Man sitting outside reading newspaperLet’s face it. The past few years have been a whirlwind.

Black Lives Matters protests. The global COVID-19 pandemic. War breaking out in Ukraine. The overturning of Roe v. Wade. And mass school and public shootings.

These are only a few of the recent happenings in the last few years. What’s going to happen next? How are you supposed to cope? And how do you continue showing up for your clients when you are experiencing the same stressors?

Here’s how to practice self-care when public safety is at risk.

Take Care of Yourself

First things first: Self-care is not selfish. Therapists typically know this, yet may let it slide as they work with growing numbers of people reaching out for help.

Watching the news and seeing tear-soaked faces, red and blue lights, and caution tape can be very triggering, especially if it happens over and over again.

Self-care may be one of the last things on your mind, but it doesn’t have to be. And it shouldn’t be. You can’t expect to fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.

Make sure you’re eating healthy and well-balanced meals. Prioritize your sleep to get an adequate amount of rest and recovery each night. Get your body moving each day.

How can you be expected to care for others if you’re not putting that same effort into yourself?

Talk It Out

Avocado toastTalking about what’s happening in the world may be one of the last things you want to do. The truth of the matter is, the longer you avoid talking about it, the worse it will be in the long run.

Instead of holding all of your thoughts and emotions inside of you, let it all out. Talking about how you feel will guarantee that you won’t explode in the near future.

Talking to someone who shares a similar experience can be exactly what you need to help you work through everything you’re going through. Ask for help and support from your loved ones. You would be there for them in a heartbeat, and they are willing and able to do the same for you.

Turn It Off

A break from the news or social media can be a huge step into releasing some of that negative energy. The news portrays a lot of the negative things going on in the world. If you’re only watching that type of content, you may start to feel negative yourself.

Try to take a break from the news and social media, especially if you start to notice your mood changing after consuming some of the content. If you can’t turn it off completely because you’re worried you’ll miss something or be misinformed, try to schedule a time each day for you to check the news.

As soon as the time is over, do something that you find pleasurable and will bring a little more joy to your day.

Be Productive

Hands on laptopYou may be the type of person that wants to get out there and help. That’s great, but make sure you have the energy and you’re in the right mental space before proceeding. If you’re good to go, channeling some of that energy into productivity can be great for your mind, body, and spirit!

Helping someone else can help ease some of your feelings. Find resources within your community to get you on the right track!

Seek Professional Help

Tough times don’t last; tough people do. If life feels a little too chaotic or too overwhelming right now, that’s okay. You’re not alone in those feelings. You don’t have to go through this alone, either.

While you offer so much support to others, having your own therapist can be exactly what you need to help you work through your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and get you back to living your life to the fullest again.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to cope or practice self-care, reach out to us today to set up a consultation. Find out more about treatment for therapists here.