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.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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.

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63 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing, these tips, I found when things got bad for me recently it was going back to old hobbies that made me feel a little better, also taking to someone what was going helped a little although the issues have not gone away, I have ways to help.

  2. Love these tips. My favourite tip is to put on a film and comfy clothes with my favourite blanket. Thank you for sharing.

  3. We do need to deal with violence against women, it seems like something that happens too often no matter where you live in the world. We need to protect and stand up for each other. That said, I definitely think that we need to feel what we are feeling and be active on our communities while protecting our mental health and knowing that we cant control everything around us. Great post, hope you are feeling better.=)

  4. Thank you for sharing this lovely post Jen! I had the worst week in the last week of March and I cried so hard around 3-5 am. I decided to get off from social media and talked with my close friend about the issue. After talking with my friend I feel like my burden is slightly lifted because I can take out all the things I want to say :’)

  5. Thank you for this post…it is helpful and so true. During that same week I felt as if at the breaking point. When is enough going to be enough? I find myself thinking that zero-tolerance is the only way, which just increases all of the stresses of daily life. But zero-tolerance for violence against women, zero tolerance for thinking and acting in ways that reinforce the patriarchy, zero tolerance for acceptance of the status quo. And to do that, to have the strength for that, taking a bath is just about the best thing.

  6. i feel quiet better after reading this…having a feeling that i do some while…i pann to do some.!!
    this post just reminds every1 that yes it can be beared!!…n we have the strength….no matter even if we dont feel the capacity….we do have it!! thanks for such a strenghtening post…it really helped…n improved my mood…knowing that yes there is a way❤

  7. This is a really good post, and very relatable too. I remember the first time I took something that didn’t happen to me to heart and which really affected all the women and girls in my country. It was during the Nirbhaya incident several years back. I was only 15 and I was so angry and so helpless. The internet did not help and my mental state tanked.
    Since then, I’ve learnt to take care of myself in the case that we have shit weeks again. One is definitely getting off social media. Another is picking up a comfort romance book because I know I’ll love it and it will end happy. Third is listening to sad songs and crying if the book doesn’t help.

  8. This is such an important article ! Thank you for sharing 🖤 Taking the time to understand where our negative emotions come from is fundamental to keep a positive to be mindset towards the future 💫
    Zinelr, xx
    zinelr.blogspot.con

  9. The world can really be such a sad place! I think getting off social media is the best thing you can do! Social media just gives people a voice who have terrible opinions and are often heartless or want to share things to trigger others or cause a reaction. It can get really nasty and it’s not healthy at all.

    Hoping for better weeks ahead.

    Corinne x

  10. That was honestly such a dreadful week. It just felt like we were constantly being weighed down with even more stress and I for sure cried a lot of it off. I think letting your emotions out is super important as it can really take that negative weight off you. We need to stay positive and manifest that things will get better for us soon!

  11. Great post, I haven’t read your posts for a while. But I really liked this post. In particular I like the point about crying. Sometimes we don’t cry as we need to “be strong” but most of the time a good cry is needed! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Great post! There’s some really important suggestions here. I’m definitely getting better lately at just getting off social media rather than falling down the rabbit hole and realising your making everything worse.

  13. Everything you said in this post Jenny. It really was a shit sandwich week and even though we’re a month on, it’s still fills me with a lot of anger that this is still happening. But I agree with each and everyone point you made here, especially breaking from social media – sometimes it can be overwhelming seeing the same thing and need to take some time for yourself to fully process it all. Thank you.

  14. A wonderful post, I agree sometimes things happen and as much as it’s great people sharing and opening up. Sometimes seeing and reading all of this can be overwhelming. I definitely agree taking a step back is needed sometimes, and supporting causes to help. Thanks for this xx

  15. For me it really helps to lower my social-media time. I have been feeling really overwhelmed lately because I will be finishing my studies. It is a weird time, looking for a job and stuff! I try to put my phone away as much as possible!

  16. I think with the recent news and current situation it is hard to keep things light- and so keeping off social media is a must (or at least managing what you see on there). Thank you for sharing these tips x

  17. I’m finding myself in a particularly rough patch in my life right now. A few points here reminded me to REALLY take some time off to get my thoughts and feelings back to where I want them to be.

    Thank you for this, Jenny!🙏

  18. I am with you on this. I definitely felt the weight that week too. Even being in Canada, hearing about and feeling the weight of Sarah Everard’s murder was intense. I did some of the same things as you mention. I had to turn off social media to give my heart a break. I started being more vocal about the police’s role in violence against women and the ways in which things need to change. Just talking about it has helped me feel more empowered in the midst of such overwhelm. I love the idea of shaking it out. That is something I’m going to try 🙂

  19. This resonated so much! I think that being gentle to yourself and give yourself a chance to feel and let the emotions out are the best when things feel heavy! Will need to try some of these out x

  20. Wow that week was horrible wasn’t it. What started out as nice ended up being such a tough week. I remember needing to remove myself from social media for a few days at a time because I just didn’t have the energy to see all of the negativity. Great tips, I’ll be trying to do some of this if this all happens again

    Rosie

  21. I can really identify with this. And that week did feel A LOT. Great tips. I would add in getting outside. Thank you for posting this.

  22. All beautiful tips. I find being gentle with yourself, showing self compassion and love is so so important. I sometimes even hug myself (literally) just to feel more grounded. Thanks for sharing xx

    1. That week really was a heavy one. But I felt the strength of so many women who shared the anger and sadness I felt. I found myself reflecting on my emotions and gave myself time away from the media to process things.

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