It’s Ok To Not Be Ok
So, the world has always been crazy. There’s always been something that took up the news headlines or that came up in every conversation. But lately, it’s been feeling extra overwhelming.
First, COVID-19. Then, Black Lives Matter. All of this happening in a political environment that can be difficult to watch unfold. And all of these things are still happening. More updates on vaccines and the number of cases being reported and treated. More deaths of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are being made known to the public. And press conferences from political figures that leave many of us with more questions than answers.
What are we to do with all of this? I ask this question sincerely. I too am often lost at how to cope with what is happening in our world. And is this how previous generations felt during historical events that brought to the forefront all the issues that were either swept under the rug or avoided in conversations? Or has the news and social media intensified the impact because every emotion and opinion can be felt tenfold as we scroll our phones?
I truly wish I had the answers for you. And I know I’m not the only therapist who feels this way. We are oftentimes the ones many people turn to during times of uncertainty. Sometimes we have the answers, sometimes we don’t. I do not hesitate to admit I too am uncertain. I do wish I had the answers.
What I can provide is a toolkit for how to cope right now. If you incorporate these in your daily life, there’s a possibility that you’ll make it through this hard time without sacrificing your mental health and self-growth.
- Curiosity: Ask questions, read up, watch documentaries. Be aware of pre-existing opinions or beliefs and keep them separate when engaging with new information. There is so much out there that has the ability to expand our knowledge and also our connection to humankind. Why not take this opportunity?
- Self-Care: Take your time! None of this will change overnight if it’s truly being done right. So, give yourself a little bit of a break if you don’t feel like you’re adjusting immediately or learning “enough”. Also, take a break from the news and/or social media if it begins to feel like too much. There is so much out there that is easy to get sucked into, but sometimes the wisest thing to do is to step back for a little while and engage in the simple things that bring you some peace.
- Support: Whether it’s family, friends, or anyone else who is trustworthy, talk to them! It’s quite possible that they too are struggling as much as you. Engage in curiosity with them, but also seek empathy and validation from them.
I commend you for sticking through all of this. There will be many moments where you’ll feel weighed down by the heaviness of it all. Take a moment, use these tools, and keep moving forward. During these times, we all have a voice, a heart, and a mind. Let’s learn to use these by either taking an active role, sitting back and openly listening, or resting so we can properly heal and make a genuine change.