As protests condemning police violence are taking place across the country, COVID-19 has not really slowed down and fears of illness, violence, job loss, and what will surely be an unstable reopening to the economy are of grave concern.
How are people supposed to cope?
A lot of people, including you, are probably feeling uneasy. All the stress and uncertainty, lost lives, endless news cycles, and more are extremely difficult to process. Many have surely reached their breaking point.
If you have existing health conditions, like high blood pressure, there are also physical risks that could result from the stress.
To try and keep cool, it is worthwhile to take time throughout the day for self-reflection and self-care. Accept that you are stressed out and locate the source.
Understand that it’s normal to feel stress, anxiety, sadness, or outrage when protestors and citizens are met with police violence, small businesses are destroyed, or you feel like your community is in danger.
If you want to take action to bring some control to your life, finding ways to constructively contribute to your community may help. This could take the shape of helping to work on a campaign, volunteering, donating, or using other tools at your disposal to help others in need.
For some, it could be wearing a mask while running errands, taking time to relax, or exercising.
But as much as you might be looking for validation in how you feel, be wary of invalidating someone else’s feelings. Accept the reality that there are a variety of perspectives on the pandemic, protests, and more.
One key component is to give yourself a break from social media and the news. Don’t abandon it altogether, but control consumption. Dedicate some time each day to learn from reputable sources, then spend the rest of your day how you see fit.
Getting every headline, from every news outlet, will only compound the stress and anxiety. If you can, turn off social media/news updates or notifications.
There a lot going on out there, and you have to do the best you can to take care. This includes trying to make healthy food choices, managing existing conditions, and constructively coping with stress.