Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about a new term – ‘doom-scrolling’. Minute by minute, breaking news outlets spew disturbing revelations impacting us at the global, national, community levels, and there’s no ignoring it or denying the personal impact they have on each of us. When major world and social events occur, or the weight of prolonged, life-altering experiences leave you or your loved ones feeling overwhelmed or anxious, you may have trouble regulating stress-inducing thoughts and feelings. You are not alone.

Despite all the social distancing, many of us share an apprehension of our current societal circumstances, their influence on our daily lives, and the associated impact on our emotional and physical health. Self-care can come with powerful emotions such as guilt for prioritizing yourself or shame at feeling weak for not being able to withstand the onslaught these demands, but caring for yourself is now more important than ever.

Below are a few reflections and resources to help incorporate self-care and stress management into your daily routine.

Self-care in times of distress: Create your own “self-care toolbox” by Michelle Kim

  • What is self-care?
    • It’s about loving ourselves so we can continue to love others
    • It’s about refueling ourselves so we can continue our work
    • It’s about acknowledging that we’re running a marathon
    • It’s not pursuing “guilty pleasures” for the sake of indulging
    • It’s not a one-time thing or a prescription for burnout
    • It’s not selfish
  • How can we practice self-care?
    • Know when you need self-care. Listen to your mood changes instead of just pushing through.
    • Make a list of your self-care options. Making a list helps make your self-care plan tangible and real.
    • Commit to practicing self-care. Try different activities, and be ok with dropping activities that don’t bring you peace. Start small and build up a routine.
  • Takeaways
    • “It’s important to acknowledge that self-care is closely tied to power and privilege — marginalized people have different self-care needs than privileged people.”
    • Slow down, and practice compassion and grace because then you are dysregulated you may be causing harm to others and yourself without knowing it.
    • “Try it, you might like it!” – Yo Gabba Gabba. Self-care is different for everyone. Read the full article above for all 51 self-care activity examples.

Part of self-care includes having simple methods to manage and mitigate stress. Are World Events Overwhelming You? Try these 7 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Anxiety by A Chance to Change

  • Try to manage overwhelming feelings of anxiety or uncertainty – Recognize and acknowledge your emotions regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy routine & look after your physical health – Get enough sleep, eat regular nutritious meals, do some physical activity.
  • Don’t forget to check on family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. A text or phone call goes a long way to boost a loved one’s spirit, mental health and lets them know you are thinking about them and they are not alone. This one is mutual. You’ll feel good too!
  • Takeaways
    • Be embodied – excuse yourself if you are triggered and come back when you are regulated (dysregulation causes anxiety and brain fog), you cannot make pristine decisions in this state. Close your eyes, breathe 10 slow breaths and do a body scan.

Speaking of the impact of psychological trauma on BIPOCs, Miriam Zoila Pérez shares insights and resources in her article 4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible

  • “The onslaught of news about violence against people of color seems to be endless these days. In the midst of all of this we remember the words of writer and activist Audre Lorde, who famously said that self-care is both an act of self-preservation and political warfare.”
  • Jasmine’s article, “Self Care for People of Color After Emotional and Psychological Trauma” summarizes ways to combat trauma.

Hopefully these resources help you find the right path to a peaceful mind, heart, and body. One thing that is undeniable: Self-care is one of the most important emotional and physical forms of healthcare.

We are at a crossover moment in time. One form of life that you and I were taught from first grade on and is now disappearing before our eyes. Replaced by something new. That is new but has no true north.

Sister Joan Chittister, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2021 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Danelle Saucier, QPA, QKA, QPFC – Danelle is the retirement compliance liaison for Sequoia, where she works with our teams and clients to optimize and streamline administration, servicing, and compliance. In her free time, Danelle enjoys having outdoor adventures, seeking out new knowledge, and playing with her daughter and animals.