…with the many news items about sexual harassment and abuse being all over the media at the moment: I do too. I’m happy that people are speaking up, that this is talked about widely, and I too posted #metoo – but there is a cost to this. I get triggered all the time by all of this, it’s overwhelming. So self-care is needed. Here are a few things that might help you and me:
- Take a break from the news. Give yourself time to process. You won’t miss anything you need to know right now. Prioritise your wellbeing over being well-informed. If not reading the news at all doesn’t work for you, limit your news intake. Once a week might suffice. Avoid reading details of news that are likely to trigger you.
- Take 5 (or 10 or 15) minutes to just breathe. A bit of time to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. It’s all okay, it’s all allowed. Let it run through you as it needs to. You’ll be able to let it go and move on more easily after having acknowledged and felt it. Mindfulness practice helps a lot with this – here’s a good guided breathing meditation.
- Give yourself permission to distract yourself – watching Friends or puppies or whatever else helps your mind to be in a more pleasant space for a while.
- Write it down – another effective way to process.
- Talk about it with a friend, or in a confidential, professional setting (e.g. counselling, psychologist etc). Tell someone who will listen, and who will support you. If you need someone to talk to and there’s nobody you trust around, you can call the Samaritans (UK). Here’s their contact information. They’re available 24h a day, and it’s free to call. You don’t need to be in an emergency situation to call them. They’re there to just listen to you, and to help you talk about what’s going on.
- Generally, make an extra effort to be kind to yourself. Have compassion with the part of you for who this is difficult and painful. Be gentle. Slow down. Take care of yourself. It might be with a blanket fort, cocoa and a good book. It might be by going to an art gallery and having some beauty to enjoy. It might be with an autumn walk. Hold yourself with care.