The past couple weeks have been pretty painful. I have spent many hours with my clients talking about the sorrow, anger and fear they are experiencing as a result of two major tragedies - the barely-there conviction of a very entitled rapist, and most recently the mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando, FL. As I try to help them process these dark and terrifying events, I am aware that there is only so much we can control in this world. In times like these, it is helpful to have tangible things we can do to stand up under the darkness. This is a list of 5 things you can do when the world starts feeling out of control.
- Be BOLD in the face of oppressive forces. It is healing to fight back (in non-violent ways) when bad things happen. Find a way that works for you (and doesn't further traumatize you), but don't let the evil forces of the world squash your beautiful light. It's okay to feel angry. Get involved. Post on social media. Talk to your friends and family members. Go to the club tonight and dance your heart out. Yell at the freaking T.V.! Because no. Killing our LGBT friends is NEVER OKAY. Raping people is NEVER OKAY. Shout it with me - IT IS NOT OKAY!!! THIS WILL NOT STOP US FROM LIVING OUR LIVES.
- Recognize the things that make you feel safe and do those things. What are the things that make you feel comforted and secure? What increases your sense of safety and stability? Who are the people who support you? Surround yourself with those things.
- Connect with others who are supportive. Get in touch with the people in your life who support you or who are experiencing similar emotions after these terrible events. Having a sense of community is incredibly therapeutic. We all need support. Whether that be from your family, friends, religious community, LGBT center, counselor (I'd love to be your support!), etc. Heart-to-heart connection is healing.
- Be. Kind. To. Yourself. In fact, be EXTRA kind to yourself. Say affirming statements to yourself. Remind yourself that the bad things that have happened to you are NOT your fault. That you deserve to be safe and healthy and happy. Do kind, soothing things for yourself. Take a bubble bath, cook a nice healthy meal, hug yourself, hug each other. And don't forget to use your calming breath.
- Limit screen time. These days social media is inundated with bad news, political arguments and all sorts of other negativity. Limiting your intake of facebook is not the same thing as sticking your head in the sand. It's called self-care. You are not limitless, you cannot take on the whole world alone. You will be much more able to DO SOMETHING if you have taken care of yourself.
Don't suffer alone! I offer counseling services online (residents of TX, NY, ID or outside of the U.S.). Send me a message if you would like a free 20 minute consultation.