It’s an unfortunate fact that the world is hurting in unimaginable ways right now. Between the war in Ukraine, the pain of marginalized groups and the lingering effects of the pandemic, we have many opportunities to be taken down a very dark path. So, how can we feel better when the world is hurting and we feel like we are in the midst of chaos? I know for me there are so many feelings of helplessness, distress, anxiety and heartbreak right now. Life can be very heavy, in fact it is more often than we’d like to admit. So when we bring these things to the surface, remove the stigma and talk about them it helps us to find ways to heal, to move through it with grace and to know that we’re really not alone. Here are some of the most productive and healthy ways that I have found to look after our own wellness in the midst of these chaotic circumstances so that we can be the strength that our planet needs.
Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional
The world’s current state of affairs evokes so many emotions and if we don’t actually take the time and energy to feel them, then we cannot truly heal. You’ve really got to feel it to heal it. So first and foremost acknowledge for yourself that this is completely natural and normal to feel the collective pain that the world is experiencing and to allow it to move through us in our own way. It’s not surprising that any of us are overwhelmed by what’s happening and the pain we feel surrounding it is absolutely inevitable, however our personal suffering over it is optional. Releasing this suffering is one of the best ways I know to allow it to move through you in a way that isn’t harmful. It’s important for us to understand that the initial pain of hearing about difficult circumstances, about other people hurting, is completely natural and inevitable. But what I mean by suffering is optional is that constantly replaying these images in our minds, the visuals of children being separated from their parents or people being harmed and hurt in different ways, and agonizing over them is not going to serve anyone.
So feel that pain, but allow yourself to not suffer, because the truth of the matter is that our suffering is not helping anyone. Sometimes we feel that if we experience guilt about what’s going on in other parts of the world that we are helping in some way, but that is not the case, in fact it just brings down the vibration of the planet. So us suffering as a result of their suffering is not beneficial. Instead try to release it and focus your energy for good. You can release that suffering in the form of prayer or meditation, prayer comes in so many different forms and we all have to lean in to our own practice. Another way to release the suffering is by experiencing joy and knowing that we are here, we are okay and we are going to be as strong as we can be right now to help in any way we can.
Limit Your Consumption
Another very effective way is to manage our exposure to the media by taking regular breaks from the news and social media. Of course we all want to be well informed and up to date on current events, but if that content that you are viewing is distressing, it’s healthy to take a break. Put down your phone, turn off the television or the radio and go take a walk or call a friend. We cannot control what is going on, we can only control and limit our consumption of it. Put your phone on silent or turn off the notifications if you need to step away, do what you need to do to manage your exposure and limit your mental load.
While self care is always important, it is imperative to look after yourself in times like these, you must nurture your body, mind, soul and spirit. There is no sense in us making ourselves sick over what’s happening right now. So how do you look after your body and soul? Eating well, drinking plenty of water, prioritizing your sleep and prioritizing one on one time with family or trusted friends to name a few, these are all effective coping strategies. Sometimes we try to anesthetize the pain with alcohol or drugs or other harmful things and we need to remember those are just short term masks for the problem and they will end up making us feel worse than before. So we must find productive and healthy ways to look after our mind, body and soul. You can focus your energy on exercise, yoga, meditation or hobbies–whatever it may be, just lean in to your tool kit right now for ways to work through this pain in a constructive manner.
Share the Load
I love the saying “a problem shared, is a problem halved”, meaning we cut that problem in half because we’ve shared it with someone. We can boost our own wellness and feel re-energized just by sharing our problems and connecting with someone. Journaling and mindfulness is another effective tool, apps like Headspace or Calm can help facilitate this exercise. Through my company, GiRLiFE, my role is to empower women and we teach that when we get to be the most empowered version of ourselves we get to empower the next generation. So if you have children at home who are worried, ask them what they’re thinking about and have an open conversation. Do your best to target their particular concern and give them a realistic, but age-appropriate answer to what’s going on in the world. Always remember that they’re feeding off of your cues for how you respond to the events of the world, so when you take care of your own mind, body, soul and spirit you’re doing the same for them because you’re leading by example.
Finally, ask yourself how you can contribute. I was in the city with my daughter recently and I walked by a Ukrainian church, they had an area where you could make donations, leave flowers or just pay your respects. Ask yourself how you can support them, you can even help people find a way out of the Ukraine or sponsor someone, there are so many different ways that we can support within our own bandwidth and ability. Just remember this, supporting is not you feeling guilt and suffering because that doesn’t do anything for you, your family and friends or the people that are hurting. Instead, lean in to your ability to tap into your own inner power to be well so that we can be the support that our world and our planet needs at the moment.
When we are strong and we can utilize that which is our own power we are actually in a better position to help, to support in some way, and to stand up for the people that are hurting. They need us, they need us to be well. So think of it that way. Harness your own strength, your power, your joy to uplift yourself so that you can stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves right now.