Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Hurricane Irma in Florida, Hurricane Marie in Puerto Rico. 2 Earthquakes in Mexico. The latest mass shooting in Las Vegas.
We’re all feeling overwhelmed. Do you want to go to bed and pull the covers over your head? Yell “Yikes!” (or an alternative powerful thing to yell) loudly?!!!
Bad news is coming more and more often………….weekly, almost daily. This feels stressful, helpless and out of control.
If you are feeling this way, you can have a plan of “action” to help you take good care of yourself during these times, so you don’t burn out, and tune completely out.
Here’s my list of “33 Things to Do” in these crazy, tough times:
Reaching Out to Your Community/Taking Action:
We feel less helpless when we can affect our little part of the world. Our donation of money, material items, or time, in combination with other people’s donations, add up and make a big difference.
- Donate money to help these far away places hit hard. Red Cross, United Way, your local schools, religious organizations, town halls/police stations are collecting money and needed supplies to send to the afflicted areas. Research if organizations you are already connected to have campaigns to help.
- Donate blood, if you’re a good candidate.
- Offer to volunteer at a local agency, school, church, synagogue, temple or mosque. Helping others helps us feel like we are making a difference in real people’s lives.
- Raise money for the cause in a fun way: Hold your own personal garage sale or one with others on your block……….proceeds go to the cause you’re concerned about. Or…….have a party and charge an entrance donation, which will go to the noted cause. Be creative with other fun ideas.
- Walk, Run or Bike for cause. If you like, make your own event and get people to sponsor you, get people to sign up and get their own sponsors. Send all the money raised to the noted cause.
- Donate needed supplies.
- Call or write to your Elected Officials and share your opinions on the event, your feelings about it, what you want your officials to do about it.
Taking Care of Yourself:
Stop, Tune Into Yourself: What are you feeling? What do you need to do for yourself? Here are some possibilities:
- Exercise: walk, run, yoga, zumba, weight lifting, kick boxing, dancing to music in your living space: what ever your idea of fun exercise is.
- Sit down and breathe/meditate for 10 minutes a day.
- Go to sleep early, and try for 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Take a news break.
- Stop checking news on your phone. (Once a day is enough.)
- Call a friend.
- Have lunch with a friend.
- Listen to music that calms you (soothing, fun, whatever turns you on. Make a play list that lifts your spirits and play it as often as you need to hear it.)
- Snuggle with your pet, walk/play with a neighbors pet.
- Think about a cute little cuddly baby or cuddly pet.
- Soak in a warm bath, or epsom salt bath.
- Enjoy your Favorite Smells: your favorite spice (is it cinnamon or cloves?), flowers, buy a packet of lavender or scented soaps.
- Enjoy a cup of an Herbal tea.
- Eat healthy food. Have a slice of avocado, or a piece of salmon.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Write in a journal or write a poem.
- Read poetry, fiction, or an inspiring memoir.
- Go out into nature – local parks, nature preserves, beach, woods, mountains.
- Go to a dog park, even if you don’t have a dog. Sit on a side bench and watch the dogs play, Start up a conversation with dog owners, and ask if you can pet their dog.
- Get a massage. If you have a partner, give each other a massage or foot rub.
- Limit screen time one hour before bed…….includes tv, computer, smart phones, ipads.
- Visualize a place you feel safe in or like to be. Imagine what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel. Enjoy being there for a while.
- Visualize being with a beloved pet if you can’t be with them in person (You are out of town or if the pet passed away)
- Watch a TV show or movie that lifts you up, makes you laugh.
- Breathe into your body and think, “This is who I am at this moment. This is how I feel.” Accepting yourself now is a calming stress reliever.
- What have I left off that you love doing?
Taking action to help another person or group of affected people feels empowering. Stopping to take care of yourself feels nurturing.
Both are important, and are good ways to rejuvenate flagging spirits. Taking care of yourself will recharge your energy. It will help you cope and be ready to move on. Pick out your favorite items on the list above, and let me know how you feel afterwards. Let me know other ways you come up of taking time out and taking care of yourself.