The news has not been friendly lately. It is hard to make sense of the chaos and confusion these days. Maybe things have become worse, maybe they haven’t, but one thing I do know is that we have much more exposure than we used to and it doesn’t seem to be doing us any good. More and more people feel overwhelmed, hopeless and helpless, frightened, and dismayed. In the age of media and digital exposure, I think we could all use an action plan—some way of surrounding ourselves with alternatives to counteract the foreboding sense we might have that we are not safe. And we may not be safe—I don’t have the answers for that. I do know that when I focus my energy on doing the following, I feel better and have more capacity. So, I’m passing the items along in hopes I can contribute to the well-being of us all.
7 Action Steps When the World Overwhelms…
- Get outside. Take a walk in nature. Look up at the trees. Notice the flowers, the shrubs, the birds. Feel the breeze. Notice your body. Find your breath. Focus here.
- Choose news stories that emphasize the compassionate side of humanity. Avoid the 24/7 news cycle, featuring drama, pain, and misdeeds. It’s not helpful and it only shows one side of the truth.
- Connect with someone you care about. Maybe you haven’t reached out to someone who you have been meaning to reach out to for some time. Or maybe you just miss a good friend. Talk about the contents of your heart. Share your worries, your fears. Get together. Know you are not alone.
- Watch children play. Listen to them as they use their imaginations to conjure up stories that are evidence of thoughtfulness, creativity, and humor, and love. Hear their hearts. They are pure goodness.
- Read stories, memoirs, and biographies of people who have shown great courage, generosity, strength and compassion. Surround yourself by the ideals that represent your best self.
- Act when you have opportunities to act. Contribute. Sign petitions. Donate money. Attend rallies and community meetings. Call your politicians. Talk to your children about actions they can take every day to contribute to a better society.
- Rest. Schedule joyful activities. Care for your heart. The best action comes from a solid foundation. Develop this for yourself. Build the scaffolding from which you can take a stand with boldness and certainty.