952.831.2000
Cabot Psychological Services

We live in a world of instant access and the 24-hour news cycle, creating what seems like an endless barrage of headlines about atrocities being committed in our country and around the world. Add in a controversial president’s first week in office, with a host of unexpected changes to America’s policies, and we have the perfect cocktail for creating a sense of helplessness and despair. Many of us are left asking what in the world we can do.

I certainly don’t have the answer to that question, but I have some thoughts. [In the interest of full disclosure, I’m trying throughout this article to set aside my own personal issues and concerns and focus on what each of us as an individual can do, regardless of our philosophical perspective.] So here goes:

 

At Cabot Psychological Services, we have a team of trained professionals who can assist you with your mental health needs. Whatever the issue, we can provide you with treatment options. Call or text 952-831-2000, email info@cabotpsychologicalservices.com or complete our Contact form.



Dr. Amanda Mulfinger is the Owner and President of Cabot Psychological Services in Edina, Minnesota. She studied psychology at Harvard University prior to receiving her master's degree and PhD from Auburn University.


Read other articles from Dr. ​Mulfinger

Responding to Uncertainty: Finding Inner Peace in Troubled Times

by Dr. Amanda Mulfinger

  1. Live your life in accordance with your values. This may sound simple, but it’s not. First you have to zero in on your core values. Here’s a hint: whatever’s happening now that’s upsetting you most is likely an assault on one of your values. Once you’ve identified a couple core values, make sure that everything you do, say, or post on social media is consistent with those values.
     
  2. Pick your “one thing.” There are so many issues today that concern or upset us, scare us, or even infuriate us that it can be overwhelming, even paralyzing. Although it can be hard to pick, consider the one area about which you’re most passionate, and turn all your energy in that direction. Support organizations (with your time, money, letters, etc.) that are working toward righting those wrongs. Our strength lies in our numbers, and if we all pick our “one thing,” we’ll get the bases covered.
    ​ 
  3. Join with like-minded individuals. Now that you’ve narrowed what you are going to focus on, look around. You are not alone in concern for your “one thing,” whatever it might be. There is almost certainly a group of like-minded individuals who are working on “your” cause, and you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. You may want to join a protest march, attend a prayer vigil, contribute to a work project or just touch base with friends, family or colleagues. Get involved and share in others’ (and your own) optimism for change and desire to push back.
     
  4. Create space for joy. We can all be activists, but we can’t be activists all the time. With ongoing news that may deplete you, look for ways to insert small joys in your life. If you love quilting, go pick some fabric and start a new quilt. If fishing is your thing, get a new lure and cut a hole in the ice. If you reach for joy and draw a blank, here’s an idea: open up YouTube and plug in “baby animals.” If the videos you bring up don’t bring you joy, consider what will. We have to counteract negativity with innocence and joy, and the joy will sustain you through the first three steps outlined above.


As we get more involved, the need to talk (open-mindedly) to people with whom we disagree becomes increasingly important, but we also need to gather together and provide support for those with whom we share values.

It’s too easy to get caught up in negativity, hopelessness and anger. Each one of us has to find a balance between how much information we take in, and how much time we give ourselves to rest and restore ourselves. But we owe it to ourselves and the ideals we feel are being impacted by current events to take action. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” –Mother Teresa

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Cabot Psychological Services, PLLC
7400 Metro Boulevard #216, Edina, Minnesota 55439
Phone: 952.831.2000      Fax: 952.835.6134
info@cabotpsychologicalservices.com