The change that we need in our country is not going to happen overnight. If we are committed to change, we must be prepared to fight long and hard.
Like so many others, I have been feeling huge waves of emotion since May 25, 2020, the day we witnessed George Floyd being murdered by Derek Chauvin. I have found myself glued to the television and internet, constantly reading and taking in images of the uprising triggered by the events of Derek Chauvin. Sometimes, quite honestly, I feel overwhelmed by all of it. I lay in bed wide awake at night wondering if it will ever get better, am I doing enough to support change, what else I can be doing, and what everyone else is doing. Throughout the day, I find my mind wandering back to what I saw on May 25, 2020, and begin to wonder again what else I can do to make a difference. This is a recipe for disaster. Mental strength, which is the key to long term advocacy, cannot exist under those conditions. As a result, I have decided to implement some mandatory self-care practices so that I will not completely burn out.
Here are a 5 things I do to manage my stress and anxiety:
Sometimes I feel like my mind is all over the place as I try to process everything going on around me and figure out how I am going to contribute. Trying to productive at times like this is a complete waste of time for me. I find that this is a wonderful time for me to throw on my running shoes and head outside for my power walk. During these times, I try desperately to completely unplug by either listening to music, catching up on my favorite podcasts or just being quiet.
Turn The Television Off
Frequently we tend to leave the television on simply to have some noise in the background as we carry on with our daily routines. When you find yourself doing this, turn it off. Silence is a wonderful way to declutter your mind. I am so much more productive when there is complete silence in my home. It allows me the opportunity to process my own thoughts without distractions.
No Social Media Sunday
I will admit this one is more difficult than regular exercise is for me. The weird thing is when I force myself to take these breaks, I feel so much better because it allows me the time I need to focus on the many other things that need my attention. The trick for me is logging out of my accounts. I am just not disciplined enough to not take a quick peek if it is so easily accessible. And, if you are anything like me, a quick peak can quickly turn into 30 minutes.
Find something that makes you have one of those deep down, cry, almost pee on yourself laughs! I always feel so much better after a really good laugh. My go to when I need a laugh is TikTok. But if you really need laughter therapy here are 2 comedy shows to check out.
Turn The Volume Up and Dance
Dance! Dance! Dance! There is nothing like walking away from the chaos, turning the volume up and just dancing. 15-20 minutes acting like you are Beyonce’ will go a long way in helping you to set the reset button.
What do you do to manage stress and anxiety?