Life has been heavy. It feels like wherever you turn there is hardships, stress, tension and tragedy abounding all around. The coronavirus, racial discrimination, lack of money for some to eat, pay their rent, live, people arguing with each other about wearing a face mask, and other challenges we are experiencing. It is difficult not to be gloomy and to weighted down by so much going on for so many. Perhaps as you are reading this it speaks to what is going on in your life.

Despite all the heaviness there are actions you can take to lighten up where you are at emotionally. To give yourself some emotional distance from your stress and anxiety so you feel better. We all need to find ways to lighten up, find calm, joy, to change our mood and our attitude. You do have control in the actions you can take in your life even though at times it might not feel like it.

Begin with limiting (perhaps eliminating) watching the news and all other social media regarding what is going on in the world. Get far, far away from it all.

In an article in “CalmMoment” from January 8, 2020 written by Alice Salter she writes “Feelings of uncertainty, doubt and helplessness have long been associated with anxiety and, unfortunately, are also a regular result of news consumption. There is long-standing evidence to suggest that news has a direct impact on our mental health.

Research conducted in 1997 found that news broadcasts with a negative slant make people sadder and more anxious than neutral ones, and are also more likely to bring to mind our personal anxieties.

Another study, conducted in 2015, confirmed that increased consumption of news media can lead to greater feelings of anxiety. In fact, viewers watching the news more than usual, as is often the case in times of great change, were 1.6x more likely to report at least one anxiety symptom, ranging from uncontrolled fear to sleeping difficulties and physiological hyperarousal (essentially increased alertness and inability to rest).”

This is why reducing the amount of news you digest, which is something you CAN control, can be huge in reducing the impact of what is going on in the world on you.

Next get some daily time outdoors, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Go outside, feel the sun on your skin, and breath. Yep that’s it. If you can get more time outdoors all the better. If you can get a walk in the outdoors woohoo that is great.

Distance yourself from people in your life who are too negative and me focused. It’s not about totally removing them from your life, even though that might be something you will consider at some point. Step back from those who want you to do everything for them and you feel sucked dry.  As this quote by an unknown person says:

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”

Focus on getting your sleep, eating healthy, keeping hydrated, taking care of your needs. The better you are at taking care of yourself the better you are to others around you.

Get your laughter on. Watch silly videos or movies, if you have fur-babies teach them a new trick, read a story to your fish (the fish really like this)! If you have someone in your life that makes you laugh and you always feel better after you talk to them call them up. Have a socially distant outdoor dance party, skip some stones on water, use snapfish to make funny photos of you and send them to your family or friends.

When you are totally feeling so overwhelmed and bogged down breath in and out until your emotions grown calmer and your headspace becomes clearer. Unless you are having to make a life or death decision in that moment the time is there for you to take. Take it.

Bake, paint, draw, read, mow you lawn, clean out a drawer, garden, meditate, do an act of kindness for someone else. An article in Psychological Science states “Providing help to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers can mitigate the impact of daily stressors on our emotions and our mental health, according to research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

‘Our research shows that when we help others we can also help ourselves,’ explains study author Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine. ‘Stressful days usually lead us to have a worse mood and poorer mental health, but our findings suggest that if we do small things for others, such as holding a door open for someone, we won’t feel as poorly on stressful days.”

I know from times in my life that were overwhelming, feeling so heavy it felt like cement blocks were tied to me, the energy I put into lightening up created more energy all areas of my life. I felt lighter, more confident, my stress decreased and I felt some peace.

When nothing goes right, go left.” Unknown Author

Magnificent person take great care of you. Put on your oxygen mask, take a pause to have some joy, peace, and laughter. You are so worthy and deserving.

May your lighten up be with you💜