As you know we have had some horribly sad events to happen in our nation that has brought the mood down a bit. Ugliness has crept out of and into our culture since these things have happened. How do we deal with the trauma and stress?
I’ve had to purposely do things to make myself feel better. Because I preach this “ministry of joy,” I wanted to reach out. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on politically, religiously or morally, we are all dealing with mental stress and depression that has stemmed from recent violence, disagreements and polarizing events. The questions is “How can we all move forward?”
It affects us all emotionally hearing negative thing after negative thing. I want to encourage you, and it is ok to feel the way you feel. You have the right to feel that way. Find some level of peace with connecting with things for which one is grateful. Be thankful, daily, for what you still have. Count your blessings….daily. Pray for others and help others. Seek out support from other like-minded people. Reach out to your Pastor and other religious leaders that you trust.
Sometimes, we all need to unplug from social media, tv, and radio. Sometimes it’s nice to just be quiet. Rest is important and seeking professional help is important. If you think things in your life are becoming worse or more dark, or you’ve had no appetite and don’t want to get out of bed–seek help. Meditation is incredibly helpful, as well. They have apps for that to remind you when to take that time.
A psychiatry friend, Dr. Ericka Goodwin, referenced a great article in Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/self-care-black-coping-with-trauma_us_577e76a9e4b0c590f7e839ed) which included great tips on reducing stress during traumatic times. Some tips from the article included the following:
- Turning off auto play on negative or violent videos;
- Unfollowing certain people or accounts that play or discuss negative topics;
- Follow people and accounts that nurture you;
- Ignore the “trolls” and stop reading the random comments on articles and social media posts;
- Logging off and unplugging altogether for a while;
- Remembering that offline, “in real person” conversations are just as important as online ones.
I want to encourage all of us to do more things that are joyful. Support one another.