Have you felt like the content you are consuming has been flooded with unsettling images of racial tension, protests and violence as a result of George Floyd’s murder?
It seems clear that the polarized nature of our nation’s political leadership will remain the status quo for a long time So, if we want to be informed, we will have to dance to the rhythm set by media outlets that can often sensationalize stories to increase their ratings.
When we also consider the pain and suffering still being caused by the coronavirus outbreak as the economy is beginning to re-open after almost 3 months of near paralysis, it may seem difficult to take steps that promote our mental well-being. Consequently, we must take conscious actions that generate a positive attitude for ourselves and those around us.
During these trying times, we may often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, as if it is impossible to feel in control of the situation at hand. Thus, it is time to use our skills to improve our well-being and live these moments not in a state of anxiety, worry or apathy, but one of “flow.”
We are in a state of flow when our body and mind are stretched to their limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Being in “Flow” is feeling in the zone and fully energized and focused while doing something.
If we want to prioritize our mental health during a time when both traditional media and social media are bombarded with content that generates conflict and shows us situations of violence, even when we don’t need it, then we must act compassionately and:
SUPPORT the causes that further the fight against racism and solutions to the problems generated by the pandemic, identifying which of them align with our interests or missions in life. We must ensure that our support transcends social networks, and allow the message of the foundations that offer a solution to the problem to be part of our day-to-day lives, at work, at home, or with our friends.
DONATE, not only with money but with time, identifying how our skill set can provide us with ways to contribute to these causes. If you’re a talented writer or you are a creative person, you could offer to write articles for the foundation of your preference. If you have skills in logistics, offer your time to implement new ways to receive and deliver donations, etc. The key is to identify a particular task that can be performed by putting your talents and preferences into practice, helping you and others achieve a state of flow.
COMMIT to the causes with which you empathize best and make positive change in the long term instead of just supporting a cause just because it’s trending. The idea would be to be able to identify causes where you can take actions, such as consistently raising money or awareness, so that the impact isn’t simply momentary but more permanent.
Remember that by getting involved with a charitable cause you truly believe in, your body will be generating dopamine (allowing you to feel more secure), oxytocin (promoting trust and devotion in yourself and others), and reducing heartbeat and blood pressure. By SUPPORTING, DONATING to, and COMMITTING to causes you wholly identify with and acting compassionately, you will have more opportunities to reach a state of flow.
Let’s all be mindful and work to support causes that promote the general welfare of those around us, instead of the ones that only serve to divide us.