What to do when you’re sad

If you’re anything like me becoming a parent fundamentally changed the way you react to certain things. Sad stories and scary things that happen to children in the news take on a whole new meaning when you’ve got kids of your own.

Take, for example, the tragedy in Mississauga yesterday or the anniversary of the Parkland shooting. These events now cut close to home in a way they never did before I had my own babies.

So, with that in mind, I’m revisiting a post I made back in June 2018 that I think might be appropriate for today:

 

Watching the news is so hard right now. It’s devastating, it’s sad, and as a parent it cuts into your soul.  It can be difficult to know how to cope with tragedy in the news.

When you are in the vulnerable postpartum period, everything feels heightened. It can be even more challenging to know how to process difficult news. Your hormones are shifting, you may be sleep deprived, and you are trying to figure out what your new normal looks like. So when you read stories of families being torn apart, or people being hurt it can make you think about your own family, and for some moms this can be incredibly overwhelming.

What can you do when the world feels too much?

It makes sense that hearing tragic news can be a huge trigger for new moms. When hearing about tragic news, it is important to know that your mental health is important. Taking care of your mental health during these difficult times will allow you to be the best version of yourself, and that is where true change can really happen. Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:

1. Be honest about how you are feeling. 

Is it triggering something from your past? Do you need to talk to someone about it? Take time to reflect on your feelings and thoughts, and do your best to understand them. Be honest with yourself, and with others.

2. Turn off the TV, and put down your phone.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, take time away from it all. Tell your family you don’t want to talk about it. It’s okay to be protective of yourself and your mental health!

3. Do something good for your body.

Take care of your body! Get outside and release some endorphins, and eat some healthy food. It will reenergize you and help you put things into perspective.

4. Do something good for your soul.

This will look different for everyone. It can be yoga, meditation, or even a nap. Do something that calms your mind and slows your brain down. I tend to be a fan of singing Broadway show tunes at the top of my lungs, but that’s just me…

5. Take a step forward.

Find a small concrete step you can take that makes a difference. Donate money or time to a cause you care about, support other local charities, or write letters to elected officials. Use your energy for positive change in this world.

 

Know that you are not alone in your thoughts and your sadness and if it feels like it’s too much – tell someone. Parents need a village so let’s lean on and support each other and we’ll make it through together.

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