For Peace Sake! 4 “Crazy” Ways I’m Caring For My Mental Health
Sep 12, 2021
I’ve always been someone who kept the things and people that made me happy close, and got rid of those that didn’t.
As of late, especially, I’ve been seeing a call for more bloggers and influencers to publicly speak up on global and community issues.
And I completely understand that building a community as an influencer is more than just suggesting the best air fryer or putting you on to my favorite skincare products. I know that the more you trust me, the more you see me as an authority in this space, you’ll soon come to look for me to influence you in more meaningful ways, too.
But before I influence, I must internalize.
I’m a bit of an empath and I tend to feel all the feelings! A LOT has been happening in the world over the past two years and during that same time a lot has happened in my personal life. Life has been real life-y! I feel like I’m in a weird season and in order to cope with it all, I’ve committed to being even more intentional and precise about preserving my mental state and caring for my wellbeing.
Influence, I will; but care for me, I must!
After the intense social and racial standoff during the George Floyd events, I just turned off. I got sick and tired of seeing Black men and women being killed by the police, I had a bad taste in my mouth for death and social injustices, the nasty scourge of racism and hate; I’m tired of the corruption and devastation happening in my own country. These days, I simply refuse to read, watch, listen, download or otherwise pay attention to anything of this nature that will disturb my peace. I’m often lost when my family asks, “didn’t you hear about XYZ?” I’m lost because I’ve pretty much stopped watching the news and I’ve checked out from the negativity. Certain stories would pop up on my social media timelines or in my phone’s notifications and I would immediately get a knot in my stomach. I found myself being personally moved by events that seemed worlds away, it didn’t feel healthy, so I stopped tuning in.
Lowkey (but very high key) not answering the phone every single time it rings is a top tier self care strategy for me. Sorry mommy, sorry grammy, sorry aunties. It’s something that just happened and I instantly and physically felt how much stress, angst and pressure it eased. In the middle of diaper changes, bottle feedings, cranky nap times, client calls, editing and brainstorming or just…being; hearing the phone ring sometimes crawls my skin. If y’all know my family, then you know this is not sitting well with some. But self care looks different to everyone, just know I always call back!
I have problems of my own. And I’m so sorry I don’t occupy the capacity to deal with anyone else’s at the moment. I keep a tight knit circle, comprising mostly of family. And even within those dynamics, I’ve made the conscious effort to limit how much I take on and take in. Lately, I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed trying to juggle my problems, be a listening ear to other people’s problems and sometimes even playing referee. Ya girl is TIRED! I sent the message to the family chat this morning, letting them know that I’m overwhelmed and for now, I wont be all the way available to take on anything that doesn’t look like peace and serenity.
Take the vaccine or don’t; your choice! Vote in the upcoming elections or don’t, your choice! I know the choice that I’ve made is that I will not be partaking in any social debates with anyone. I’ve done a fairly good job at scrolling right along when I see arguments and fights happening online over very divisive and alienating topics. NOPE, this is not my ministry! It’s not good for my mental health. I’ve seen the verbally violent nature emerge from people while sharing their positions, on both sides, of these two debates, especially. If it’s really going to erode my sanity, yuck up my vexation or cause me to curse, I’d rather leave my opinion out of it, even if I think I’m right.