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5 Ways to Self-Care During Difficult Times

Melissa Brode

I have a confession to make: I despise checking the news. It seems like every time I turn on the TV or radio, or log on to social media, there is another act of violence, hate, or terror being reported, not only in our country, but around the entire world.

Sometimes, I wish I could just tune out the bad news and shield myself from it all, but let’s get real here. As difficult as these events are to witness, the hard truth is that we cannot avoid it. We cannot turn a blind eye and disregard the reality of the state of the world that we live in. We must do our best to stay informed and educated and continue to live our lives as normally as possible.  

With that being said, establishing or sticking to a regular self-care routine is so important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Here are five techniques to practice when the world feels like a tragic place:  

1. Connect with Community

Regardless of the turmoil going on around the world, there are still a lot of really good people out there (look at you, for example)! The power of community and being with like-minded people can restore our faith that the world is still a beautiful place. Take the time to connect with friends or reconnect with an old friend. Focus your conversations on positive topics and be grateful for your relationships. Volunteering or practicing random acts of kindness is another selfless way to bring joy and hope into not only the lives of others, but your own as well. Even the smallest gesture can create a positive effect. 

2. Journal/Reflect

Journaling is a great tool to not only let go of stress and tension, but also reflect on the positive aspects in your life. Make a gratitude and/or positive affirmation list. Write down all the things you are grateful for, big or small. Reflect back on the list whenever you need a pick-me-up. 

3. Get Creative

There is nothing better than unleashing your creative side! Whether it is through journaling, art, baking, music, etc., give yourself the freedom to express yourself creatively in a way that brings you joy! Maybe try a new recipe or take on a new hobby. Whatever it is, allow yourself the time to be fully engaged in the experience, and most importantly, have fun with it! 

4. Technology Detox

I think it is safe to say that technology is a primary source of news and information for most of us. It is common for all of us to get wrapped up in the media, and absorb the messages that we are presented with. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break from the information overload! Turn off your TV, log off social media, put your phone away. Even if it is only for an hour, spend some time unplugged and give your mind a break!

5. Relax/Process

There is no denying that we live in a fast-paced world. We get so focused on what is going on around us that it becomes easy to neglect what is going on in our personal lives. When was the last time you stopped to think “How am I doing today?” Set some time aside to just slow down, take a deep breath and be present. Spend some quality time alone with yourself, to check in and come back to reality with how you are doing in your own life. 

Taking the time to practice self-care, especially when the world seems so dark, will shed some light into your life and the lives of those around you. Try incorporating a few of these ideas into your life and notice how you feel.

Melissa Brode is a 26-year-old yoga teacher and marketing professional from metro Detroit. She’s a writer and photographer who loves helping others.