Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

This past week has brought about events that most of us have never seen. While we try to make sense of it, I for one had a hard time adjusting to that heaviness in my heart and the fog that was left in my brain. I think most of us were waiting for the other shoe to drop, it was a “what’s next?” kind of moment.

I’m very fortunate to have a sweet pet to comfort me. He has done so since he was a very small kitten, and he seemingly knows when I need a little emotional support. He is always there with reassuring blinks and purrs and a head bonk or two. There is just something calming in his presence, especially in that bond of taking care of each other. Whenever I feel anxious, I get a warm bundle of fur plopped next to me, and someone who requests a few scratches to bring me back to reality. I dare anyone to feel stressed while watching a cat sleep.

Another way I cope is by immersing myself deep in writing. I find putting my feelings to paper is very grounding, it helps to make sense of the chaos. I’ll often write poetry. Somehow, putting words together is a bit like playing Scrabble, only more eloquently and powerfully. The words have more value than the tiles.

I’m someone who suffers from mild panic attacks from time to time, and I have to sit and breathe, and calm my heart for a while, focus on something around me. I try to use my senses to do that and rebalance myself. There is nothing worse than when you wake up with that awful feeling and have to put your feet on the ground and just feel what is around you. Often, if it is decent enough outside, I will go for a brief walk and just try to change up the scenery, get into more peaceful surroundings, go watch a sunrise or geese swimming out on a lake somewhere.

I think the best tip that I could give, would be to simply notice the things that are good in your life. There’s quite a bit, from that hot cup of coffee we sip at the table each morning, to green grass or a blue sky. We have to come back down to the people, the things that do make sense, and not focus on the things that we have no control over. Sometimes, we just need to take a few steps back and see how very blessed we are. We need to ask ourselves what we can do to make the world a little better, what can we contribute? You’ll often find that we actually have a lot if we are willing to see things from a different vantage point.

Life is life, ever-changing, but if we can adapt to change, have a plan for when it all seemingly hits the fan, we will be one step ahead of all the chaos around us.