There’s always something going on in the world that feels overwhelming and stressful.
Whether it’s happening on your doorstep or you’re reading about it in the news, there’s bound to be something pretty intense going on somewhere.
While we can’t control what’s going on in the wider world, we can take steps to manage how we react to it.
There are some great coping strategies and ways to moderate your feelings so you don’t get as easily overwhelmed.
We’ve listed some brilliant steps you can take to look after yourself and stay sane when the world is going crazy.
1. Embrace alone time.
Sometimes, as much as we may love them, the people around us can exacerbate our negative feelings.
We might be inwardly anxious about something, but if the people around us are verbally stressing, we’ll pick up on it and are likely to join in.
They might start sharing horrible new stories or scary stats they’ve read online, and you’ll get sucked in and start panicking with them!
Combat this by taking some time out every so often. Spending time alone is a great way to reconnect with yourself and really calm yourself down.
You’re in control of what you read and you don’t have other people scaremongering or throwing their opinions at you.
Instead, you can just embrace the quietness of being on your own – and the peace of being able to really relax and do whatever you want. No input, no expectations, no pressure…
2. Limit your news intake and stop mindlessly scrolling.
When there’s something big going on, you need to learn to limit yourself.
Stop checking the news for updates of that thing that terrifies you – it will never make it better!
The media literally makes money from getting people to watch the news, check online for updates, follow news stories on social media, which is why they often make things sound even more extreme than they actually are.
After all, what are you more likely to click on – “things are actually fine, don’t worry” or “the world is on fire, read this article or you may die.”
It might seem like the world is going crazy… like people are going crazy… but that impression is only made worse by so-called ‘news’ coverage and people’s opinions.
By limiting your consumption of these things, you’re no longer exposed to the fear factor and emotional load they carry with them.
What’s more, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook – all of these channels can be updated by anybody who might not fact-check what they’re posting, which means there’s a lot of unregulated entirely fabricated ‘news’ flying around that many people mistake as true.
Turn off your breaking news notifications, mute people on Instagram who keep spreading nonsense, and instead allow yourself to actively check the news once or twice a day only.
3. Spend time with loved ones and establish a support system.
When things get too much, turn to those you love.
Being around people who support and appreciate us is so important at all times, but even more so when it feels like the world is going crazy and you need to stay sane.
It’s good for your mental health and self-esteem, which are two things that can often dip a lot when we’re feeling very overwhelmed by the events in the world.
You’re also more likely to feel happier and more relaxed when you’re around the people you love. This can make such a huge difference overall, as you really need that time to unwind and forget about the wider world.
By taking some time out and letting yourself be looked after and cared for, you’re reminding yourself (even if it’s subconsciously) that there are still great, happy things in the world and that it’s not all as doom and gloom as the media might make it seem.
It’s always comforting to know that you have this support system in place if you need it during a very difficult patch. A lot of us can accidentally take our loved ones for granted, or forget just how lucky we are to have such a great group of people around us.
When the world is going crazy, it’s reassuring to know that your support system is established and ready to shower you with love, big hugs, and endless cups of tea.
4. Get outside and enjoy nature.
Spending time outdoors is a fantastic way to look after yourself when the world gets a bit much!
Being out in the fresh air is great for our nervous system and can help calm the ‘fight or flight’ response we often experience when we’re stressed or overwhelmed.
Getting out in nature can also just calm us down because we feel comfortable and in awe – looking at flowers and plants, breathing in clean air, spotting local wildlife.
The outdoors just feels nice and wholesome and comforting, which is exactly what we all need during hard times.
Being outdoors can also feel like a physical escape – when we’re at home, it’s so easy to scroll through our phones or mindlessly watch TV and subconsciously absorb drama and negativity.
Being outside in nature almost forces us to disconnect and just be – no checking the news or joining in the group chat debate about how the world is ending! We can just exist, breathe, and focus on immersing ourselves in a little escape.
5. Stay (or get) active.
For some of us, the thought of hitting the gym when we’re stressed seems ridiculous – we’re worried and anxious and we need good food, a glass of wine, and a few hours of trash TV.
We want to just switch off and pretend that everything is fine. This can be an effective coping mechanism in some ways, but it can also become an unhealthy habit.
Instead, try working out when you’re feeling stressed – it doesn’t need to be hardcore or a 2-hour session, don’t worry!
If you’re not already active, don’t overwhelm yourself or put a lot of pressure on yourself to be great and super fit already. Ease yourself in with some light cardio or weights, go with a friend who can show you the ropes, or start with an online class in the privacy of your own home.
In fact, even going for a walk, doing some stretching before bed, or dancing around your room for a few songs will make a difference!
This is great for a couple of reasons. On a physical note, exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that boost our mood.
Working out also reminds us that we’re looking after ourselves – we feel good because we’re pro-actively doing something good for our mind and body, which feels so nice. It’s a form of self-love and it shows that we respect ourselves and want to take care of our health and well-being.
If you already work out a lot, exercising probably feels like a familiar release. It’s comforting and it’s something we can turn to for some stability and normality when things around us feel confusing and scary.
6. Self-care is key – as is looking after your body.
Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself in a warm bubble bath – it goes way beyond that. It’s about making sure you’re doing what you need to feel good and meet your needs, both emotionally and physically.
Sure, that might be a long hot soak in the bath sometimes, but it’s also about making sure you’re eating nutritious food, staying hydrated, and taking rest when you need to.
Even if most of your meals are beige concoctions you’ve created in the midst of a mental health dip, try to eat a piece of fruit or have a side salad a few times a week.
It’s okay if you’re crying in bed one day and feel too overwhelmed to workout! But try to stay hydrated and look after yourself while you rest.
It’s all about balance and adapting your self-care practices based on what you’re going through.
Nobody gets up at 5am every single day, goes for a 10km run, and then goes off to teach Zumba class, beaming with positivity and never ever getting upset!
Give yourself a break and acknowledge that any effort you’re making to look after yourself is amazing.
Over time, you can increase these self-care acts more and more so that they become a habit, but, for now, as long as you’re giving your mind and body what they need as much as you feel you can, you’re doing a great job.
The world is crazy sometimes, so look after yourself and do your best to stay sane despite the tricky times.
7. Stay strong and remember you’re not alone.
The world might be terrifying and the news might always seem awful, but there are people who feel the same as you.
Offer support, receive support, be honest about your worries with your loved ones and do what you need to get through.
Establish good self-care practices during the times that you don’t feel so overwhelmed, as this is the easiest time to do it.
Reach out when you need help, whether that’s to a friend or a trained professional.
Give your body enough food and water, give it some sunlight and fresh air and remember that you’re basically a plant with more complicated emotions!
You can get through this – we’re all in it together…
You may also like:
- How To Stay Positive In A Negative World: 7 No Bullsh*t Tips!
- 7 Simple Steps To Not Let Things Bother You
- 8 Emotional Self-Care Strategies: Learn To Take Care Of Yourself Emotionally
- The 6 Key Things You Can Do To Find Inner Peace
- How To Use The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique To Ease Anxious Thoughts
- How To Stop Ruminating: 12 Tips To Quiet Negative Repeating Thoughts