It's OK If You Need A Mental Break While Everyone Is Fighting For Change

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It's OK If You Need A Mental Break While Everyone Is Fighting For Change
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By Kaitlin Livingston

This year has been a lot for many of us to handle.

It started with the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other plane crash victims.

Then COVID-19 hit, and now, our hearts, minds, and souls are invested in the Black Lives Matter movement — while we still battle the effects of a global pandemic. 

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2020 has hit me hard, too — like a brick: full-force and unpredictably. When I go on social media, all I see are the negative things that are happening in the world.

My entire feed revolves around COVID-19, BLM protests (which, for the record, are amazing!), black people who’ve been killed by police, and the latest things that Trump’s said.

I’ve posted on social media about BLM and attended protests. I also check the headlines daily. I’ve felt the need to do my part, just like everyone else. 

Don’t get me wrong — if you’re emotionally capable of doing so, you should join in on the BLM movement and be there for those who need you during this pandemic. 

With that said, though, I feel completely burnt out.

My anxiety has shot through the roof. I’ve cried almost every day. I can’t seem to find a way to recharge, which has significantly affected my mental health. 

But I felt so selfish for feeling this way. I’ve kept on going and trying to pretend that I was not impacted, because everyone else has it worse, right?

So why should I be feeling so low? How is this fair to others?

This was the mindset I had. Therefore, I didn’t allow myself to take a social media break. I refused to tell my friends that I couldn’t mentally or emotionally handle them venting to me. 

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But most of all, I refused to give myself the break I needed in order to focus on my mental health. 

But eventually, I decided to focus on myself. After all, how can I continue to fill others’ cups when mine is empty? 

If you’re in the same position, it’s okay to step back from the world and take time for yourself.

If you feel drained right now, give yourself permission to log off of social media and take a break to focus on yourself.

Yes, the world needs you right now, but if you aren’t emotionally able to help, you need to respect your own needs. So make sure that you’re okay before you continue to take part in this year’s events.

If 2020 has negatively impacted you, don’t feel ashamed. Your mental health is just as important as this year’s heavy events. 

Take care of yourself in these difficult times. Remember that, during times like this, it’s great to reach out to a therapist, speak to your doctor about any anxiety you have, and talk with your close family members and friends.

You can also seek help by searching your local crisis line. In these difficult times, stay safe. But most importantly, keep yourself well.

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Kaitlin Livingston is a writer who focuses on health and wellness, mental health, and self-care. For more of her mental health content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.