With many recent political events, including the Capitol Riots, many students and adults have felt a mental burden and burnout. From watching the news to keeping up with the current events in the United States and around the world, many have felt an immense amount of stress and anxiety. It seems that every new occurrence and event is a negative one, with thousands of notifications and updates every second. Many may feel overwhelmed by the current political climate, yet it’s important to find and keep a balance between current events and mental health. Here, we will discuss a few strategies to finding this balance.
Firstly, realize that it is normal to feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed, and that these feelings are valid. Talking through these feelings and having meaningful conversations about current events or topics on your mind with a close friend or family member is immensely helpful. Engaging in racially-conscious conversations not only allows you to start the conversation about and initiate change within your community, but is also a great way to relieve some stress. If you feel uncomfortable sharing these feelings with another person, writing in a journal or jotting down a few thoughts is another way to lift the burden from your heart and shoulders.
Secondly, while still recognizing the importance of staying aware of and informed on current events, learn to set limits for yourself and allow yourself to unplug from electronics or social media if needed. Whether you decide to set a specific time limit on certain apps or a time frame during the day to shut off your phone or other devices, it is important to learn to listen to your body and mind. Without an influx of news articles and social media headlines to distract you, try to take your mind off of the political climate and focus on spending time with family or friends.
Thirdly, be sure to practice self-care. While this may vary from person-to-person, be sure to take some time out of the day to focus on you and your well being. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating meals and exercising. Some may choose to unwind with a hot bubble bath and a book, while others may choose to do yoga or meditate. Explore different ways to focus on you and learn what works best for you to help balance your scale.
Finally, take action and join the movement. Boston University writes, “When we feel powerless, it is important to find ways to have a voice.” Whether it is reposting important news on your social media page or joining a political activism organization, find a way to make a difference in your community and be the change you want to see. Advocate for your beliefs and make your voice heard.
At the end of the day, finding the balance between politics and mental burnout is essential to a healthy lifestyle. While it is important to stay informed, never be afraid to try one or more of the many coping strategies mentioned in this article and take some time to focus on you.