Collective Heartbreak – coping strategies

This collective heartbreak is real. Even if we are not directly affected, if our community is dealing with a wildfire, the residual effects of a pandemic and a mass shooting, or all three, we are all feeling stress, uncertainty and a sense of helplessness. It can be difficult to concentrate, we can have trouble sleeping.

How to cope

Reach out with offers of support and friendship. It will do your heart good too. Step up your self care. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Give yourself permission to not be on top of your game.
  2. Rest, take frequent breaks.
  3. Try to stay grounded:For me this involves eating food that is earthy (think mushrooms, root vegetables, drinking chaga tea and other earthy teas); Walking and taking time to notice the birds, the first lupins opening up. Try to use all of your senses. What do you hear, see, smell and feel?
  4. Take time to breathe and let moments of calm wash over you. For me this involves meditation and writing in my journal.

Journaling prompt

Writing in my journal is how I make space for self care and how I process difficult situations. (It’s also how all of my designs for my artwork begin.) Try this prompt:

Right now, my heart needs …

What would this look like/feel like? Can you draw or make a piece of art that reflects the feeling you need?

Taking the time to write or create a feeling we need in our lives right now can be very healing and comforting. It doesn’t mean we are not still faced with a difficult situation, but it helps us to shore up our reserves so we can continue to support ourselves and our community.

The words from my journal that inspired this piece were “Slow down, breathe, let it wash over me, be gentle with myself.”