You may have guessed it from my last post, but I have been going through a huge rough patch lately. But then again, it’s 2020 so I think it is safe to say that most of us are having a rough time right now. Between this pandemic and all that has been going on politically in America, these last few months have been a rollercoaster to say the least.
I have found that I have really good days where I feel lifted, motivated, passionate and I know that everything works out for the good. And other days, I wake up hating everything and I start to cry before I even make it out of bed. I can’t say that I’m fully on the other side of this yet, but I’ve been working hard to get there.
When I finally got sick of feeling horrible all the time, I knew I had to look within to find my peace. So I asked myself:
How can I maintain my peace while still pursuing justice and remaining aware to the problems that need solving in our society?
I’m not sure that I have the complete answer just yet, but I want to share with you what I’ve been doing to get me in the right direction.
I knew the first thing that I had to do was give myself a break. For me, that meant taking a break from social media, especially Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram and I’ve been finding lately that it can be a great source of important information. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
In the past, I’d spend five minutes on Instagram and within that time I’d go from being in a decent mood to a gut-wrenching tear fest that would last me for days. I’d see images and hear stories that disgusted me so much that I couldn’t think of anything else. On one such occasion, I ended up having a panic attack at work and had to leave early.
When I first started my social media cleanse, I only allowed myself an hour of social media a day. And during that time, I never went over 45 minutes. Now, I’ve pushed my limit to only 30 minutes a day, and so far, it’s been wonderful and surprisingly very easy to stick to.
This time limit allows me to use social media how I want to use it, and not let myself spiral out of control. I use it now to check out new information on what brands/companies to support and which ones not to. I sign petitions my friends have posted, send emails, and donate to various organizations. And of course, save memes and funny videos because honestly, that is a huge part of how I stay sane.
My use of social media has become more focused so that I am now able to control how I feel when using it. By thinking of myself first, I feel so much more beneficial to the causes I am helping because I am able to come from a place of strength, not fear.
That leads me to my next topic, take care of yourself first. I don’t mean this in the “self-care” face mask and watch a movie sense, although that is very important too. What I mean is take care of your own life first.
Take care of your own trauma and the pain that you’re ignoring. Examine your own life and see where you can make changes for the betterment of humanity.
This is not to say that you can’t be a benefit to a movement or cause if you’re working through your own trauma! That’s not what I’m saying. There is plenty of great work that you can do while you’re still working through your own stuff. But know that everything you touch will be even more blessed when you are at peace with yourself.
Change starts from within, in the darkness where no one else can see it. And once the change has become so big and strong that it can no longer be held beneath the surface, it breaks through and becomes beneficial to all who come across it. So don’t ignore the change within.
I’ve had to deal with a lot of old issues in the past few months and it has been extremely difficult. When you open up old wounds, sometimes the pain is so great it feels like you’ll never find peace. But I have discovered that even though it has been painful, the clarity that I have found on the other side of it has made it all worth it.
Another ritual that I have taken up is waking up each day and giving thanks. I sit on my bed and before the thoughts of the day can rush in and grab my attention, I give thanks. Every day there is something new to give thanks for. Most of the time, I just give thanks for whatever comes across my mind. I give thanks for my room, my house, the food I have, my legs, my eyesight, my hair, my skin, my body, my friends, my parents, my school, my job, my health, whatever! I guarantee that if you do this consistently, (no matter how silly it may feel at first) you will feel happier and more lifted.
The last piece of advice I’ll give you is to take a moment before you go to bed for stillness. When I say stillness, I mean stillness of the mind. Allow yourself a moment to detox from the constant running of thoughts. This could mean doing some stretching, listening to calming music, writing, reading, or just plain sitting in silence if that suits you.
Lately I’ve been listening to this video while I write/read. It’s been incredibly therapeutic, let me tell you. I have zero problems falling asleep when I do this for an hour so before I go to bed and I wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to go.
Doing this also helps me to gain a new perspective on the day and what kinds of things I want to bring with me into the next day, versus what I want to leave behind. My quality of life has improved drastically with this one change.
If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that we have a lot to work on. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and saddened by it all. But we can’t create lasting change without letting go first. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and the more we better ourselves, the stronger we all become. Clear-headed, joyful, and focused people who are determined to create a better world will get a lot of good sh*t done.
As always, stay fabulous.