SMALL WAYS TO MAKE BIG CHANGES

In our present day surroundings and our current political climate, it is very overwhelming to think about all of the things we would like to change. Where do we start? It is easy to feel powerless when this question comes up, because what power do we really have as college students? Read on to learn about very small things you can do to make changes around your own community and how those small things can have a big impact.

SMALL WAYS TO MAKE BIG CHANGES

by Emma Burke

When our world is chaotic and we have a million things on our own plates, it can be really hard to stay motivated to get involved. We may feel powerless to everything that is going on, and it might feel hopeless that any of us can really make an impact. However, there are some small ways in which we can make an effort in our daily lives that have the potential to make a truly big impact on our own sense of purpose and motivate those around us!

  1. Stay informed. I’m sure that you’ve heard this a million times, but I can’t stress enough just how important it is. When you are thinking about your own mental health, it is important to foster a sense of knowledge and purpose within yourself as much as you can. And this is a great way to do this! Make sure that you get well-rounded information from a variety of different sources. Foreign news can often be the most reliable during this time period. However, that being said, it is also important to make sure that you are not taking on more than you can handle. While staying informed of what is really going on can decrease your anxiety and increase your sense of purpose, much of our current news is very disturbing and alarming. So listen to your body and your mind and make sure to turn off your computer or your TV when you’ve had enough for the day.
  2. Start a conversation. If you’re feeling disturbed about current events (like most of us are on a daily basis) try talking about it with the people around you. While our first instinct may be to take this unpleasant news and immediately stuff it down so deep that we no longer feel it, a better way to deal with it is to talk about with someone. Share your feelings out loud and connect with someone about your feelings, whether they may be worried, anxious, frightened, or angry. Furthermore, if you feel that you are in need of more help than a friend can give you, be sure to reach out to CAPS for free and confidential services.
  3. Use The Resistance Calendar. This calendar is updated hourly to bring you information about events happening every day that you can be a part of. Pick an issue that is important to you and check the calendar a few times a week to see what you can get involved in. If being involved is important to you, try setting a goal of going to one event a month or something along those lines.
  4.  Take Care of Yourself. As it reads at the beginning of the article, make sure you listen to your limits. We live in a very disturbing political climate and this is not something to take lightly. Getting involved can be a great way to find purpose, and to feel slightly more in control of the chaotic world around you. However, it is extremely important to use your knowledge and emotions to fuel connections with others, rather than festering inside of you. Furthermore, leave a little bit of time every day to not think about these issues. Whether you are deep breathing, meditating, or reading a good book, it is always a good idea to find a healthy way to escape for a small part of the day.

And finally, for more information check out http://UpHoldTheseRights.com for updated information about more small ways you can stay involved. Bonus: This site was created by one of our very own UCSC Psychology Professors, Veronica Tonay! So be sure to check it out.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Ghandi

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