Welcome to episode 439 of The Whole View! This week, Stacy and Sarah check in with how current events in the US have impacted their physical and mental health, and look at ways they can make influence positive change.
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The Whole View, Episode 439: A Conversation around Current Events
Welcome back to episode 439 of the Whole View. (0:27) Just last week, Stacy and Sarah discussed the New Year and how we can start it off right by forming positive habits. And then the New Year came and hit us all in the face. Stacy takes a minute to reflect on how rough this week has been for everyone. She also reminds any new listeners that Sarah is actually a new American citizen. She takes a moment to check in with Sarah on how she feels about every going on in our country.
Checking In With Sarah
Sarah has been struggling a lot with the Capitol events last week and the iterative unfolding around it. She’s found it incredibly hard to concentrate on work or even get away from the news alerts. Sarah shares that she became a citizen because it felt like making official something that already existed. Sarah explains how difficult it is to put the feelings of alarm, disappointment, concern, and overall violation into words. She also expresses how she feels as if she’s waiting for something – whether it’s the other shoe to drop or consequences – or if it what she’s waiting for will even happen altogether. Sarah has been struggling to understand the complex mix of emotions she’s been experiencing since last Wednesday. She believes her experience is a very common one to many immigrants, in the sense that when she arrived in her new country, everything was different, and there was a lot of culture clash. Many things are uniquely American that you learn about living here, immersed in the culture. No amount of TV or sharing with others can accurately show those things. The more she learned about the country and its history, the more she came to appreciate the truly remarkable beginnings of the country. And the model of democracy it represents for the world. Learning about a country is part of the immigrant process. And learning the history of the country is one thing that made Sarah fall in love with the US. Right now, everything going on feels so discordant with what American Democracy means.
Sarah explains it like walking through your home after a burglar has broken in and you don’t know what they’ve taken or touched and violated. (5:20) That’s how these events have made her feel about her adopted home- there’s this permeating sense of violation. Stacy shares how much she agrees with that analogy. For Stacy, her realization started around May/June. That was around the time she and Sarah decided to come forward out of the community and talk about things they felt were representative of the messages shared on TWV, in terms of wellness and safety for all. Stacy is working through these recent events on two levels: personally, as a mother, and also as someone lucky enough to have a voice in the community. Stacy tells listeners that she’s always been aware of her privilege. Standing for safety and wellness for all has always been a mission and passion of hers:
- She quit her job to devote more time to get safer beauty products into the hands of everyone.
- She also has a degree in the Social Justice field and a minor in Women’s Studies.
Advocacy is something that’s been at the forefront of Stacy’s mind. Yet, she could see the awful things happening and has, at times, been guilty of turning it off and looking away.
One of the realizations she came to is how privileged she is that she could even do that. She could separate herself, turn it off, and look away because she is not directly affected or oppressed by the messages being sent. It is not safe and not encouraging wellness for those vulnerable populations to witness some of the messages being said and not do anything to help or support. Stacy adds that this is not designed to say, “you can’t have free speech.” But rather, that free speech isn’t what’s happening here. From this realization, she’s been making a conscious effort to lean in more, watch more and listen more. And she’s noticed the physical and emotional toll it’s beginning to take on her as an empathic individual.
What We Can Do
She wonders some healthy coping mechanisms we can do since we’re all going to approach things differently. (9:48) She also wants everyone to think about what we can do to influence change. Stacy shares she is focusing on actionable change. This includes looking at her daily life, the brands she supports and asking herself if that’s representative of where she wants to channel her money and support. As individuals, we know where our values and beliefs are. And we can choose to support others who value the same things. This is something that’s given Stacy a sense of power in a situation where she often feels powerless. Sarah shares that she’s been struggling to find actions she can take in her life the way Stacy was able to. She tells listeners she and her family have been having many discussions to promote compassion for the anger behind falling into this misinformation ecosystem. She’s also tried very hard to help her kids understand this moment in the context of American history.
The Importance Of Education In Current Events
Her primary coping strategy has been to talk about what happened, their feelings toward it, and the information. (12:30) As listeners know, this show is very data-driven. Stacy and Sarah try to stay away from black-and-white rules around wellness, focus on education, and look at the big picture of health. In a way, she’s been applying that same approach to current events to better understand. This way, she can make better-informed decisions. Arming ourselves with data-driven information is something Sarah falls back on in times of stress and anxiety. And it’s definitely what she and her family are doing currently. Stacy stresses how difficult and important it is, as a parent, to have those conversations with our children. If our children don’t hear it from us – the lessons and values we want to share – they will get it somewhere else. There is value in being someone who can receive those feelings from your children. Stacy has always prided herself on her kids’ empowerment in coming to her with their frustrations or sad.
Take Care Of Yourself
Stacy and Sarah have also been working hard to handle their anxiety, so they are emotionally available to family members who need to talk. (17:01) They’ve been doing this a lot through CBD oil. For more about CBD oil, see Episode 420. Stacy has also been working on getting more sleep. If she doesn’t get enough sleep, everything in her life crumbles. Stacy references this Episode 397 for more information on sleep. Stacy encourages listeners to figure out how they can get better sleep because everything else in life gets easier to take care of if we get enough sleep. Sarah shares the “Do Not Disturb” feature on her phone has helped her avoid distractions at night. Stacy also invites listeners interested in mediation to check out the show she and Sarah did on mediation’s scientific benefits.
Final Thoughts On Current Events
Stacy wraps things up by reminding listeners that their feelings are valid and that they are not alone. (23:29) She knows it’s difficult to know the people if your life doesn’t think the same as you and wish they would. Or that you have it better than others and feel guilt. We are all entitled to the way we feel without guilt or shame. There is no benefit to that guilt. Stacy reminds us that the best thing we can do is feel better, make a change, take action, or whatever it is that will pull you out of that guilt or shame. She strongly encourages everyone to step away from the shame cycle and really focus on making changes for the better. Stacy and Sarah appreciate you being a part of their lives and this show. When it comes to protecting and supporting vulnerable communities, Stacy urges listeners to do whatever they can to take action and show that support. We all must do our part to protect mental and physical wellness during these current events. Sarah adds that medication is not the same as admitting failure. She feels it’s important to give ourselves permission to feel the way we’re feeling. Pulling ourselves out of the shame cycle isn’t the same as refusing to let ourselves feel sad. For Sarah, the path has always been through, not around, so those negative emotions are crucial to her process. She stresses that having those negative emotions is okay, and the most important thing we take away from them is having compassion- compassion for ourselves and compassion for others. Stacy thanks listeners for being with us this week. And we will be back with the since next week!