This week I had a certain talk planned, but have decided to set that aside because there are much bigger issues happening in our country. With circumstances wearing on us all amid COVID, we are now standing in shock and pain with the death of George Floyd. The uprising in our country is causing many to feel anxiety and stress.
Many people are asking for help on how to manage this all. And, frankly, I’m still trying to figure it out for myself. How do we keep our emotions intact and remain positive while being pressed in from all sides? How do we find our solid ground amid outrage and heartache over the loss of life, the breakdown of our core as a country, the protests, rioting and vandalism?
For me, the reasonable starting point is to be still, to not react without knowledge, and to pause…to listen…to learn. I’m focusing on reading a lot of articles from those who are leaders in this area. I’m watching and listening as voices rise up. I believe that when the time is right, sometimes we need to speak out, and I have. Some of it has gone okay, and some of it has gone not so okay. (If any of you have tried to share your thoughts or emotions on social media you know what I mean here!) Sometimes it stirs the pot so-to-speak, but I am not the type to sit silent. I am going to keep speaking out when I see injustice.
Here is how I am focusing; I hope these few tips help you find some sort of balance as you navigate this week’s challenges.
FIND A WAY TO CONTRIBUTE
Find ways to contribute in an area that might be helpful such as giving to an organization that supports social justice. You may not have much to offer, but thousands of people giving small amounts can make a huge difference!
BE A HELPER
Reach out in your community to families in need or to neighbors that could use your help. There was a report of a woman who did not own a car and had no way to get food at her local grocery store because it was closed down due to protests and rioting. Stand back and take a look at your community through a different lens so you don’t miss opportunities to provide basic needs to the people around you.
PUT ON YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST
Don’t forget self care. Be kind to YOU! If we are not filled up ourselves, we will not have the ability to fill others up. Get some additional rest because we are all TIRED. When exhaustion sets in we cannot think properly, we have a hard time controlling out emotions, and we feel depleted. Find ways to refresh yourself with exercise, reading and watching positive things, getting outdoors, listening to music, and eating well! When you feel fresh, you can better help others find ways to refresh themselves.
TAP INTO YOUR SPIRITUAL BELIEFS
If you have any spiritual beliefs, now is the time to pull them out. One of mine is prayer. I’ve been spending a lot of extra time in that area. Let your spirit be refreshed as you tap into healing thoughts, restoration and your internal health.
None of these will make the problems of the world go away. Nor will they stop other catastrophes from coming. But, as we work to take hold of our own emotions, thoughts, and health, we will find a greater strength to face each hardship that life throws at us.