Many of us have ups and downs. We all encounter both good and bad things during the day. Sometimes it can be more of one than the other. This is completely normal. We’ve all dealt with mentally, physically, and emotionally draining things at some point in time or another. If you are someone who tends to struggle a little bit more with managing intense emotions, or you are someone who has just had a lot going on recently, than the past few months must have been twice as exhausting for you considering all of the devastating world events and natural disasters that have struck our world. It can be hard enough to manage your own ups and downs let alone the world’s ups and downs.
So how can you avoid being drained?
- Give yourself permission to feel. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we “shouldn’t be affected” or “it’s not okay to feel this way because”. The truth is that we are human. We feel. It’s okay to be affected.
- Understand the difference between being informed and being absorbed. Of course you want to know what is going on in the world, but do you really need to be watching the news and checking your social media feeds 24/7? It’s okay to take a break. Once you have learned what is going on, you are informed. If you continue to watch, read, and listen past that point, and you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, it’s time to take a break.
- Listen to yourself about offering help. If you are feeling compelled to help, see if there is something you can do within reason. Can you afford to donate X amount of dollars? Will you be able to take time away from your family? Figure something out that works for you without compromising yourself. On the other hand, if you don’t feel like you can or want to, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to say no. It doesn’t make you heartless. It just means that you have a lot on your plate already and adding more might not be realistic for you.
- Take care of yourself. Don’t stop doing the things you like to do or need to do for your health and sanity. Of course if you have been affected by a tragedy, it does make it more difficult. However, it also makes it all the more important. Even if it is only 5 minutes a day – take the time. You are worth it.
- Seek support. I know it can be hard to ask for help, but if you are finding that everyday functioning has become increasingly difficult, please reach out. It doesn’t have to be a therapist. It can be a friend or someone else you trust.
If you have taken only one thing from this article, I hope that it is to take care of yourself. You only have one body and one mind. You won’t go far if either of those are weakened or damaged. Do what you need to do for you.