It's a lot to process!
There is a lot going on in the world right now! COVID-19, floods, the war in Ukraine and climate change just to name a few.
It is normal to feel worried and helpless when our social media feeds are filled with images of crisis after crisis. Sitting with the unknown, comprehending the hurt and the pain going on around us, and not having any control over what is happening can be unsettling. It is important to not let fear rule your life and to focus on things that you can control.
Here are some more tips for managing your emotions when the world is going crazy around you:
1. Take a break from technology - create a guarded disconnect time where you can escape the bleakness online. Have protected time where you switch off from watching the news, reading articles and thinking about what is happening in the world.
2. Spend some time doing activities that make you happy and feel good.
3. Get active - physical activity is valuable in managing your mental wellbeing. Get up, move your body and experience the benefits of natural endorphins. Go outside for a nice walk, do a home-workout, or play basketball with some friends.
4. Practice mindfulness - another way to help regulate your emotions is practicing mindfulness. It helps your mind to recognise, accept, and understand the purpose of your emotions. Mindfulness also helps you control impulses, gives you clarity and improves awareness so that you can keep doing what matters.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness such as focussing on your breathing, listening to a meditation, setting your intention for the day, checking in with yourself, journaling and colouring in.
Here are some simple mindful exercises further explained:
Mindfulness breath - 1,2,3
- Feel your breath pass through your nose for a count of three.
- Fill your stomach with your breath.
- Breathe out through your mouth for a count of three. Repeat
Mindfulness comfort - 5 senses
- Sight: focus on looking at a calming and soothing scene.
- Hearing: listen to music or sounds that are reassuring, uplifting, and supporting.
- Smell: breathe in your favourite smells that remind you of safety and love.
- Taste: have your favourite meal or treat and eat it slowly.
- Touch: feel something soft and smooth. Have a warm drink, wrap yourself in something warm and soft.
Mindfulness in nature
- Spend some time being present and observing nature outside.
- Pick a flower or leaf from the garden.
- Look at it closely, notice the shape and other details such as lines, spots and different textures and colours.
- Using a pencil and piece of paper, draw the flower or leaf and focus all your attention on making it as accurate as possible.
Remember, it is okay and normal to feel worried about what is happening in the world. Disconnect from media outlets when you need to, create that guarded time, stay physically active to promote your wellbeing and practice mindfulness to help regulate your emotions when you need.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed after trying these strategies it may be time to seek support. Speak to a friend or a trusted adult you never know they might be feeling the same way. Perhaps ask your youth leader if they could recommend a psychologist or counsellor that you could speak to. Or seek help from these organisations:
1300 651 728
1800 55 1800
1800 650 890
13 11 14