Updated: Nov 7, 2018
From environmental concerns to political unrest to women’s rights and the #MeToo movement, there are a lot of factors contributing to our worries on a daily basis. These external stressors may weight down on us subconsciously or consciously. On some level, however, it affects our energy, mental wellness and perception. It could even go so far as to influence our positivity and outlook on life.
How do we practically bring the control back to ourselves to thrive in this doom-and-gloom environment?
Journal down all the worries that you currently have all over a blank page. Take two different coloured crayons, circle or colour the worries that you have control over with one colour and those you don’t with the other colour. This is a visual representation of how many worries and concerns that are draining your energy. Pick one that you have control over and on a new page in your journal, write down what you can do to help alleviate that concern. Feel free to add a timeline to it.
How can we limit the drain from these external factors and continue a self-care lifestyle?
Limitation & expansion
Social media gets blamed for a lot of problems in our current society. Like anything, misuse is where the problem comes in. If you are subscribed to lots of YouTube channels that only feature news, odds are your recommendations for new content will also be more news. This promotes the law of attraction, more news about how bad it is in the world. It’s not often that newsfeeds share only positivity. The same goes for your social media tribes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Who are you following? How are these feeds bringing you down? Take a critical look at what you are surrounding yourself with. Is there a balance between uplifting content, new ideas and the reality of our current environment?
The best quote I’ve heard recently is to think globally, act locally. What better place to start than in your own home. Have an open conversation with your partner, your kids or your family and friends and ask them if any of these concerns are affecting them as well. Do remember that we are all entitled to our opinion and we are not advocating heated political debates unless that’s what works for you. We cannot control other people’s views or behaviours, so clearly stating that you want to discuss this or that topic just to raise more awareness and find out if they have had any insights into managing these external stressors. You might be surprised at the new stories you learn. This will also help us connect to those around us, together we can make a difference.
These type of external stressors are all outside of us. Which means we hear them and see them, then internalize the reaction to them. If you think about your body, these messages all enter into our heads in some way or another. By doing some grounding meditations, connecting in an active way to the earth will help to balance our minds. Actively ground by going pumpkin picking or planting tulips for next spring. Get down and as low as you can to the physical ground. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, plant a herb and vegetable garden, even if it’s just for the windowsill or pot in your apartment kitchen. Lay on the grass or jump into a pile of autumn leaves to relieve some stress. Lighten the weight and find pleasures in the simple things for a bit.
If you work in a physically demanding environment, binge-watch a show on Netflix. If you work behind a desk, go for a long walk. If your work in very spiritual in nature, do something physical and tangible like a craft of a home renovation project.
If you usually use your right hand to reach for things, use your left. If you have the same meals on a Friday, cook something completely different. If you usually eat a certain side with a meal, switch it up and try the most outrageous side you can think of! Even exchange the colours of vegetables when you go grocery shopping, if you always buy the green peppers, try the red.
You get the idea. By doing an opposite-to-what-we-normally-do self-care activity, we guide our mind to a different path, thereby creating moments of mindfulness. This also diminishes the overthinking and exhausting worries that we face on a day to day basis because our focus and energy are back to the here and now.
Yes, the world is in a weird and seemingly unstable spot right now, which means that our self-care cannot take a backseat. It is our responsibility to ourselves and the world at large to be calm, active in finding solutions and to contribute to a collective energy of restoring balance.
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