This is a season of a lot of emotions. A global pandemic, presidential election year for us in the U.S., racial tensions and injustice happening… Raising kids has never been easy but this year has added a whole level of complexity for us parents.
I hope and truly believe that we will come out better, not just by listening with our ears, but with an open and compassionate heart during this time.
What am I doing to continue focusing on keeping my heart open and compassionate? To not become overwhelmed with bitter and angry feelings? I’m definitely not perfect at this but decided to write down a list of ideas that will hopefully help me as we’re heading into increased tension this fall.
I’m sharing it with you in case you find it helpful too.
Okay.... My 10 Ideas:
1. Educate yourself with news sources that dedicate themselves to reporting as objectively as possible. Avoid news stations that tend to have a partisan slant. My go-to news source is NPR or OPB.
2. Stop using or drastically limit facebook. If you like connecting with certain groups on facebook (like me), visit those directly without scrolling the newsfeed. Because you know you’ll see that post from that one person, riddled with misinformation and inflammatory statements which will make it really difficult to sleep or keep your calm…
3. Take workshops, read books and listen to people directly to better understand their feelings and perspectives.
4. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling. When your feelings are strong and negative, ask yourself what it is that’s making you feel this way? While some of these feelings are necessary and/or unavoidable, you at times do have control over what causes these feelings. Can you limit the amount of news you’re watching? Need to minimize the flow of information coming at you? Take a break from social media? Maybe limit your interactions with certain people? Plan your schedule in such a way to leave space for extra self care or activities that give you joy?
5. Find ways to get involved by making a difference. Is there a way to turn your angry feelings about an injustice into something positive? What can you do to make a positive impact on those issues you care about? Which specific actions would leave the world a better place?
6. When you feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty of a particular situation, are there any aspects you do have control over?
7. Make a list of activities you can do when you need to take a break. For example: go outside, listen to a favorite song, call a friend, etc.
8. Make time for creativity. Don’t put expectations on yourself for the outcome but do it for yourself, for the process. I tell you, art heals. So does making music, kneading bread, sculpting with clay… work with your hands to heal your heart.
9. Breathe… yes, sometimes I forget so I figure it’s probably a good idea to write it down
10. Don’t look too far into the future but focus on the now. What can you do today that will make tomorrow better for you, your family and others?
Do you feel the increased tension too? Do you have any ideas to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Thanks for following my journey!