It seems like it never ends, doesn’t it? The news of the past few weeks (honestly, the whole year so far) has been enough to keep our blood boiling. It is exhausting, and I know so many of us are fed up and angry. It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in the air and retreat from everyone and everything.
As a person who suffers from anxiety and Seasonal Affective Disorder, I can never get used to the buffeting of the world storms. And having lived through some pretty horrendous times (Gen X-er here) it feels like it never ends. Yet the world keeps going, right?
I do have a few tried and true methods of dealing with life when it feels like this, which I will share with you here. None of this takes the place of medication and therapy, instead, they are a few simple things you can do to get through your day. As always, I hope it helps, and provides a springboard for your own unique ways of coping.
Make a choice each day: My mind can go down some negative self-talk spirals in a heartbeat. So I have made a habit of slowly steering that tugboat (which is what it feels like to me) to head towards calmer and healthier waters. I begin with making a choice to feel better and a bit less crazed, and then to follow up, I do some sort of action. It can be feeding the birds, making the bed, checking in with a friend or watering the plants. For me, it helps my mind focus on something outside of myself. Whatever form it takes for you, do one thing. It helps.
Stay hydrated: This is something I say endlessly, and even I forget, but a glass of water is a pause and a chance to do something good for our bodies. It takes minimal effort, as I can be tremendously lazy. It is always worth it to take a break and drink water. Get into the habit, and do this for yourself.
Turn the mundane into the magical: While my life is indeed magical on many occasions, some days the mundane wears me down. To cope, I turn simple actions into magical ones. It usually involves magic in the kitchen, whether it is stirring a magical number of times (multiples of 3 are my preference), spending some time at my kitchen altar, or preparing food with intention. Today, I went outside and foraged dandelion greens, and it immediately helped. Maybe for you it is doing spell work, gardening, being out in nature. Remind yourself of the magical world in any way that you can, in whatever way works for you.
Read: There are soooo many magical books out there. Pick a few favorites to have at the ready, pick up a chapter and read. Getting lost in someone else’s words helps redirect my mind and mood, and I am transported. If reading is not your thing, find your RPG, a movie or whatever form of entertainment you can lose yourself in. Take a break and do so, or schedule some time.
Take a break from the news: It is relentless. So take a break for a while. The world will not spin off its axis if you don’t know what is happening every moment. The media counts on you being fear-based, so get out of that headspace. Take a walk, buy a plant, spend time with family or friends, but ignore the news until you feel better able to handle it. Respect your time, and use this break for however long it takes.
Breathe: I am guilty of not breathing too well at all. So I make it a point to stop and take a few deep breaths (let this sentence serve as your reminder). I also do this quick tension release: scrunch your shoulders all the way up to your ears, hold for a few seconds, and release. Ahhhh. Do it a few times, until you feel a bit more relaxed. It really helps.
Take a shower or a bath: Let the water be a magical space, and let your tensions and worries wash away. Visualize it all going down the drain. Follow that up with a glass of water and one of your favorite activities. It keeps the world at bay, and you are actively working to move that energy through your body. If you don’t have the time, do this with washing your hands, always a good thing, especially nowadays. Consider that a mini version of your water spell work.
Boundaries: If you are surrounded by people who complain all the time, you will not feel better, it’s that simple. If you can’t get away from it because it’s a work situation, do whatever it takes to spend time away, whether it’s a bathroom break, putting headphones on, or taking short walks. And think about changing jobs if at all possible. Always make time for yourself away from people affect you negatively. Make that a priority. You can’t change the world all by yourself, but you can change who and what you surround yourself with, whether it be media, co-workers, friends or family. Include social media in this mix, and be discerning about who you follow most. You can unfollow, block, unfriend or just take social media breaks.
Look forward: I enjoy each turn of the Wheel of the Year, but when I feel overwhelmed, it helps me to think about the next celebration. It’s a brief dip into my magical world, and is mostly a mental playground. Find something on your calendar that you can look forward to, or make plans. Take a brief mental vacation from the world at large, and focus on what makes you happy.
This is my standard mental checklist that I go through, so feel free to adopt it for yourself, or begin your own. I will say it again: action helps you feel better, no matter how small an action it is. It all helps. Also, celebrate the love in your life, whatever form that takes. I hope we can all find ways to feel better in the coming days. So mote it be.