Turbulent times happen on occasion in our personal lives, workplace activities, and in the world around us. Turbulent times can last for a few moments or span several decades. The more time we spend in turbulence, the more we find ourselves wanting something safe, supportive, and serene; the more we want people in our lives who bring us joy and peace.
Perhaps you’ve heard of compassion fatigue – an exhaustion that comes from caring for others. Turbulent times can create compassion fatigue because we expend so much energy just to make it through each turbulent day. In my personal life, while caring for a child, there was a time (a year or more) in which each day was really three days of experience. Here’s what I mean: the morning could go one way, the afternoon another, and the after-dinner hours yet another way. The daily energetic and emotional rollercoaster was exhausting. Family members remember me saying “I can’t think about anything a month from now, I’m just trying to get through today and what it may bring.”
Turbulent times affect our thoughts, our hearts, and our souls, as well as our energy levels and abilities to problem solve. Turbulent times can refocus our hope or lead to hopelessness. The choices in how we handle our, or the world’s, turbulent times are ours. What choices do we have? Here are some ideas for handling or surviving turbulent times.
- Go for a walk.
- Talk to a trusted friend.
- Read a good book. Join a book club.
- Discover or rediscover a hobby or craft that feeds your soul.
- Stop reading the paper.
- Stop watching the news.
- Start taking care of your well-being first, then help others.
- Start a gratitude or acts-of-kindness practice and journal your reflections.
The list can be infinitely long. There are so many ways to find comfort, peace, and well-being. Explore what used to make you happy. Recognize, and keep, the people in your life who are supportive. Let people and activities go that drain you rather than help you to rebuild and stay energized.
How are you handling turbulent times? What and who is bringing you safety, support, joy and peace? Find them. Thank them. Cheer them on too.
Note: This Jana Kemp blog first appeared online January 23, 2019.