10 Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health
- Normalize your feelings: All the feelings you are experiencing now are valid. Whether you are sad, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, or feeling emotions you haven’t experienced, these feelings make you a human with empathy.
- Find ways to express your emotions and self-soothe: Process your emotions in a journal or with others. Create a list of activities that help you self-soothe.
- Be intentional about media exposure: Be mindful of what and how much media content you consume. It’s important to stay connected, informed, and aware of what is happening, but it’s also crucial to take care of yourself to keep from burning out.
- Connect with community: This is a collective experience, and yet, it can feel so isolating. Talk about how you’re feeling with people who are safe and supportive.
- Keep a routine: As difficult as it might be, continuing a routine is so important. Exercise, eat food at regular times, drink water and do not put important things on hold.
- Take action: It is easy to feel powerless in such a situation, and taking action can help. Give money, call representatives or volunteer your time.
- Move your body: Movement helps us process emotions. Make sure you’re moving; it doesn’t need to be anything big – go on a walk, stretch or do a few jumping jacks in place.
- Focus on the little things: We need to focus on the small things when the big things feel too much. Acknowledge the little moments of joy, calm, or gratitude that emerge, no matter how small.
- Engage in Jewish rituals: Light a yahrtzeit candle, make Shabbat dinner, listen to Jewish music, give tzedakah, practice hitbodedut or do something else that helps you feel connected to the Jewish community and Jewish resilience.
- Talk to a professional: It’s not uncommon to be experiencing symptoms of traumatic stress in a time like this, and it may benefit you to find a therapist, rabbi, doctor or group that can give you additional support.
These are recommendations for educational purposes only but are not intended to be a substitute for therapy or medical treatment. Please consult with your doctor or therapist for recommendations specific to you. If you need help finding a therapist in your area, please contact Hannah Tishman, LCSW or Naomi Levine, LCMFT.