How to cope with feeling overwhelmed when the world feels like a terrible place.
It’s been one of those weeks, am I right?
Infact - it’s been an overwhelming few months.
“We’re living in extraordinary times.”, or so they keep telling us.
With the murder of George Floyd, timelines flooding with images of violence towards black people, President Donald Trump being linked to Jeffrey Epstein and the ongoing threat of Covid-19, it feels like we really can’t catch a break.
There’s nothing extraordinary about any of this.
After spending the last week going through the motions, I wanted to write this list to hopefully help anyone else going through it and feeling the same way.
So buckle up for what I learnt this week on how to cope when the world feels like a truly terrible place.
1.) Take Breaks.
In our last blog post “powerful ways of coping with anxiety during lockdown” we mentioned the importance of turning off the news.
Ironically, I did the exact opposite of that this week.
I glued my eyeballs to my timeline, soaked in every drop of injustice, filled myself with anger and burned with contempt towards the world leaders that got us in this position in the first place.
In isolation, when these strong emotions and feelings have no real outlet they can build up until they manifest physically - like struggling to get to sleep at night or irritability towards those in your immediate vicinity. (Side note - Sorry Matt for snapping at you when you asked me to put the washing out, I didn’t mean it.)
Anger is a useful emotion that helps us get things done but in unlimited supply it can consume us, causing us to lash out and leaving us unable to communicate our point across efficiently.
Take some time to digest new information away from your device. If you can’t manage a full day, try half at first - I promise it will do you the world of good.
2.) Stop it in it’s tracks.
I have a terrible habit of letting my brain run away with itself.
Before I know it, I’ve lost 30 full minutes, I’ve finished all of my dinner but couldn’t tell you what I’ve just eaten - and in my mind, I’m midway through a hypothetical argument with someone that has an opposing opinion to mine.
Sound exhausting? You’re right, it is!
Feeling anger towards the current state of the world is robbing you of the simple pleasure of enjoying a nice meal.
This one is definitely not a quick fix and is more of a continuous process than a straight solution but half the power is knowing you’re doing it, so start practising!
When you feel like your mind is about to jump down a rabbit hole, try to pay close attention to your surroundings.
Use your 5 senses to ground you, let go of the story line in your mind and root yourself firmly in the present moment.
It’s very difficult to begin with but with practice it will feel easier and more natural. I recommend using meditation apps like Headspace if you need a bit of guidance.
3.) Do some good.
When you start to lose faith in the world, one of the best things you can do for yourself is let it motivate you to do some good. Whether that’s through donating money, sharing resources or uplifting others - partaking in acts of kindness can help to give you the joie de vivre that you’ve been missing.
Our pal Nerissa Pratt, founder of PR Company UNTLD Project set up the #longliveindiebiz giveaway campaign at the beginning of the UK Lockdown to raise funds for small businesses that were struggling after the closures of many markets & high streets. We loved this campaign because it truly shone a light on how generous people were when they knew others were in need.
We recently felt like we wanted to contribute towards a cause that we care about and have set up a raffle to win 2 of our new, yet to be released, candles Dora & Fleur Soul.
4.) Spend some time with loved ones.
You don’t have to go further than those you love for proof that humanity is not all lost.
Being authentically you and goofing around with someone you care about is probably the best thing that you can do for yourself when you feel like the world is in chaos.
It is so important, now more than ever, to cultivate that feeling of safety and ease in our homes and with our loved ones. We’re working on some collaborations at the moment and have a surplus of candles burning around the house which has been really lovely for those bright wet evenings for when you just want to play board games, cook dinner together or laugh hysterically at your fave show for an hour or 2.
Give yourself permission to feel safe and rest. The fight will always be there when you return.
5.) Rewire your brain.
In our newsletter, I started a segment called ‘The good news’. This addition to my regular writing was no accident - it is a very calculated segment that requires my brain to actively sit there and read heartwarming news stories for at least half an hour during my content planning.
Adding this regular writing is triggering my brain to start searching for the good, rather than dismissing it and letting the bad consume me.
We all have an implicit negative bias which is why we always remember that one piece of criticism someone gave us and let the many compliments fade into background. Sound familiar?
Now, I don’t expect you to send a newsletter to do this - but you can start keeping a journal. Tell yourself that if there’s anything you will commit to - it will be writing at least ONE good thing that happened to you each day.
It doesn’t have to be life changing - it could just be that the evening light looked pretty that day, but commit to writing something.
This will start to train your brain to actively seek out the good in your day to day life.
It’s been a real game changer for me.
Do you have anything that you could add to our list? Let us know in the comments below how you have been coping with the turbulence that 2020 is sending our way.
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