I'm not sure if this is an appropriate time to be writing to you today, but in my heart, I feel that it is important to share these words of advice to potentially help you through any uncertainty you're going through. It is not often when I feel so inclined to write, the words nearly force themselves out of me and onto the page, so I without much hesitation, I pulled open my laptop and got to work. Also, I like tea-time Tuesday better than tea-time Thursday. So, happy Tuesday!
Times have been uncertain lately. Only a few weeks ago, I was able to see my family for the first time in months. I still have yet to see my grandparents. Even today, I went to the grocery store and to the dermatologist with a mask on my face, surrounded by many scared faces also covered by masks, and I still can hardly believe I'm living through a pandemic.
Then, this. Riots, inequality, discrimination, coming together and pulling apart. I will admit--I don't read the news often, not unless it has to do with something positive. As a psychology major and journalism minor, I am a strong believer in solution journalism and writing for psychology purposes such as wellness and mental health--I basically combine the two. I rarely dip my toes into things I don't want to hear or anything that isn't solution-based But over these few days, everything sort of slapped me in the face, and I've been shaken awake and forced me to read things I never had to read before. This is a good thing, but it is also a lot to take on at once.
I woke up today feeling sick. A clogged nose, sore throat, weakness--I knew it was allergies, as I have been dealing with them for a few days now. But, I never get allergies--not until this year. And today, they are much worse.
I also got my warts frozen off (the ones from Healing from physical pain, a personal essay are indeed still there, grr), and later, while still congested and weak, I got nausea and stomach pain in the middle of grocery shopping. My boyfriend and I hurried back and I laid on the bed for a long while, breathing deeply, praying for the stomach ache to go away and for my fingers to stop burning. Everything was weighing down on me, manifesting into physical pain. The pandemic, the riots, the uncertainty, my own personal situations.
I have been undergoing tons of stress surrounding Instagram, my blog, and my life path. This sounds silly and out of place, but it is a real challenge I have faced in my daily life. As a 20-year-old, uncertain of her purpose and lost in a sea of other creatives, it's difficult to know where to go from here. Am I doing the right thing? I've been asking myself. Or am I headed down the wrong path?
I don't experience physical pain often, but when I do, I take it as a sign to rest, release, surrender. Maybe it is not my place to say this, but I am feeling helpless in these uncertain times. I can use my voice, I can wear a mask, I can read and learn--and I'm doing all of these as best as I can. But the world is resting heavily on my heart, as though I am its savior, yet so small in comparison to it all. It makes me wonder if my blog, if my platform if my voice even matters at all. Of course, these are thoughts and doubts I must overcome on my own, through the power of my own words and through the power of surrendering.
I suppose this has all made me see just how small my problems are. I don't need to know where I'm headed, I don't need to have my account and blog in perfect, working order. I don't need to be on Instagram so much. All I can and will do is breathe, calm down, center myself, and s u r r e n d e r.
If you are reading this today, I hope the following tips help you. There is so much uncertainty, so much fear, and while it is understandable, one can help but ask themselves, "When will it be... normal? And will it ever be?"
How to cope with uncertain times
Reconnecting with our breath is the best way to center ourselves. Breathe in deep to the count of four, hold for the count of four, and breathe out for the count of four. Do this 10 times, or until you are at ease.
Remaining tense and fearful may lead to heart problems as well as physical issues such as my own. In stressful times, our immune system weakens and we are more likely to catch illnesses. Reconnect with your breath, your spirit, and release your stress as much as possible.
2. Trust that all will be well
It is alright if you don't agree with this one. But keeping an optimistic mindset about it all will help guide you forward through the chaos. Trust that, in the end, all will be well, and not only will you be okay, but you will be stronger, more enlightened, and a human who survived through unimaginable times.
3. Be there for people around you, and ask for support
People need you now more than ever right now. Reach out to others and check in on them, and don't be afraid to ask for support as well. Send out your love and light to those who need it, and receive some love of your own.
Rather than fear, learn--it is difficult to be afraid of something we understand. Today, I will be challenging myself to read and learn about things I haven't touched on before. I will finally be picking up A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, and may even pick up another if I have time today.
Don't consume social media necessarily, either--find other ways to inform yourself on what's really going on, so that way we're all not standing at a crossroads yelling in fear.
5. Log off
Don't be afraid to log off for a while. Turn off your phone, and look outside. Be present with where you are, and how you feel. If it's making your heart heavy, be kind to yourself, and step away for a bit.
This is a lot for us to handle. 2020 has been a rollercoaster, for sure. If you need to log off today, or tomorrow, or for a while, do so.
6. Move your body
After I write this, I'm going to move my body. We all know that exercise is a great way to burn off frustration and unease, as it releases endorphins and boosts dopamine, but it may also help to center yourself with your body. Come back to yourself and move in a way your body craves. Get out of your head, and let your bones and muscles do their thing.
Regardless of what's going on, there is so much to be grateful for. Your food on the table, your pet curled up beside you, a warm cup of tea, the carpet between your toes--anything! Try to find three-five things that you are grateful for, right now, at this very moment. I can assure you they are there.
It was certainly difficult to write this, and I hope I haven't offended anyone with my words. I do hope, sincerely and truthfully, that you find comfort and ease in this post.
If, like me, you feel emotionally and physically down, use today, #blackouttuesday, to be with yourself and your health. Listen to your body, find what feels good, and possibly reach out to those around you.
Also, I am feeling much better, but have decided to use today to listen to my body and rest. My heart needs it, and so does my mind, not just my body.
And don't forget that in the end, we are all connected. We are one with spirit, created in the eye of our creator. I pray that we overcome this and find balance.