Remaining Mindful Throughout The Chaos
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
It is hard to remain calm when the world around us is on fire. 2020 has really put us through our paces and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So it comes as no surprise the emotion we’ve all been feeling recently is ‘fear’. Our level of anxiety is justified since we’re all experiencing constant, ongoing change in our daily lives.
Terrorism, racial injustice, climate fears, viruses and war are some of the things we’re seeing daily. For many of us we’re also questioning our leaders and their decisions and actions at this time. Engaging with all these issues can make us feel helpless, scared and angry. These are all natural responses to anyone connected to reality, but it can be exhausting so we end up ignoring the truth and hiding away. Then we experience the feeling of guilt and consequently spend hours reading about terrible news. We keep going back and forth like this with no real solution or relief.
But there are things we’re able to do that can make a difference to others as well as our own mental wellbeing. If you feel helpless but want to make a difference here are some ideas:
Acknowledge how you feel
It’s important to start by acknowledging how you’re really feeling. Be honest with yourself. Accepting how you feel is the key to moving forward, and understanding why is the first step to change. If you can, tell someone how you’re feeling too. Talk about it with your partner or friends or anyone you feel confident opening up to. The chances are they’ll feel the same, so share your emotions.
Be the change you want to see
The phrase ‘be the change you want to see’ has been mentioned a lot recently, but it really is true. If you want to see a world of kindness, peace and equality, practise this in everything you do. Smile to strangers, offer to help someone you don’t know, stick up for minorities... Just because you know you’re a good person, doesn’t mean other people do, and visa versa. We need to live by all the things we believe in, in order to be part of the solution rather than the problem. Mindset is important here too. If you’re thinking ‘why should I smile at my neighbour who doesn’t smile at me?’ For one it makes you feel good and also, you don’t know their personal situation or what they’re going through, so it’s always best to be kind. Being nice is easy, free and rewarding, full stop.
Have a difficult conversation
We’ve all been guilty of avoiding a topic of conversation for sake of ease. Nobody wants to have uncomfortable conversations for the fear of upsetting or offending loved ones. The reality is, if they’re someone close to you, then you can have these tough conversations without damaging your relationships. If they’re not close to you, you will literally lose nothing. Subjects like race and sexuality are often avoided but in times like these we need to talk. If you disagree with injustice of any minority group then talk about it with people. It’s our job to call people out on racist remarks. Even our friends. Let’s use our voices to help those whose voices are ignored! Here are some tips on being present in the moment.
Donate to a worthy cause
If you feel a bit helpless during this time but want to help, donate some money. There are so many foundations set up to raise money for people who need it. It takes a few minutes of your time and does make a difference. If you don’t know who to donate money to, Google it. Do some research into causes you feel passionate about. For instance there are lots of charities set up to help the recent BLM protesters from being imprisoned for fighting for their rights. You can donate money to help bail them out and pay for lawyers. No matter where we are in the world, we can help by giving some of our paycheck.
Join a community group
Find out what’s going on in your local community, and join in. There are great people doing great things everywhere, you just need to find them. If you want to help support your neighbourhood and get involved with local politics, consider attending some community events and meetings. Just do a quick Google of what’s going on in your area then turn up to the next one.
Give yourself a break
Trying to keep up to date with what’s happening by clocking up hours of social media and screen time isn’t good for our mental health. Remember to take a day off here and there, and allow yourself time to be still. We aren’t made to be able to process this level of human suffering.
Educate yourself and others
If you feel helpless then one of the easiest ways of combating this feeling is getting to know some facts. The more you know about a certain topic, the easier it becomes to understand other people’s emotions. The recent BLM protests have exemplified the importance of education in order to help others. Take time to read up on history and real life events then use this new knowledge to help the cause and educate other people.
If we sit back and wait for the unrest in the world to end, we’ll be waiting forever. We’ll be knackered, sad and even more angry. Let’s definitely start nurturing our own mental wellbeing if we really want to help others.
Get in touch if you want to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!