These are trying times. The state of the country and world is changing rapidly, and at times it can feel completely overwhelming. As someone who is already sensitive to this loud, busy world, this political climate may feel almost unbearable.
The good news is that from difficult times comes newfound strength and perseverance. I believe in the sensitive soul’s vision of a world of peace and compassion, of empathy over judgment, of love over hate. As sensitive souls, I believe that we can make this world a better place by becoming strong and empowered in our own way so that we can share our gifts of love and compassion with the world. Peace, like a ripple in a pond, has the ability to spread exponentially.
In order to stay strong over the coming days, weeks, months and even years, we need to hold on to our strength, clarity and compassion to empower ourselves so we do not falter. Here are my suggestions for how to take care of yourself during this difficult and unsettling time.
1. Continue and Strengthen Your Self Care Routine
You can’t help others if you do not help yourself first. It is the first rule of the helper/healer. If you deny yourself your care, you will burn out and not be able to serve anyone. If you did not have a great self-care routine before this time, it is time to start one.
Figure out what self-care means to you – for some it means taking a long bath, for others it means a nap, reading a good book, meditating or eating clean. Figure out what you need to feel well taken care of, and make sure you commit to it.
Create calm – with information overload, fear and worry, it is important to make sure to find ways to feel calm and at peace. Practice mediation, gentle/restorative yoga, guided relaxation or deep breathing. Make sure that you have a way to calm your mind when you are feeling rattled.
Move your body – when trying to feel calm doesn’t work, go into the body. Practice yoga, run, dance or move in a way that helps you connect with your body and focus less on your thoughts.
2. Be Informed but Not Obsessed
In an effort to be informed, it can be quite tempting to be connected to the news and social media all day long. This is not healthy. You will not be able to find any sense of wellbeing from being overcome by the news and other people’s opinions about it.
Take breaks from social media/news – you simply must take breaks. Decide how often you feel is appropriate to follow the news and try to stick to your set plan.
Don’t pick fights online – Reading too many comments and arguing with people online will likely serve no one. In an atmosphere already inundated with negativity it is better to not engage with someone who is not able to have a civil conversation. You may have to block or de-friend some people, and that is okay.
3. Cultivate and Spread Positive Energy
The world needs all the positive energy it can get right now. Energy is contagious and the more you spread positive energy, the more the world benefits.
Use your compassion, empathy and kindness to help the world – as a sensitive being, you are skilled at compassion and understanding the feelings of others. This is such an important skill that has been overlooked for too long. You can help so much by modeling with your compassionate, kind actions and words.
Honor all opinions – while it can be difficult to believe, there is always a reason (or many, many reasons) for each person to act and think like they do. Each person is made up of all their experiences, their genetics and their environment. No matter how absurd something may seem to your brain, if you had the brain and experiences of another person, you would be like them too. Don’t focus on your hatred of others; focus on your empathy, positivity and what you can do to help to positively influence others.
Hold yourself to a higher standard - don’t allow yourself to be brought down by the lack of consciousness of another being. Hold your head high, stand tall and trust yourself. Breathe in peace and clarity and breath out negativity, suffering and pain. Discuss your opinions in as a relaxed way as possible so you will be more likely to be heard.
4. Do Your Best, Be Yourself and Release the Guilt
As a sensitive person, you may have a tendency to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. But you did not create the problems in this world, and the burden of the whole world’s troubles is too much for your shoulders to bear. All you can ever do in life is your best and allow your best to be good enough.
Narrow your focus – there are so many issues to be interested in. So many, in fact, that it would literally be impossible to be totally engaged in all of them. Find one or two issues that you are passionate about and focus your energy there.
Help in your own way – What do you excel at? Maybe you want to make calls, write letters, participate in marches, donate money or write blogs about issues important to you. Maybe the best way for you to help is to stay strong so you can continue the great work in the community that you were already doing. You simply can’t do everything. Focus on helping in a way that is true to you and that will make the most impact.
Release the guilt – the never enough, perfectionist side of you might tell you that this is your problem to solve and that no matter what you do its not enough. This way of thinking will only diminish your positive energy and take away your vital strength and perseverance. Remind yourself, “I am doing the best I can and my best is enough.” Staying positive has the potential to help much more than feeling guilty and not good enough ever does.
5. Rest Well
You need to get enough rest in order to show up for yourself and your family as well as to do your part in the world. It is not helping anyone if you stay up until 3am watching the news and worrying. Getting good quality rest will leave you with the energy and strength you need to keep pushing forward. Go to bed early, and if you having trouble sleeping or just want to relax, try one of the techniques below.
Practice a body scan – in a slow, methodical way, you bring attention to each area of your body, one at a time. Start with your toes and then slowly move your relaxed attention upward, imagining each muscle getting totally relaxed as you bring your awareness to it. Once you reach the crown of your head the intention is to feel your whole body in a relaxed, peaceful state.
Left nostril breathing – the left nostril is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system (or the relaxation response) and will help you relax and fall asleep. Simply close the right nostril with your thumb and breathe through your left. You will quickly find your body and mind giving in to a more relaxed, easeful feeling.
Relax before bed – instead of watching TV or reading the news before bed, find time to journal, read a positive book, take a shower, mediate or stretch. Give your mind time to relax before hitting the pillow.