Existential distress

There is a lot going on in our world at any given time—much of which is chaotic, scary, overwhelming, unjust, and terrifying. This can leave many of us feeling uncertain about the future, demoralized, or confused. Fortunately, there are things we can do to minimize the discomfort.

Healthy coping strategies

Limit your intake

If you feel distressed by what’s in the news and on social media, the quickest way to get relief is to cut back your consumption of it. You may choose to block it out altogether, or just limit your time and exposure.

Because this can be difficult to do, apps like LeechBlock and Self Control allow you to block access to specific websites on your device for set periods of time.

Self-care isn't selfish

You can't pour from an empty cup, right? Balance your consumption of current events with activities that fill you up and keep you feeling healthy, alive, and on your game: exercise, clean the house, connect with friends or other people who help you to feel good, engage in your spiritual practice, take care of your body—grooming, eating, sleeping. Get dressed up.

Honor your feelings. And others’ feelings.

Give yourself permission for your feelings—whatever they are. Some people respond to global or social events with strong feelings, while others feel very little. Wherever you land, that’s ok. Allow that for yourself without judging your experience, or others’ experiences.

Engage with your community

Even if you’re not a verbal processor, connecting with others in difficult times wards off loneliness and helps shape constructive values and shared identities. You will likely not always know the “right” thing to say, but speaking with kindness and curiosity, and listening with respect go a long way.

Get active

Feeling powerless is a drag. The surest way to counter this is to find your voice and your sense of agency. Join in local activism and organizations and talk with others about your values. Seek out answers to your questions and seek out inspiration. If a dose of uplifting true stories might be your cup of tea, try Positive News.