This week was a lot.
There were a lot of dates and information in the media this week. We have been made aware of annual dates of awareness and remembrance, possible changes in the legislation that could lead to devastating results, and really tough days to navigate. My hope in highlighting some of them that it will bring awareness to a lot of what has been on each of our minds this week and what you can do to help cope with the overload.
Mental Health Awareness
It started off with the beginning of Mental Health Awareness month in the US, and Mental Health Awareness week in the US. A great campaign to bring forward the importance of taking care of our thoughts and emotions.
Then the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S). A day established because of Hanna Harris, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, who went missing on July 4, 2013 and was found dead three days later by volunteers. May 5 was chosen by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) as it was Hanna Harris’ birthday.
Roe v. Wade
And we can’t forget the devastating news coming from the US Supreme Court appearing poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, the legal case establishing the right to an abortion, resulting in a cascade of proposed restrictive abortion legislation.
And today is Mother’s Day in Canada. A day that can feel so great for those with mothers or who are mothers.
Mother’s day can be a source of great pain and difficulty however for:
- Those who are longing to be moms
- Those whose babies died during gestation
- Those whose children have died
- Those who do not have access to their children
- Those who have strained relationships with their moms
- Those who have strained relationships with their children
- Those whose moms have died
Ongoing worldly concerns
All of this is of course on top of the ongoing wars and access restrictions, the ongoing discovery and count of unmarked graves at former Residential School sites, ongoing issues with access to clean drinking water on Indigenous lands, discrimination, inflation, a housing crisis, gas prices and oh yeah – the pandemic.
How to cope
It’s A LOT! Maybe even more than you feel you are able to manage at the moment.
So what can you do to cope?
Here are my top encouragements:
- Take a break from social media and news outlets. This can be incredibly helpful in the moment. Pausing your access to current events and information can reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed. Take as much time as you can (a day, a few days, a week, whatever works for you).
- Do whatever it is that soothes you. Self-care, self-care, self-care here folks! A bath, a walk outside, knitting/crochetting/quilting etc, arts and crafts, puzzles, a massage… the options are endless, and the benefits are tremendous.
- Connect with your supports. You are not meant to live this life alone, or to manage everything by yourself. Connect with those who make you feel good and who can support your need for a pause from current events.
- Reflect on where you live and focus on what impacts you directly (for now). It can be really helpful and important to reflect on where you live when hearing everything that is going on in the news. With modern technology it can feel like current events are happening directly to you when they aren’t. You can ask yourself: Where in the world am I right now? Is that happening in this country/city/etc right now? What do I need to do to stay safe?
- Create change or give back. Feel called to change what is happening around you or in the world? Take that motivation to make change and impact the lives of others for the better! Find places to volunteer, donate, or create a change you see is needed.
- Have fun! You’ve heard me say this before – having fun is the easiest and quickest way to fill our cup of capabilities and resilience. It’s important that you have fun to fill your cup so that you can continue to make a difference in your life.
If you are struggling at all with what is going on in the world, I hope this helps. And for those experiencing any difficulty with Mother’s Day, may you feel supported and connected as you navigate the day as best as you can.
Let’s stay connected!
If this is something that you are struggling with, and would like to work on it with a counsellor, visit the Contact Me link on my website to schedule an appointment today.
If you want more information, skills and support with your mental health, make sure to sign up for my email list to hear about my upcoming online Course in Mental Health!
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photo cred: Road Trip with Raj