When Everything Feels Heavy

when-everything-feels-heavy

I know the darkness has always been there in the world but I feel like I’ve felt it weighing heavier on me more than usual lately. Maybe it’s that I’m paying more attention to current events and things. Maybe it’s the way I see everything on the internet so it feels all up in my face. Maybe things really ARE just especially bad right now more than usual. Whatever the case…these days I just feel heaviness. Like I have “heavy boots” to steal a phrase from a book I love. It’s murder and injustice and terrorism and garbage people and hate. So many awful headlines. So many scary current events.

I find myself crying a lot. I’ve always been a person who ~feels~ everything too much but I find myself crying for a lot of things in the world right now. It hurts. It feels dark. And scary.

Lately I’ve had to really practice the art of self-care and I’d like to share the things I’ve been doing to combat how I feel lately. I don’t know how you all are feeling but I feel like it’s something I want to talk about.

 

1. Seek out the good: I think the biggest thing that has helped me is in the past month I started listing 3 beautiful or kind or hopeful things I’ve seen or read about or experienced. I think it’s easy to feel like everything in the world is awful (so much is) but I’ve been trying to seek the good stuff and note it. Whether it’s a warm and fuzzy news story or a really nice thing someone did for me or a story of heroism in a tragedy…I’ve been trying to make my brain see that there is still good, there is still light. In my brain I KNOW there is but sometimes when the news and my social media seem to be a constant barrage of awful news stories I have to actively remind myself that there is still so much goodness out there.

2. Turn it off: Honestly sometimes I get too fixated on watching the news or scrolling through my social media feeds where a lot of current events are being talked about. I like to be informed and not ignorant to what is going on in the world but I have to believe it’s okay to turn it off sometimes. To let myself take a break from it. It will always be there. I can always catch up. But sometimes when these things happen I let myself get even more upset because I get myself so immersed in it.

3. Embrace the feel good entertainment: If you know me, you know I love dark and gritty and heart wrenching entertainment whether it is books or tv shows or movies. I just always have been drawn to that. But lately I’ve had to add more fluffy and happy to my entertainment diet. I’ve been doing more comfort reading. Embracing the light and fluffy and feel good. Watching things that make me smile orΒ  laugh feel nostalgic. I will take any and all recs for this kind of things in the comments because I sometimes suck at finding it because I AM so drawn to different things.

4. Spend more time with my dog and my nieces/littles of my life: I don’t know…there is something about disconnecting and spending time with my goofy dog or my innocent nieces who live in a world pretty untouched by the stuff that weighs me down. I can live in make-believe worlds with them and see the world through their eyes and remember the wonder and the good with them. I can laugh at my dog’s antics and let his delight in walks and playing fetch seep into my life. Seriously, this dog is living the good life. There is something about innocence that helps combat the dark. So go play with your dog or volunteer to walk some dogs or play with the littles in your life!

5. Do good in my corner of the world: Sometimes I can be a shitty and self-centered human but lately I’ve felt this desire to add even just a little bit more good and control what ~I~ can control. And maybe feel a little less helpless? So sometimes that means letting someone go in front of me at the store or at a tough intersection to get out of while driving or helping someone who needs help or sending a funny and light text to a friend to make them smile. I’ve been trying to contact my representatives about things I care about. To donate and bring awareness to things that make me feel heavy. I try to remind myself I can’t cover everything but I can do something.

 

So, it’s not like it’s super fool-proof list or that it will work for YOU or that my coping skills are correct but I’ve found myself relying hard on the things on my list to not drown in what seems like sad or awful or heart-breaking news. I let myself feel it and not ignore it but sometimes I need to also take care of myself so that I can get through the day. And I know that’s my privilege that I can turn it off or turn my attention away from some of this stuff.

I’d love to hear if you’ve been feeling this way especially recently and what you do to help combat it!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Thank you. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I know I’m already struggling a bit with my own emotional health but the tragedy in the news one after another makes me wonder about humanity and the point of it all. I know there’s still good, of course. But I also know there’s a lot of people who don’t have the choice to “turn it off”. I can’t reconcile this yet but I’m glad you’re finding ways to work through it.

    • Yes I feel like that is my biggest source of guilt — the fact I have the privilege to turn it off when I need to :/

  2. I’ve been feeling a lot like this too and haven’t figured out a way to put it into words. But, I am working on some booklists and resources to add to my blog for kids to understand the larger world round them and books that focus on creating compassion, empathy and kindness. A little thing I can do to make the world a little bit better.

  3. I definitely have to turn it off. I can’t stand watching the news. And lately FB has turned into a damn news channel so I have to ignore a lot of that too!

  4. I’ve been trying to find a balance between turning it off and keeping myself informed – it’s HARD, dude. I can’t tell if everything is particularly bad right now or if the internet is just bringing everything to us faster than usual. I think it might be a bit more of the former, unfortunately. I keep finding solace in books and friends and the happier parts of the internet. It doesn’t make it all go away, but it helps dull the sensation.

  5. I’ve been doing many of the same things as you to combat all of this. Also, meditating. A few moments of calm with peaceful music really does help. A couple of books I’ve read recently have also been just perfect to combat sadness: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (a brilliant modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice), and Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, an oldie but goodie chick lit romance. In times like these, I really need humor, and these books have plenty of that!

  6. I feel exactly the same. Maybe I’ve always tended to be a bit melancholy, but since last summer things have been getting worse. Strangely enough, a few things have also got better, which is a strange paradox. To cheer myself up. I try to read and watch tv, because lately I’ve had trouble with my homepages and I haven’t felt very inspired to write – two other things I turn to when I’m feeling down.

  7. I relate so much to this post. My thoughts have been really heavy lately and it’s getting more and more difficult to continue to have hope. I think social media definitely makes it easier for all of us to be in the know and also you can see it happen live and that’s even worse.

    I want to mute the news sometimes and just take a step back but then I also struggle with guilt afterwards. And the feeling of helplessness is really dreadful. I want to do something but I don’t know what else to do other than retweeting voices that need to be heard.

  8. This is also how I’ve been feeling a lot recently. I get what you mean when you say you’ve always ~felt~ things more than someone else might. I’ve always been this way too. These past few years have had some heavy moments and it feels like the heaviness is continuing to linger. I love your list of things to help combat these feelings!! I’m definitely going to try and incorporate your first thing into my nightly journaling. Otherwise I watch K-Dramas and rom coms to cheer me up or read a romance book πŸ™‚ I also rely on talking with friends or family or treating myself to a good meal or walking around the city on a sunny day to remind of the good things still in the world. I also need to start stepping away from online and media as well to help with how invested I get and the heaviness of it all. Thanks so much for sharing this Jamie!

  9. Oh definitely, 2016 has just been a crap ton of suck. One thing I do to help myself (but still stay informed) is to not watch the news on tv. I’ll just read theSkimm instead (it’s a newsletter you get Mon-Fri)!

    And yes!! I try to focus on the good too.
    Like you… I also seek out the darker/grittier/heavier shows/tv/movies! But my friend recommended the tv show Lucifer (it’s on FOX) and it makes me laugh, even when the topic! The guy that plays him (Tom Ellis) is so charming and omg HIS VOICE (he’s from Wales)! And I don’t know if you ever watched Chicago Fire, but Lauren German (she played Shay) is the lead girl on it! And oh man, the girl that plays Trixie (Scarlet Estevez) is SO adorable haha. You should be able to find all 13 episodes on FoxNOW.

    If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here! The pen pal offer is always on the table πŸ™‚

  10. I totally understand what you’re saying. It’s hard, especially when on-the-minute news is available on EVERY social media platform now! What I’ve been trying to do more of lately, is less getting my news from social media and just reading an article from a major news outlet and getting my news that way. All of the speculation and images on my social media feeds really bring me down. Also, I’m a Christian so every morning, I try to get up 30 minutes before I start my day and pray and really ask Jesus for His peace and for Him to take away my anxiety. This is crucial to me not feeling out of control or helpless every single day. Also, I try to think about where I can help/encourage someone and read fluffy books an watch crazy shows. and try to watch or read something funny everyday and try not to be mad about it. I’m a believer that Inner Joy can never be taken, so if you find that time to laugh it’s really putting good energy back into the air. Also, Journal all of your feelings so that you won’t sleep with them on the brain. I know this comment is sooo long but I hope it helps! <3

  11. i think #5 is so good and important because it makes you and someone else feel good at the same time. i can be a pretty crappy human being so i need to do that one more often. i am not a news watcher, but it’s hard to escape the things that are going on in the world right now. i feel like part of it is that the media is such a huge part of our lives now vs 10-20 years ago, and then another part is that shit is just really, really bad. i keep wondering when enough will be enough.
    i like to read/watch happy fluffy things, spend time with my cats, or google buzzfeed articles about the good in the world. they always make me cry happy tears when they show people helping other people or animals, or just doing amazing kind things. it’s nice to be reminded there is good in the world.

  12. I have been feeling the exact same way. There is just so much happening in the world and then when I go on FB, there are so many negative opinions about everything. It makes me anxious and mad and just sad. I try to focus on the good stories that I see. And sometimes I just have to take a break from social media. That just makes everything worse.

  13. The biggest thing I’ve found to help me is to turn it off. I no longer have any news apps on my phone. I deleted my Twitter app too. The temptation was too great for me to open them up, scroll through all of the horrible news, and fixate on it. Now, I can only get the news via traditional methods, easily avoided if necessary. As for Twitter, I miss it for some things but not for others. Plus, when I do log in via my computer, it is so obvious how negative everyone has become. Whether it is RTing headlines or criticisms, people complaining, etc. I find that the longer I go without adding it back to my phone, the happier I am in general. The world may still be a dark and dangerous place, but now I can control how much of that darkness and danger I let into my life versus being constantly bombarded with it.

  14. The world is so scary right now, and I fear for my son’s (a policeman) safety. I definitely have felt the heaviness of the world lately, and it’s affected my own life. I’ve combatted those feelings by taking notice of the beauty in life, the positives. I turn off the news. I don’t visit social media that exploits the darkness. It just makes my heart heavy and painful, so I have to force myself to tune out current events lately.

  15. Along the lines of #5 I recently read that whenever you see an accident/catastrophe/terror attack/whatever, you should always focus on the helpers. Unfortunately it only works with television, but even then I think it’s some nice advice, because no matter how horrible the situation might be, there will always be someone trying to help.

  16. IT is amazing to me how you always write about some of the very same things I’m struggling with. Also funny – I do many of the same things to brighten my world. Hang on to the good, don’t obsess about the bad, and make the most of every single day!

  17. The world is such a dark and scary places at the moment. I definitely need to zoom out every now and then. I try to listen to the news as little as possible, only the most important things, because it makes me sad. I don’t want to be afraid to go to other places, so I try to let go of that fear. Embracing the good entertainment and spending time with the people around me are two really important factors in my life too.

  18. I’ve definitely been feeling this heaviness, this weight, with all that’s been going in the world. It’s SO hard to see the positive when something is going on, so I love that you actively remind yourself of the good or you do good things. It’s so helpful to see that, and to remember that the world is not all bad and dark, that there is so much LIGHT. For me, I for sure need to turn it off. I like to stay on top of things, and I listen to people and read their threads and I try to RT important things. I WANT to be informed, and I want to know what’s going on in the world, and I want people to know that I care. But at some point, I HAVE to let myself back away and take care of ME. Social media, but especially Twitter for me, can be so… heavy when things happen and I think it’s absolutely okay to turn it off for a bit. I love that you find ways to be kind and spread the love as well. That is SUCH a good idea!

    I love just getting out of my room and spending time with my family or the pets. We have kittens right now, and they’ve brought us so much joy and happiness. So sometimes I just go see them and get some snuggles and feel happy. I also tend to watch reruns of Friends when it’s been a particularly bad day. Even though I’ve seen these episodes so many times, they still make me laugh, and that is a MUST for me. I need to still be able to laugh and watch something that’ll bring me comfort. I also know it’s my privilege that I CAN do that, but self-care is so important too! Lovely post, Jamie!!