I reached out to a friend this past week. I had a feeling this person was just not feeling right, and my hunch turned out to be accurate. They shared that they are tired… they are tired of seeing so much bad news and so much sadness.
I can’t help but agree. It’s heart wrenching. It kills me seeing images of babies separated from their families. It hurts watching environmental atrocities occur on a regular basis. It’s painful listening to my friends of color share experiences that are appalling and dehumanizing. It’s depressing reading Facebook interactions where name calling and character bashing are seen as normal.
I’m going to share with you the same thing I told my friend. It’s okay to check out for a few days and just breathe. Seriously. The world will keep on turning if you aren’t up to the minute on current events. We live in such a quick news cycle that it sometimes feels never ending- and I don’t say that negatively, it’s just our reality. You have to take care of your self- and if you’re feeling depleted by bad news, unplug.
It’s okay to stop reading the news at night- if I do, I find that my mind races and my heart pumps and I want to get up and do something. If this is you, as well- read the news in the morning. Let it fire you up and give you even more incentive to get the day started.
Follow people on social media who are fighting for what they believe in. They’ll inspire you and give you hope. YOU get to choose who you follow on social media- choose wisely. What you feed your mind is what your mind becomes.
As far as feeling like you can’t do enough, ponder this: if you consider yourself a candle, remember your light won’t be dimmed by lighting other candles. So keep on doing whatever thing you’re doing, big or small. Donate to causes you believe in. Talk to and engage with people and have intelligent conversation, and don’t stoop to name calling. Go to protests if that’s your style. Call your elected representatives. Be neighborly and kind to strangers, even the ones you don’t agree with. In every little thing you do, you’re spreading your light in some small way, and a bunch of candles together can brighten up the darkest room.
So let that light of yours shine, and breathe. Just breathe.