As the World Turns: Tips to manage life when it seems like chaos is all around

As the World Turns: Tips to manage life when it seems like chaos is all around

Two years into a global pandemic and it seems like things are still in major chaos and/or on fire. Managing the constant uncertainty of these times can be overwhelming, and we really can’t afford to extend energy to things beyond our reach. Focus on the things that are in your control and can efficiently be accomplished.

Put yourself on the priority list:
Prioritize doing the things that bring you the most peace and joy. Make the effort to put yourself on the already long to-do list. This may look like intentionally practicing mindfulness, grounding yourself by focusing on your senses, starting up a new hobby or special project, cooking your favorite comfort meal, or getting some individual therapy sessions scheduled. Whatever it looks like be, intentional about carving out time to rest, process your emotions, or doing one thing for yourself, whenever possible.

Pause on doom scrolling:
There is no denying that we often deal with huge events by constantly staying over-informed, but the ongoing play-by-play can add stress, making media breaks really important. Be mindful of the content you invite in your world. Make the conscious choice and effort to unplug. The constant access to content can be overstimulating and anxiety-inducing. When you notice that anxiety bubbling, try stepping away from screens and news outlets.

Fight the urge to isolate:
When things seem overwhelming and chaotic, it’s common to retreat and isolate. Fight the urge to push the people you love away. Stay connected with others in ways that won’t add stress, but instead leave you feeling refreshed. Schedule monthly catch-ups with family and friends, coordinate watch parties of a favorite movie or show, share a meal together, or just send out a “thinking about you” text. Nothing is too small when making the effort to connect with people you love.

Find ways to connect with your body:
Stress and chaos can be stored in the body in ways that push us into autopilot. If you are noticing more aches and tension than usual, try finding ways to physically release that stress. Going for a walk/jog, working out or stretching, creative expressions, or even taking the time to laugh more are all ideas to help. Any kind of physical activity can help relieve the tenseness the body holds.

I know this isn’t new information, but a reminder is helpful. There are so many things out of our control and the news feels like it is bad all the time, however, there are things you can control. Focusing on small areas of control like breathing, your personal routine, or making time for the things you love doing can be super helpful for fostering peace in the midst of chaos.