I’m writing this post on Monday 15th March. And last week, was one of the worst weeks for women I think I can remember. I had to postpone blog content and get off social media more than usual because everything was just so heavy. I love blogging and there are very few times where I wonder what the point is. But this week was one of them.
What started with International Women’s Day, soon followed with a pregnant woman admitting that she was suicidal in the past and an influx of people claiming they didn’t believe her. Shortly after that, Sarah Everard was tragically murdered – by a police officer.
Women gathered peacefully and respectfully at Clapham Common to lay flowers and pay their respects on the Saturday night, only for the police to show up and for the vigil to turn violent. To round off the week, was Mother’s Day. It was, quite literally, a shit sandwich.
I’m not the only person to have felt the weight and heaviness of that week.
Seeing so many people (albeit online) rally together and share their stories, sign petitions, call people out, retweet information and support each other was incredible.
But I saw a similar amount of people share how sad, angry, horrified, devastated and exhausted they were by the whole week with many needing to get offline altogether in order to protect their own mental health.
Of course it’d be incredibly naïve to think that weeks like this won’t happen again.
Bad shit always happens. And even if it’s not DIRECTLY to us, it can still feel and seem incredibly heavy on our hearts and souls. Especially when it concerns causes and people that we can relate to on a deeper level.
Related read: How To Deal With Being An Empath
Throughout that particular week, I made sure I did what I had to do to protect my own mental state. Everyone copes with these things differently and I completely respect that. Whilst one person might cope by attending a protest, someone else might need to stay in bed all day and that’s fine.
But today I want to share some ways you can cope when things are feeling particularly heavy. The things I mention here will also be things that I did during that week, so they worked for me and may work for you too.
Here are 7 suggestions of ways to cope when things feel heavy:
Get off of social media
I think you probably knew this would be my first point on this list but it’s so damn important. I’m not saying social media isn’t an incredible tool for speaking out and raising awareness – it is. But it can (and will) get too much if you let it. I found it hard to get off social media that week.
All I wanted to do was read about what was going on, tweet about what was going on, RT other people’s words and share anything and everything I could. But I realised it was getting too much, so I gave myself an allocated time to do those things then I switched off. And it definitely helped.
Cry, cry, cry
Crying is NOT a bad thing. I personally hate it when people say, “oh don’t cry!” Like heck no! Cry. Let it out. Crying is one of the most healthy and natural ways to release emotions and if you feel like you NEED to cry, then you definitely should (providing you’re not like, at a job interview or something).
But seriously, cry. Just cry.
Talk to someone about it
Another pretty obvious suggestion here but one I think a lot of people forget to do, especially when everything is so chaotic online. Because online is where most of this shit happens and where almost everyone gets their information and shares their experiences.
But remember that there are people in your real life that’s probably feeling this heaviness too. Sometimes, we just need a kind ear to chat about it with. A friend or family member (I even had a conversation with my life coach about it!) or if there is no-one, helplines are always available.
Related read: My Experience With The Samaritans
Do your bit to help (within your means)
When things feel heavy, we can often feel a bit useless. I certainly do. So I like to help in whatever way I can. Supporting charities is very important to me and I’m not really the sort of person that can sit back and do nothing. Even when I can find the words myself, I’ll make sure I’m sharing someone else’s.
So helping and doing your bit within your means can be a really helpful way to lift that heaviness ever so slightly. This might be signing a petition, donating your time or money, sharing your experience, RT’ing someone else’s experience or reaching out to someone you feel might be struggling.
But remember the “within your means” part if this point. You don’t want to put yourself in a worse mental state.
Shake it out
This is a neat little thing I learned from my life coach and something that can be very useful for when you feel like you’ve got pent up negative energy or emotion in you that you need to release. Put on your favourite songs and shake it out for 10 minutes. That’s it!
You might start small, just shaking your arms or legs. But as you get into it, you’ll find yourself getting out of your head and into your body. Emotion gets stored IN THE BODY. So that’s why this is particularly useful. You might end up dancing by the end of it and actually getting a bit hot and sweaty! But it’s all good!
Be gentle with yourself
If shaking it out and dancing isn’t your thing, then you might go the opposite way and be super gentle with yourself. I do both, depending on how I feel. Sometimes I’ll do both in one day because I need that energy and that calm to feel in balance.
So perhaps instead, have a nice afternoon nap. Drink a green tea, listen to some relaxing music, meditate, wear your comfiest and baggiest clothes, go for a super slow walk, get a hot water bottle – just because, watch your comfort film, cuddle your teddy and whatever else you need to find that sweet gentle energy.
Lean in to what you believe
And finally, a point that I think is really important, regardless of what you believe. You might be religious or believe in the power of the Universe but it really doesn’t matter. The point here is that leaning into those beliefs of something bigger than you – a higher power – can really help clear your mind and help you come to terms with the heaviness that you’re feeling.
If you struggled during that week in March, I feel you. I’d love to hear about what you did or do in order to keep your mental well-being safe. Let me know in the comments.
Like this post? You might also enjoy:
- 30 Journal Prompts For Mental Health
- How Creativity Can Improve Your Mental Health
- Feeling Mentally Fragile? Try These 6 Coping Tips