I’m not going to lie; these are hard times. But, I’m not going to dwell on the bad things. Because that gives the bad things the power to invade and ruin your mind, and the last thing anyone needs to do is succumb completely, so, that being said, I want to try to help however I can. That’s what this list is for, to try to help those people, like myself, who feel like the weight of the entire world is on their shoulders or even that this world is awful. I want people to see these tips and realize that yes, the world might suck, but there is still way more love than hate and it is 100 percent okay and actually necessary to take time out to work on yourself.

1. Take time for yourself.

In times of high stress like these recent ones, it’s vital that you take time for yourself to sit and reflect on what’s been happening. When the world feels too big and too much and too loud, you need to wrap yourself in three blankets, snuggle up with your favorite stuffed animals surrounded by snacks and put on something fun or comfortable for you to watch. Take this alone time to compartmentalize and process the world and its events, because you need to realize that you can’t help everyone or solve every problem and sometimes that is a really harsh reality for people to handle and that’s okay. Take some time just for you to relax and remember that everything, one way or another, will eventually be okay again.

2. Recognize the good in the world.

When you’re secluded in a completely dark room, and it feels like the walls are closing in on you, it seems damn near impossible to find any kind of light. That’s why you have to stumble your way around and find the light switch. You have to go out and seek stories and articles of the good things people and groups of people do to help everyone on this little blue dot. Here is a blog that shares purely positive things that happen in the world, so I recommend taking some time to browse through it because some of these stories will make you automatically smile.

3. Give back.

Staying up to date with events can show you that certain people and certain organizations are really struggling. If you’re enraged that some institute or another has been defunded or, I don’t know, some basic human right is being threatened, seek out these organizations, and if you can, donate. If you can’t donate because you’re in college and trying your best to make ends meet as is, then simply give back by doing one random act of kindness. Help someone with their groceries, pay for someone’s meal behind you in the fast food line, love and accept everyone and I promise it’ll be a lot easier to live on this planet.

4. Appreciate what you have.

Things are changing and they’re changing fast and a lot of people are afraid. I know I am. And we’re all affected with what’s been happening lately, and it doesn’t need to mean personally affected it just means affected as human beings. No one can foresee what will happen. So hold the people and the things that you have close, love the people in your life and appreciate the little things, because there is no guarantee that you’ll have those things tomorrow.

5. Stay informed.

Even if it’s stress inducing, you need to also find time to keep in touch with recent events. Stay informed that way you can better handle the situations as best you can. Stay informed to be able to talk to people about the news. Always make sure you’re news sources are reliable and credible. Avoid biased cites. Most importantly: do not let the media or the government try to force feed you their lies. Never accept alternative facts as the truth. Stay in school and stay informed, kids.

6. Surround yourself with people who love you.

You’re going to need to focus on the happy and loving aspects in the world, because in every story and throughout history, love will always win over hate. In order to embrace this idea on a larger spectrum, you’re going to have to surround yourself with love. Cut out the toxic people in your life. You don’t need any more negativity, especially in regards to your social life. Have fun with the people you’re around, laugh with them and let love overwhelm the fear or anger you feel. After all, love does trump hate.

7. Always remember that it is perfectly fine to disconnect or disassociate.

This has been my coping mechanism as of late. The media is chalk full of hate and anger and fear mongering, sometimes you need to take a break from it all for your own sake. Delete your facebook app for a week or two, don’t engage in news sites every day, make sure you limit yourself to only so much exposure every day or week or month. Disconnect from the negativity and remember to surround yourself with happiness and light. Because as the great Albus Dumbledore said: “Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”