Prioritizing Self-Care in Times of Chaos

Wifey’s & Gentlemen,

It’s no secret that for many of us, 2021 has been off to a rough start. No matter where you are in the world, living in the middle of an unpredictable pandemic is difficult. On top of that, many of us are struggling with money, stressed about work and family, missing the simplicity of social interaction, and (if you live in the U.S) wondering what’s going to happen when we transition from one president to the next.

For the first time in a long time, many of us are experiencing depression and anxiety first-hand. There is no where to run from it. Nowhere to hide it away. We are being forced to confront fear and trauma in ways we didn’t need to before. We are worried about ourselves as much as our loved ones. It feels like there are more questions than answers.

I certainly don’t have many answers. In fact, I can say with unwavering certainty that my emotional stability has been pushed to the brink on more than one occasion.

Still, I’ve learned that a big part of healing is recognizing the things we have zero control over and working to let them go. Instead, we can focus on regaining agency over the parts of our lives that we truly can control.

Today, I wanted to put together a quick list of tips that I have used to help me manage some of my anxiety and depression during these tough times. Of course, not everything will work for everyone and sometimes our thoughts and feelings are just too big to try to manage in these simplified ways. However, if you’re looking for a place to start, these strategies have really helped me when I was feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or stuck inside of my negative thoughts.

Stop Watching/Following the News.

I am the first to admit that one of my anxious behaviors is research. If I am worried about something, I try to find and read as much information as I can to better understand it. It makes me feel like I can conquer it if I know it inside and out. Sometimes, it helps to calm my fear but MOST of the time, it backfires. The more information I consume, the more worried I become. I believe the same is true for the news. It’s great to be informed and I’m not saying you should cut it off entirely, but if awareness is beginning to make you paranoid or causing feelings of hopelessness, shut it down and walk away.

It will be there whenever you’re ready.

Get Off of Social Media.

This goes along with my previous tip about the news. Nowadays, many of us get our news from Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter! Moreover, when someone posts something political or controversial, they become privy to a host of various commentary and opinions from others. Sure, it can be comforting to see positive and supportive comments from your peers…but what about the trolls? What about the people whose view point is dramatically different than your own? Take a break from these platforms sometimes. I PROMISE that 8 times out of 10, they aren’t doing anything to boost your self-esteem or assuage your fears.

It will all be there when you’re ready.

Get Sleep.

You need sleep. Sleep restores your body and helps to clear your mind. If depression and anxiety are stealing your sleep or you’ve noticed that it’s been days since you’ve felt truly rested, it might be time to reach for some assistance. Sleeping pills, melatonin, meditation, yoga, and chamomile tea are all great ways to help you catch up on some zzz’s if you are really struggling.

I personally have loved using the Calm App on my phone at night. If you’ve got the extra cash, I highly recommend trying it out! They’ve got meditations, bedtime stories, soundscapes, and other audio tracks to help you relax and sleep.

Burn Energy Physically

Getting active is a great way to calm feelings of anxiety and can also go a long way in helping you get better sleep. You don’t have to do a heart pumping workout to get the job done! Take a walk outside, have sexy time with your partner, turn on your favorite music and dance around your house, or have some play time with your kids/pets!

Try to Connect to Things/People that Heal You.

If you’re alone during this time, please be sure to reach out to friends and family as often as you can (the ones that make you feel good, of course). If you don’t have anyone to speak to, connect with the things that make you smile. Get lost in a book, movie, or TV show. Cook a beautiful meal. Drink a glass of fancy/expensive whiskey. Write in a journal. Do anything that makes you feel more like yourself/more human.

Allow Yourself to Disengage.

Have you ever just sat in silence for an extended period of time? No phone. No TV. No Music. Just silence? In times of chaos and stress, sometimes the best solution is to do nothing at all. Stop talking about life and current events for awhile. Stop engaging with people. Stop distracting and “doing” and instead sit and breathe. Total disconnection can sometimes be the key to recharging your soul.

*Note: if you feel like disengaging is beginning to take over your ability to function or do other, necessary tasks, it might be a sign that it’s time to ask for help.

Allow Yourself to Feel.

Remember that the tips on this list are NOT meant to be used to numb your feelings. In fact, part of why I created this list is so I could stop distracting myself from my real feelings and give myself space to have them without judgement. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be sad. Allow yourself the time and space to have those feelings without distractions, doom scrolling, or any added “noise”.

Ask for Help.

If all else fails, ask for help. Whether you need some love and affection from the people in your household, time to talk with a friend, or more professional intervention; if things begin to feel like they are too much to handle alone, please consider asking for outside help. Many times, we think that we should be able to handle ourselves and fight our battles alone. This is definitely not the case, especially in times like these. If you’re on the fence about therapy or considering joining an online support community, now could be the perfect time.

Alright, fam! Is there anything I missed? Again, I know I don’t have all of the answers and you’ve probably heard these things a million times before, but I’ve been having a pretty rough week and being able to connect with you guys is one of my restorative tools! It makes me happy to share what works for me and I hope it can work for you too!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other tips/tricks that have helped you through this time. My husband and I are thinking of trying out some pre-packaged date night ideas in the coming weeks as a means of healing and connecting! Would ya’ll be interested in a review? Let me know ;-).

I love you all and if no one has told you today: you’re important, you matter, and you are so so loved.

Until Next time,

Carry on wifeys & gents!


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