That’s a very good question that I’ve also been asking myself lately. Spend five minutes watching the news and it’s easy to shift into a numb, apathetic, hopeless state.
Between the Russia and Ukraine war, the climate crisis, a global pandemic and the ongoing intense division in the US, it’s tempting to allow ourselves to slip into a state of reckless abandon.
But, come back to yourself for a moment.
Lean into these three critical steps.
One - pause.
Pause when you begin to feel overwhelmed and stop yourself from spiraling. Pay attention to how your body feels and what thoughts are rolling through your mind.
Then two, ask yourself what is needed.
Begin with the most fundamental self-care awareness you have. Are you hungry, thirsty, tired or lonely? What needs the most attention immediately? Do that. And only that.
Then three, once you’ve paused and addressed your foundational self-care needs, then come back to the enormous significance of what’s right in front of you.
Come back to the importance of your micro lens. Return to a state of focusing on making change in your own personal life and in the lives immediately impacted by you.
What can you do right here, right now that might feel good or right? When things feel like they’re out of our control, our knee jerk response is to give up. I’d like to invite you to shift that from apathy to action.
Return to what you can control. Return to micro level decisions and do something small.
Just focus on a tiny action.
What will you make for your next meal?
How beautiful does that plant look in your backyard?
Reach out to a friend and check in to connect.
Take a short walk around the block. This always helps us clear our minds and soften our stress response.
I believe in the physics of a ripple effect. It’s easy to see what happens when you toss a stone into a lake. From your point of impact, a ripple is created in the innermost circle around where the stone falls into the water. From there, another ripple occurs and another ripple and so on.
When you feel ready and if it feels right to you, you can consider donating your time, money, knowledge or expertise to a cause that matters most to you now.
Any tiny positive action that you can create will undoubtedly create a small ripple around you.
I still believe one person has the power to impact what’s right in front of them and ultimately that’s how real change begins.
Megan Gunnell, LMSW, Psychotherapist and Founder of The Thrive Advantage Group and The Thriving Well Institute.