We all need to take a deep breath and for a moment. Not in a manner of forgetfulness and ignorance at everything happening in our world, but for the sake of a few seconds to gather our thoughts and check-in. Are you stressed? Incredibly anxious about the unknown? Convinced that you'll be in this definitely not normal "new normal" for far longer than anticipated? Confused about what comes next? Hurting? Unable to take in all the information being flung your direction?
You aren't the only one.
There's a lot going on in the world right now and it appears we're just continuing to add to our pile of worry. A public health crisis, a deep need for racial justice, an upcoming election that is sure to only escalate the giant dumpster fire that is Facebook (no really, log off immediately), and a constant stream of unknowns. It's a lot. We'd be kidding ourselves if we believed that we could blissfully ignore the issues and have them solve themselves. Yet at the same time, we need to realize that the ins and outs of daily life are still happening amidst the sci-fi scene playing out in front of us.
The "normal" struggles we face are still present and they still deserve our time, consideration, and care.
School is starting back up again, a time that many already find stressful. New year, new classes, and this year, new adjustments to learning. Teachers are getting ready to transition to a different model of education based on the state their school is in, with some virtual options, some in-person options, and some hybrid options. College freshmen aren't just packing laptop chargers and composition books — this year they've got to add masks, gloves, and a reliable thermometer to the back-to-school list. Sorority recruitment, another anxiety-inducing yearly activity, is of course still happening. Students are still moving into dorms.
Mental illness has not stopped to make way for other issues in our world — if anything, mental wellness is at an all-time low. The trauma that we are experiencing as a collective whole is making an impact, and now it's more important than ever to reach out and get the help that you need for your mental health. Talk to your friends, talk to your therapist, and find ways to find pockets of happiness no matter what is going on. Understand that your feelings are valid, even if they aren't making headlines. Your mental health is crucial for your overall wellbeing and you cannot stop prioritizing it.
It may feel like there's not a lot you can control right now — and in many ways, that's true — but taking the time to recognize small, simple, helpful things you can control may be the grounding you really need.
You can incorporate more veggies into your life. You can get some cardio in without even feeling like you're exercising. You can practice positive self-talk. You can read a body-positive book. You can watch an uplifting TV show. You can prance around in your birthday suit for a moment of pure, adrenaline-packed joy.
Your naked energy is strong and compelling. This is where the real magic happens. The real confidence booster.
And yes, you can delete social media if it's driving you insane. No, that doesn't mean you don't care. That means you're taking care of yourself so you can fight these battles for the long-haul. Your Instagram activity doesn't indicate how much of an activist you are.
Just because there are big, heavy things happening in the world doesn't mean it's not important to talk about the obstacles in your life. It doesn't matter if they aren't a global crisis — it does matter that it's impacting you. Now is not the time to bottle up hurt and save it for a rainy day. Instead, take the best care of yourself as you possibly can. That won't only make your days more enjoyable, but it'll keep you moving and grooving for the long-term, which is what all of us want for you.