We don’t have to be on top of everything, everywhere, all the time.

The stories we read become the stories that we carry with us.

The stories that we carry with us become the stories we tell ourselves.

The stories we tell ourselves become the boundaries of what is possible for us to achieve in our lives.

I realise that this personal realisation that I had today is simply another version of what Lao Tzu figured out centuries ago.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

― Lao Tzu

But I’m going to say it anyway, because I think this is really good advice to remember.

In an age where there’s more information than we can ever get through, it’s important to remember your own mental health.

I read a lot of stories about women and feminism, this often leads me down some very dark roads where we talk about abuse, oppression and painful things.

And those stories can sometimes stay with me for a long time.

Stories that sometimes make me sick. (Just imagine how it was for the person who had to live through it.)

And while I think its important to see, recognise and understand the oppression we experience, that is committed against others, I just wanted to say that everyone has a right to protect their own mental health and well-being.

You’re allowed to say no.

And you don’t have to feel guilty for saying no.

You’re allowed to put the news feed away when it gets overwhelming.

You’re allowed to stop reading or watching a story that’s too much for you right then (or ever).

Just because there is suffering, doesn’t mean you have to know all about it.

Reading too many horrific things will only make you feel helpless and facilitate a spiral into a really dark place.

Take my word for it; it’s harder to crawl up out of that dark hole than it is to prevent yourself from falling into it in the first place.

I know, it’s not always easy to catch it when it happens.

Sometimes the slide into that rabbit hole is a slippery slope — especially, when it’s all anyone else talks about.

It’s hard to get away.

But you’re allowed to step back and just not think about the bad stuff.

Escape into a favourite book or movie.

Pump up the volume on some good tunes and dance like no one is watching.

Go for a walk, see the sky, breathe in deep, and forget the rest of the world exists.

Trust me, the bad stuff will still be there when you get back.

Humans have been unbelievable shits since the beginning of time, and that’s not gonna stop anytime soon.

The news cycle will find some new act of violence or click-bait crap to reel you in tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

Women especially can have a really hard time with self-care.

We’ll just give and give and give until we’ve got nothing left.

We’ll try to mother every lost chick that wanders our way.

But there is enough time and enough space in the world for you to take a break.

Do something just for you.

It’ll be a lot easier dealing with everything else once you’ve charged your own batteries.

All the love, all the power ❤️‍🔥

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Originally published in Modern Women