Anger & Heartbreak
It's been an emotional week around the world and especially in America, as many of us cope with the anger and grief of yet another police killing of an unarmed black man. The truth is that America is not the only place where racism, bigotry and prejudice lives; unfortunately it is everywhere.
As we collectively grieve and speak out against the racism and injustice around us, it's important to also make sure we are listening to our own bodies and pausing to take care of ourselves.
If you are feeling overwhelmed right now, here are a few ways to cope with everything that's going on:
1. Eat, sleep, and move.
Often when we are caught up in stressful things going on in our lives and when you're in the thick of it all, you may not even realize it and sometimes forget to take care of yourself.
Remembering to eat and hydrate is where you start. Prioritize getting enough sleep to make sure your body and soul have the time to recoup and recharge. Movement will also support your mental health, keep your energy levels high, and help you stay focused in your body.
2. Honor your emotions.
Don't bottle it up. Whether it's anger, sadness, fear, or exhaustion, know that you have every right to feel the way you feel. Carve out time for yourself to sit and acknowledge the emotions that are coming up for you. It can help to talk with a trusted friend or therapist to air out and process what you're feeling. Journaling can also help you move through the feelings and stay relaxed.
3. Come back to your breath.
Your breath is a powerful tool for grounding yourself and releasing anxiety. When you pause to breathe, you're deactivating your brain's fear centers and moving back to the calmer, more rational part of your brain. With just a few minutes of intentional breathing, you can bring your heart rate down and ease your stress levels significantly. It won't make all your emotions go away, but it can help you not feel overwhelmed and immobilized by them.
4. Connect with people who get it.
You don't need to fight every troll or heartless commenter on social media. Protect your peace. Make sure you are spending time connecting with people who are going through the same feelings you are, who are as alarmed and heartbroken as you. Let love lift each of us up and make space to grieve. Connecting with your people will remind you that you're not alone in this.
5. Take breaks from news consumption.
While it's important to stay informed and bear witness to what's happening right now, it's also important to give your heart and mind breaks. If you are finding yourself glued to news and social media feeds for hours on end, recognize that you may be consuming more than you can mentally handle, which is not actually helping you or anyone else.
I have been in and out of anger and heartbreak not only during this past week but for as long as I can remember. I just can't come to understand all the hate some people have in their hearts. I obviously don't have the answers to all the many questions but I do know that by being compassionate to your fellow human is a great place to start.
I want to leave you with this important message;
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.