By Michelle Noehren, Age 33
Is the craziness of the world getting you down? You and me both, sister. It seems like there is so much violence and so much injustice everywhere I look (because there is). Have you ever heard this quote by Martin Luther King Jr. (made gender neutral by yours truly): “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.” That feels so fitting for where things are right now and I think all of us are seeing people’s true colors, especially when it comes to racism.
It’s HARD to realize just how far we have to go in order to create a more peaceful and just country and world. It’s HARD to suddenly realize how many people in your Facebook feed are racist and don’t care at all about people (YES PEOPLE, refugees are humans after all) that are living in absolute fear and terror with nowhere safe to go. It’s HARD to have a sensitive soul when everything feels so harsh and terrible.
Here are 5 things you can do when you really just want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers:
- Take a break from social media. Social media, like most things, has its good points and its very bad points. Right now you might be seeing a lot of stuff in your newsfeed that makes you want to throw your chair through a window. But what good is that doing you? How is that serving you other than making you irritated all day? It’s OK to take a step back and set some boundaries for yourself.
- Do some self-care. I’m not exactly the poster child for self-care but alas I do believe in its value. Take some time to do something that makes you feel better – go for a run or walk, read a chapter in your favorite book. It is not selfish to take some time out to help yourself get in a better mental state. (Image credit)
- Look for the helpers. I love that saying from Fred Rogers. The media tends to always focus on the negative aspects of, well, pretty much everything. Take some time to read some articles about the good in this world (like this one.)
- Remember that peace begins within. For me, this is critical. Creating a peaceful world starts with creating a peaceful mind. The three items listed above will help you get back to a peaceful space. Anger, resentment, fear, these things are not what’s going to make the world a better place. If you’ve never meditated before, do a quick google search and you’ll find lots of free meditations. If you’re fortunate, like me, to live near a meditation center, make an extra effort to get to a class. Clearing your mind, finding perspective and having a loving, open heart are all so important during times of difficulty.
- Take action. You are not helpless. If you’re upset about something, look for organizations you can support (financially or with your time). Don’t waste your time engaging in arguments with people you cannot change. Spend that energy on things that will make a true difference. You’re one google search away from finding folks that are making a difference on the issues you care about, and they’d love your support.
Speaking of taking action, I’ve got a great local event idea for you. This Saturday a rally will be held at the Connecticut State Capitol called Say Yes to Syrian Refugees. Consider attending. Check out the event Facebook page for more details.
Young Women Rising encourages Connecticut women ages 18-35 to raise their voices about issues they care about. Each writer speaks for herself as an individual and Young Women Rising as a whole does not intend to endorse the views of any particular writer. If you’re interested in submitting a guest piece please contact us at Michelle.Noehren@cga.ct.gov.