gratitude-a-thon day 988: things to do when the news is bleak

You could wear a suit of armor to protect yourself from the horrendous things going on in the world, but it isn’t going to help your soul.

A 12 year old girl live streams her suicide on Facebook. The United States elects a president who is more interested in Twitter than unifying our country (and that’s the nicest thing I can think of to say about him). The House is repealing the Affordable Care Act, which will make the lives of millions worse. Russia is invading. The middle East is a terrifying place. I could write for the rest of the day on what’s going wrong right now.

How does one hold onto sanity when there is devastation, and seriously bad shit going on all over the globe (and our own country is very much divided)? I mean besides breathing? How can we wake up and try to live in a positive vibe when the sky is basically falling?

Some suggestions:

  1. Light a candle. By yourself, take some time and light a candle and set out your hopes (some would call this praying, but you can call it anything you want to call it, just try it).
  2. Exercise is undeniably good for the old mood. Park farther away at the grocery store to get some cardio in, or throw a tantrum, just get yourself moving around.
  3. Think of the good in people and the times you have experienced kindness from others. Meditate on that shit.
  4. Do one thing that makes you feel like you’re fighting evil. Give a little money to a charity, better yet volunteer, speak up and let your voice be heard. And remember a little something is better than a little nothing.
  5. Talk to people who believe what you believe so that you do not feel alone. Extra credit if you can make each other laugh. Feeling alienated will break you. Connect.
  6. Read. Things that inform you, but also things that take you away to places that allow you to reset your mind.
  7. Start a gratitude journal. I know, I know, this is certainly not an original thought, but write even just one thing you’re grateful for everyday. Just one is good enough. It will take you all of two minutes. It will make you feel better.
  8. Put the political leaders who matter on your speed dial and let them know what you think.
  9. Let the younger people in your life know that you are available to talk about anything. Encourage them. Watch out for them.
  10. Let the sun fill your eyes for at least 10 minutes a day.
  11. Go see some art. People do incredible things, communicate a plethora of thoughts through painting and sculpture and photography and film. Let it nourish you and remind you of the goodness and light in creativity.
  12. Make your own art. Color, draw, take on painting, phone photography, collage. Making stuff is good for our insides.
  13. Play with a dog or a cat. They’re pure love. And love is always good.
  14. Stay informed, but not to the point that it causes you pain. Shut it down when you see that it’s taking over the wheel.
  15. Meditate on happy things. This is different from trying to clear your mind–the aim here is to fill it, but with memories and events that made you feel good.

I am finding this is a very difficult time to stay in the light. Do what you can to take care of yourself. We need you.


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