionate opinions about everything going on and although we can surely take action steps to make a change and take a stand for what we believe in out on the national stage, we can also take steps to care for people right next door.
Pull back from the national affairs, and focus your view on those right in front of you- the people in your community. How can you help them? Doing something for someone else can be a small step toward satisfaction and peace of mind. We can all do something right now to make a difference in someone’s life:
Drop off food at your local food pantry. Take your kids to a senior home to visit the residents who need company. Make a meal for your friend who just had surgery. Bake some cookies for your neighbor down the street who is home-bound. Go volunteer at any local organization you know that needs help. There are endless possibilities to do good right in front of you. You’ll feel inspired and fulfilled after you serve those around you.
Once you take your break, breathe, do something you love, spend time with loved ones, and make a difference in someone’s life…
You will have the strength and stamina to get back into the world ring.
But most importantly, you will have cleared your mind, restored your sensibilities, and renewed your perspective.
Right here, right now-
We all need these things most of all.
And let’s remember these tips for self-care for the days and years to come.
*The original post was first published over at Her View From Home.
Amber Day Hicks says
I needed to hear this! Love you, SSSF!!!
Aw, THANK YOU, SSSF!! I’m so glad you read it and it helped! Love you too, sweet sister.
Janine Huldie says
Absolutely love this and agree that we are most definitely living in crazy times. So, all of your advice to make things a bit easier are truly perfect. I can’t thank you enough for sharing and am going to try my best to keep these tips in minds for my sanity’s sake now <3
Thanks so much, Janine! I hope they help you feel a bit less stressed and a lot more at peace! I think we all need that these days now more than ever.
Julie Jo Severson says
Ahhhh, reading this felt like I was sitting on the sunny shores listening to a waterfall. I needed a respite today, and when I saw your post pop into my inbox, I knew here is where I could find that. Yes, as you beautifully said, it’s time to pull back from the national affairs and focus on those right in front of us. And find some white space:-) Love that! Hope you’re getting some breaks this week, Christine Carter!
Your comments are always so dear to me, Julie! Yes… I think we all need a respite on the regular! I really do think these are good ways to do just that.
lisa thomson says
Yes to all of these, Chris! This is so important right now since everything does feel out of control. It’s hard to understand why things are unfolding the way they are. I particularly love this suggestion:
“Pull back from the national affairs, and focus your view on those right in front of you- the people in your community.”
Changing our focus can make a world of difference. Wonderful post, Chris. Thank you!! <3
Thanks so much, Lisa! It’s amazing what that shift will do for those who feel help-LESS to do anything these days. <3 We are living in such hard times, uncertain times, and scary times. We all need to take good care of ourselves so we can work to make things better any way we can, and we can start right in our community.
Love this Christine! They all promote Breathing Space in our live to refresh, renew, and be inspired again!
Yes, they are so important these days. And I always love that phrase you share: “Breathing Space” is perfect and so needed for us all.
Alison Hector says
This post was so needed, Chris. We need to take all five points on board to maintain our sanity. Thanks for sharing.
I’m sure there are more, so many more things we can do but I find these to be useful for me and hope they help others too. I know you of all people understand the need to maintain our well-being!
It really really is, Chris. I wrote about that today. It’s taking such a toll. I really would like to unplug and go somewhere quiet. I work so hard this season, and others, but I need that rest and relaxation the most right now. That way I can be clear about my next move and how I want to help people. xoxo
I don’t know how you do it all, Tamara. Seriously. The pace you go is incredibly hard, but you somehow manage to do it all. I do hope you can take much needed time to restore and rest!
Marie Kléber says
Amen my friend!
We do need time to recharge, to let go, to find peace within us. The world is a mess, we don’t want to be part of it.
I needed to read your words. They are more than welcome Chris.
Thanks so much, Marie. It’s so important now more than ever to take good care of ourselves!
Kristi Campbell says
SUCH great advice. My goodness, the world today is scarier to me than it’s ever been, including when I was a kid and we hid under our desks because we were scared of Russian bombs. Huh. Here’s to finding peace and being thankful for having wise, wonderful friends like you. xoxo
I remember those days hiding under our desks. It’s definitely worse these days! And yes, friend. Here’s to finding peace and being thankful for having wise, wonderful friends like YOU. <3 (I just love that.)
Allie Smith says
Solid advice, truly. In the last year, I’ve embraced all five, and it has made a huge impact! I don’t even feel guilty about doing so anymore, because the ripple effect in the rest of my life has been so positive.
YES! It’s just so out of control and sadly has become the ‘norm’ in our crazy political culture that I am right there with you- tuning out and focusing on these things has become so much easier to do… We’ve had lots of practice by now.
Thanks for your comment, Allie!