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It seems like tragedy has been striking our nation and the world at an alarming rate lately. The Emmanuel AME Church terrorist attack, the rise of police violence in the States, the Boko Haram abduction of hundreds of young women in Nigeria, and the injustice against ethnic Haitians in the Dominican Republic are just a few examples. Personally, I am very emotionally sensitive to human injustices, so these instances have been particularly difficult for me to handle - especially since they seem to be happening en masse.

In times when we feel the weight of the world on our backs, it is particularly important to make self-care a priority. We must take special care of our hearts, minds, and spirits to make it through the tough times. Here are a few ways to do so:

Laughter is the best medicine. It may seem difficult, or even forced, but try and position yourself so that you can enjoy a good laugh. Watch a funny film, or have a humorous time with a friend. Laughter truly is nature's happy pill. Sometimes getting out a hearty laugh is equivalent to a good, cathartic cry. Laugh to your heart's delight. Even a temporary reprieve from the sorrow that you're experiencing will be worth it.

Cast your burdens down. In "Brain Rules for Baby," molecular biologist Dr. John Medina speaks about the importance of being able to identify one's emotions. Simply expressing how we feel about a situation has a calming effect. With that in mind, TALK about it. Talk to a trusted friend or relative, but make sure to get your emotions out. You'll feel so much better just by having done so.

Cherish your loved ones. The silver lining to sad times is that they often put things into perspective for us. Always too busy to sit down and read to your children? Or always seem to let small things ruin your day? Tragedy does a wonderful job of prioritizing. In difficult times, we realize the importance of living every day to the fullest extent, of not sweating the small stuff, and of loving and appreciating the ones that we are blessed to have in our lives. Spend some quality time with your loved ones in the coming days and weeks. Make sure to let them know that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

Pray. There's absolutely nothing better than quiet time with God. The bible says in Psalms 55:22 (NIV) to "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." We are not built to carry our burdens alone. His strength is made perfect in our weakness! Don't attempt to bear your burdens on your own; it's in your weakness that God is able to work miracles in your life. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable and let Him fix it. Remember, the battle isn't yours; it's the lord's! Pray without ceasing about the issue that you're dealing with. He is listening, and waiting for you to stretch yourself in faith, so that He can work it out.

Turn sorrow into action. Tragic times have a way of making us feel powerless. But let me tell you, you don't have to accept victimhood. You have so much more power than you realize. Reclaim that power by allowing yourself to be spurred to action. Concerning the tragedies of injustice that I mentioned at the start of this post, you might be wondering what you can do to make a dent in effecting positive change. Well, there are many ways to act, and every method isn't necessarily for everyone. Maybe educating is your path, and you feel most comfortable educating or mentoring others about ways that they can get involved. Or maybe you're an empathetic and compassionate soul that is best suited to listen or counsel others through their grief. Whatever you choose, just remember that your contribution to helping others is always valid, necessary, and worthwhile.

Decompress. Decompress. Whatever that means for you, just do it. I found myself relieving myself of my painful feelings on the treadmill quite a bit this week. I always feel better after a good workout, so I made the gym one of my sanctuaries. I challenge you to find yours. Or perhaps you already know what yours is. Either way, allow yourself time and space to decompress as you deal with the pain that you're experiencing. Read that book. Veg out on the couch. Play a video game. Just be sure to make sure that your tactics are healthful, and go ahead with it.

Give yourself time. At the end of the day, it's important to be patient with yourself. Healing doesn't happen overnight; so don't expect yourself to feel "fixed" in a jiffy. Remember to be kind, caring, and patient with yourself and others. Take your time.

Hopefully these methods will provide you with a sense of wellbeing and solace. We at Jazzymae Photography pray for your personal peace, comfort, and prosperity.


God bless.

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