Protecting yourself

In the wake of the election, I have no desire to watch the news. There is a lot going on and it’s not just my disappointment at the outcome that has been on my mind. This all comes towards the end of the semester, where stresses and pressures related to research papers and final exams are coming to a head.

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There are times when you have to be vigilant and aggressive about protecting yourself from harm

At a time when you would think I’d be plugged into social media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, my TV is actually off right now as I type this and I removed a couple social media apps from my phone because I knew it was time for a little self-care.

Okay, a lot of self-care.

More self-care than usual.

An extreme amount of self-care.

The last few days I have become aggressively protective of my mental health to the point that I am (for the time being) opting out of activities I used to participate in on a daily basis. Checking Twitter? Not right now. Talking about Facebook? Not right now. Watching CNN? Not right now or ever again.

This is more than my regular digital detox. It’s self-preservation time.

If there is something happening in your life that you know will upset you or set you back in your mental health journey, how should you deal with it?

Some would say you should face it head on or that you should toughen up.

Others would say that you should remove or limit whatever it is in your life that is distressing to you and threatening to damage your mental health.

Be self-aware and vigilant. Check in with yourself often. Take breaks. Get a lot of rest. Say “no” when you have to. I’m not just suggesting these things, I urge you to do these things every day for the sake of your emotional wellness.

If recent events or this time of the year is simply too much for you, please consider setting some boundaries in your life today.

There’s no rule that says you have to expose yourself to harmful things to be educated or informed. You are in control of your life. Therefore, you should actively protect yourself at all costs from outside influences with the power to drag you down.

Protect yourself. You will be glad you did in the future.

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