Updated: Nov 9
The recent crises in Palestine have taken a toll on us all. Seeing the conflict unfolding, hearing stories of children left orphaned and innocent people living in fear - it’s easy to feel hopeless, like there’s nothing we can do to ease their suffering.
While staying informed on world issues like Palestine is important, it can also take a heavy toll on our mental health. Those feelings of hopelessness and anger can overwhelm us, and end up causing a crisis in our own lives. So what can we do to cope?
Ironically, the best way we can help them is to help ourselves too. Our mental health has to become a priority in times like this, so that we have the strength to dedicate our time and effort to solving the problem.
So here are a few tips to ensure your mental wellbeing in the midst of these trying times!
1. Limit Media Consumption
While staying up-to-date is important, seeing the same distressing news repeated on news sites, social media, and TV can add up to become very overwhelming. Set boundaries on how much news you consume every day.
2. Practice Self-Care
Make time for yourself to do things that bring you joy. Work on a new skill or hobby, watch your favourite movies, read uplifting books, or practice meditation or yoga. Taking time to do these things will give you the mental strength to keep going.
3. Stay Connected (Offline!)
The news can be a sobering reminder that our loved ones will not be around forever. Reach out to your trusted friends and family, and spend some quality time with them. It’s also a good opportunity to share your feelings and struggles, and gain some strength from them.
4. Seek Support
If you're feeling truly overwhelmed, consider speaking with a mental health professional or counsellor. Remember that it’s okay to seek more support, and that you don’t have to wait for a huge crisis to need it.
5. Volunteer Support
Helping others can also give a sense of purpose and contribute to your mental well-being. You can volunteer your time at a local charity, or even contribute monetarily. It can also be as simple as checking on your neighbours or surprising your friends with a treat.
6. Focus on What You Can Control
Recognise what is within your control and focus your energy on those aspects - this can help you feel less helpless. While you may not be able to solve the problems that Palestinians and others around the world are facing, you can still do your small part and ease their struggles. No act of kindness that you do is too small.
Prioritising your mental health in times of crisis is vital. It might seem selfish to be thinking of yourself when others are suffering so terribly, but ensuring that you’re in a good headspace is the best way to keep you thriving, strong, and ready to help make the world a better place. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Remember - be kind to yourself, so that you can be kind to others.