In the wake of tragedy, the world can feel like it's moving in slow motion, like everything is suddenly under water. Today is a profoundly hard day, and you're probably feeling so many things: sadness, rage, regret, fear, uncertainty, disappointment, anxiety, numbness. We're with you. We're feeling it too.
The good news is that when something awful happens, something completely out of your hands, you may not be able to change it, but you can absolutely control how you react to it. Today you could choose to collapse on the floor and renounce your faith in humanity—and we'd understand why. But there are also positive things you can do to heal.
One day soon we will have to worry about picking up the pieces, but today, we're all about self-care. Today, let's choose to replace our anxiety with calm and reclaim control of our own reality. Here are five simple ways you can do that.
A cup of tea, a walk in your favorite neighborhood, a playlist of songs you love, anything that's simple and brings you joy. Attempting a more silent, focus-based meditation might be too difficult today, so instead, soothe your anxiety by allowing yourself to take in the sensory experience of a small, positive activity.
I also highly recommend adding some aromatherapy to your day. (This always works surprisingly well for me.) Feeling hopeless? Surround yourself with citrus scents (like Sun Organic's Sweet Orange Essential Oil, $9), which are shown to boost happiness. Feeling anxious? Take comfort in a soothing scent like Majestic Pure's Lavender Essential Oil ($14).
Don't suffer through this by yourself. You might be tempted to stay under the covers all day, but you'll feel so much better if you pull yourself up and find a group of like-minded people to spend some time with. Invite a few friends over to watch a movie. Call your mom. Hug your dog. Feeling like you're not alone is one of the best things you can do to get through a dark day.
Give yourself a break by doing something to get out of your spinning mind and into your body. Go for 20-minute outdoor run for an endorphin boost. Take a yoga class to sweat out the bad juju. Or do something as simple as adding a healthy supplement to your coffee or smoothie. On a day like today, we're reaching for our "dopamine bean," a Mucuna Pruriens supplement that works to elevate your mood and soothe your nervous system.
The world may feel like it's crumbling, but the good news is that it actually isn't. Put yourself in a more positive headspace by recording a few affirmations or gratitude points. The simple act of writing down positive thoughts by hand will instantly shift your thinking. Here are a few ideas for affirmations to write down today:
- I am filled with strength and light.
- I let go of anger so I can see with clarity.
- I fill my day with hope.
- My thoughts are my reality, and today I will think up a bright new day.
- I am safe and sound.
This might seem contradictory seeing as we are the internet, but powering down from the overwhelming static of social media and the news can be so helpful. For a few days, a few hours, or even just a few minutes, put your phone on airplane mode and focus on something completed unrelated. Watch an episode of a bad TV show. Re-read the first few chapters of your favorite book. Cook something delicious.
Tomorrow we can worry about the revolution. Today, though, let's focus on healing.
Do you have any advice for how to heal during a sad time? Please let us know in the comments below.