It seems like everywhere we look all we see are problems. Given this, it is not surprising that according to the WHO, mental health problems are on the rise all over the world. While it is normal to feel upset when the whole world seems to be falling apart, we can take steps to reduce our feelings of distress. When we do that, we are better able to be a part of the solution – or at least, not create more of our own problems. Here are five of our favorite techniques to take care of ourselves during turbulent times:

Create a ritual of soothing.

The habits we create are the foundation of our experiences. To counteract the constant drumbeat of negativity, we need to set aside time to connect with our inner being, to calm our nervous system, and to relax our emotions and minds. Rituals are a great way to help ourselves feel secure and grounded. They can be small things, like hugging your partner when you come home (or emerge from your home office) or having a cup of chamomile tea before bed. They can be bigger events, too, like taking the family on a yearly trip to the local botanical garden to see the holiday display. Whatever ritual you create, pack it with intention. It is an opportunity to ground your energy, center yourself, and get back to the core of You.

Manage your energy with a little R4R self-soothing.

You may already have a favorite energy psychology exercise or two. It could be your daily meditation, or regular EFT or TFT tapping program. Maybe you balance your energy with some yoga or tai chi. If you had a practice but abandoned it, now is a great time to get back to it! If you don’t have a go-to favorite, check out the simple and effective exercises from our Resources for Resilience site. A dedicated and inspired team of ACEP volunteers put these together in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting. They wanted to get self-soothing tools to people in need. It is a fabulous resource, with nearly two dozen exercises broken down into five categories. All of the exercises are energy psychology or energy medicine standards, easy to use and super effective.

Go on a news diet.

Our parents used to read the news every morning, and maybe watch the evening news. Today, the constant reminder of the world’s problems can make us feel more distressed and less secure. We know that news outlets use amped-up headlines to get us to click on the stories. Worse, all those reminders do not do a single thing to help solve the problems. So, go on a news diet. Turn off your New York Times notifications. Set a boundary on the time you spend on Threads. Don’t read the comments below your YouTube news stories. Give yourself some limits so that you can live your life. You’ll still know what is going on, without being bombarded by doom and gloom stories.

Savor the good times.

Rick Hanson tells us that we are hardwired to notice, encode, and rehearse negative experiences much more than positive ones. When our ancestors needed to remember where the saber tooth tiger lived, it was a protective habit. Today, it is more destructive and leads to mental health problems like depression and anxiety. To counteract this negativity bias, Hanson recommends savoring good times. His Taking in the Good explains a 3-4 step process of noticing when something good happens, savoring the feeling for 10-30 seconds, and intending that the experience is becoming a part of you.

Get to work!

We can get overwhelmed by the tremendous world need, and sometimes feel responsible for solving all the world’s problems. Of course, we can’t actually solve all the world problems, and that sad fact can leave us feeling hopeless, helpless, and ineffective. But we are not. As Margaret Mead told us so clearly, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Our task is to find our area of influence and work at it. As each of us is dedicated to doing our small part of the work, thousands and thousands are doing the same. We are working together, even if we don’t know each other at all. We are creating ripple effects that will reverberate all over the world. Look how far we have already come! There is every reason to believe that it will keep going, and that we are doing our small part, together, to change the world.

We need to take care of ourselves during turbulent times.

Everyone needs self-care and healthy boundaries. It is especially important for those who spend their lives and careers taking care of others. Remember, you can’t give from an empty cup. And you matter!

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Sarah Murphy, LPC, ACP-EFT, is an ACEP board member and communications committee chair. She is a counselor in private practice and specializes in working with people who have serious illnesses. A student of the Ageless Wisdom, she is dedicated to sharing the Great Invocation.