5 Things We Can Do When The World Feels Crazy

I don’t typically post about things like this, but it’s hard not to be affected by the state of our country right now.

We just had the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Puerto Rico is in ruins, and Houston is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey…among so many other situations around us.

The fear, anger, and desperation can feel overwhelming. How do we even begin to process and even make sense of it all?

Like many of you, I want to do something. So I opened my computer and pulled out my planner, (because that’s what I do), and I made a list of how I can help. How any of us can help, really.

The list is small by comparison, and I know it won’t completely fix our crazy world, but at least it’s progress. And I’ll take that over complacency any day.

{ONE} Give of ourselves

We can do this quite literally. Blood donations are needed now more than ever in Las Vegas. You can go to www.redcross.org and click on “donate blood.” Type in your zip code to see donation sites closest to you.

There’s still a lot of need in Houston and Puerto Rico (and will be for quite some time). Maybe consider an ongoing donation to an established charity in those areas?

This list includes local Houston charities with boots on the ground and are providing some of the best support in the area.

Puerto Rico’s first lady, Beatriz Rossello, launched an emergency fund with help from private companies. United for Puerto Rico (Unidos Por Puerto Rico) lets you donate through PayPal or directly to its bank account.

Maybe you have a cause that’s closer to home or your heart? Find a way you can give of yourself. Volunteer your time, share your money, or round up much-needed supplies. Be a contributor.

{TWO} Stay open minded

I get mental fatigue sometimes scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and reading hateful posts from people who only care about their own opinion – and forcing it down everyone else’s feed.

Free speech isn’t a one-way right. It should be okay to disagree…have different thoughts about issues and intelligently work toward solving problems, but it seems like egos keep getting in the way of meaningful discussions.

I was enlightened by this article that was recently shared by a friend. Here’s an excerpt worth noting:

“…You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say.”

(Love that last line.)

{THREE} Inform our kids, with guard rails

I think it’s important for kids to be smart about life. They need to know how to protect themselves from strangers, bullies, severe weather, and people with guns. So I talk to my kids about safety tips and even talk about what’s going on in our country – but not in too much detail.

I try not to let them watch the news, which is full of terribly graphic images. I don’t want to scare them into becoming hermits or doomsday preppers. We take the Skimm approach and talk through just the headlines.

This great article outlines how (and how much) we should inform our kids at various ages. I found it extremely helpful.

{FOUR} Watch what we consume

Heavy news can be hard for adults, too. It can be hard to avoid it, though, as it fills our social feeds. And we fall into the rhythms of checking statuses so often.

When we do give ourselves a break, we might sink into a Netflix series that’s a little more violent than we’d like, but the storyline is just so good. I get it. I’m in the same boat.

All of the content we consume adds up, though, like calories in our minds. How healthy are we, really? How much of what we’re consuming is good for us?

A few weeks ago I was feeling a little down in the dumps…for no apparent reason. As I was brushing my teeth before bed, I looked in the mirror and realized I was behaving like a character in a show I had been watching. A sad, lonely dude…and here I am a vibrant woman, mother of three, with plenty of people around me to love. It really made me stop and recalibrate what I’m feeding my mind.

We’re more affected by what we see than we realize.

I’m not going to bury my head in the sand about current events, but when I’m given a choice between a murder mystery or a funny episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I think I’m going to let myself laugh for a bit.

{FIVE} Pray for everyone involved

There are plenty of people offering their prayers right now – politicians included. And I truly hope everyone treats this word as a verb, not a noun that can be tossed about for the sake of niceties.

Prayer is powerful and necessary.

And regardless of your religion, if you believe in a higher power, now is the time (more than ever) to actively pray and ask for healing, understanding, and peace to wash over us. To help us see what’s truly going on and what’s needed from us to correct course.

I’d love to know what you think about all of this. And maybe share what your families, friends or co-workers are doing for others? There’s plenty of room in my day planner to add ideas 😉 

Many blessings, my sweet friends.

-Kate

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6 comments on “5 Things We Can Do When The World Feels Crazy

  1. I do love this post. I’ve definitely been watching what and how much I consume because it’s exhausting right now. Some days feel like an all-out assault on my mind and body. I have some good friends who have organized an event for high school seniors in Houston to work on their college applications and get help on the components associated with them. They have sixty people signed up to volunteer!! They’re just working on getting the word out to families now. That makes me happy (I work in that space, too) to know that so many people want to help them get to their next step.

    • Sara, what a great way to help our kids!! Thank you for sharing. I have friends in Houston, so let me know if I can help spread the word, too. Have a wonderful week!

  2. Love this!! I’ve actually turned off the news. I found it was causing too much stress to watch it and I have to say I honestly don’t miss it. I read the newspaper which doesn’t affect me the same way.

  3. Kate,
    You have such thoughtful spirit filled advice. I am forwarding this to the parents of my sweet students. I am sure they will appreciate your words. Truly there is more love than hate in the world. Thank you for sharing your love and inspiring hope in all of us.

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