0051. notes to self
'Tis the season after all. Because while it is a beautiful and joyous time, it is also a season that can trigger anxiety and other disquieting emotions.
For me - powerlessness. I try my best to help others but with soap opera spectacles at our capitol, legislators that don't seem to care about dire facts regarding climate change (and other matters), Indigenous populations continually disregarded, killed, and systemically oppressed - what can I do right now to help? I don't have an answer.
I've mentioned my difficulty in balancing being informed and staying sane. I sometimes feel that I need to avoid the news for my own wellbeing and I'm aware it is not a good coping mechanism - I want to be informed. I want to do as much as I can.
So, despite not wanting to leave upstate, earlier this month I went to Long Island to vote. It perfectly coincided with seeing family from Ecuador and it's a small thing that has an impact. Many local elections are for long terms and can make a huge difference in the balance of justice, corruption, fairness and inclusion within your very own community.
It falls in line with a note I wrote in my planner weeks ago:
DO THE SMALL STUFF.
Hold the door for the person behind you. Share a sincere compliment. Do the chore your SO/mom/sibling hates. Take a few minutes to clear up your space. In an overwhelming world, the small stuff adds up.
It was precisely the reminder I needed at a a time when every task felt overwhelming. Once I broke it down though - approachable, manageable and easy to accomplish.
As the feelings continue to reappear I immerse myself in this routine: I do something just for myself and then start a tiny project. Ten minutes make a difference and most times it doesn't stop there, it just helps me get over that hump.
As for the bigger issues, I journaled about these overwhelming feelings and a glimmer of hope came to me. I am not powerless when I focus on what is closest to me - whether that's locality or in my heart. Kindness, love, mental health awareness, community - these are compelling tools I can use at any moment, every single day, no matter where I find myself. The hope is that it creates a ripple effect and imagining the power of that is overwhelming in a beautifully, inspiring way.
How do you approach overwhelm? Wishing you a joyful December.
PS. Further proof. (chapter 1 of 'Atomic Habits')
PPS. A merry + green holiday season.