How to take care of your mental health in times of crises?
Values of unity and respect are fundamental for the coexistence of all inhabitants of the planet. The world is changing. The consequences of our actions deeply impact the future and survival not only of our species, but of all species that inhabit it with us. And yet, with these premises, we continue to perpetuate ideological and religious warfare.
What we have seen through the media is real, raw, and unjust. War shakes us all and brings lots of challenging emotions, especially in these times when we can instantly learn about what is happening in countries like Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria, among others, through the Internet. That feeling of closeness and empathy to the pain of our fellow beings is benign and powerful, however, it can be a double-edged sword that leads to conflict, discord, discrimination, radicalization and violence.
In Lapinlahti, we do not accept that human rights are conditional. All individuals are born with inalienable rights regardless of ideological, racial, territorial, cultural, or gender variables. We understand that the roots of the conflicts existing on the planet are deep historically, and in no way do we intend to minimize the suffering and pain of each of the victims of these conflicts. We are against any ideology that destroys, dehumanizes, and harms the environment or people, and we condemn any violence perpetuated by extremist groups, terrorists, and oppressive regimes.
Every life lost is a heinous tragedy. Each casualty robs the planet of the miracle of existence. It steals from creativity and future potential from our own ingenious and resourceful nature, when trapped in hard emotions and in the bubble of fear, we might lose our essence and refrain from acting where it truly matters. Saying this, in an effort to contribute to the wellbeing of our local community we are creating opportunities for the promotion of mental health, resilience, participation and self-care on a daily basis.
Our contribution as a centre of culture, arts and mental well-being is to promote hope and nurture the mind of anyone who is being affected by the events that continue to occur in the world.
Lapinlahden Lähde is an open and friendly meeting place where everyone can feel welcome regardless of gender, age, religion and belief, sexual orientation, disability, health condition or ethnic or national origin.
Lapinlahti belongs to everyone.
Recognizing our own ways of dealing with crises is key
We can unfortunately not get rid of the war but what we can do is to regulate our daily life so that we can manage. It is natural to feel challenging emotions during times of crises. Fear, sadness, apathy, and anger are ways to experience crisis and important emotions that signal we are indeed processing what is happening.
Joining peer groups can help process challenging emotions by sharing them with people who might be experiencing similar emotions. MIITTI’s group “Navigating through uncertain times” peer support group held by Familia, Miitti and Sumud, aims to discuss current issues with like-minded individuals, find a sense of belonging, and empower yourself to navigate the uncertain and difficult times we go through.
Starting date: Online 28.11. and on-site 1.12.
It is natural to feel the need to stay informed about what is happening in the world. At the same time, it is also important to remember that our minds and bodies must be nurtured and cared for. We should try to control how much news about the terror going on we consume. As much as it is important to be aware, it will also impact us emotionally. Despite the circumstances and crises that the world is going through, we have the right to feel happiness and fulfilment in our lives. We have the right and privilege of creating our own healthy spaces, where resilience is fostered and shared.
A balanced mind can discern information and make rational decisions based on balanced feelings and well-thought-out actions. Seeking this balance can take time but will make us realize that we all cope with crises in different ways: prayer, crying, laughing, socializing, being creative, doing sports, seeking and sharing information, etc, are just a few examples of coping channels. Do you know your own?
Take a look at our event calendar to find events that suit your own ways of coping. We host art exhibitions, public events, workshops, concerts, lectures, sports and low-threshold nature trips. Events are generally free of charge.
We are bound to others: think global, act local:
In times of crises, it is important to nurture and support our local communities. It may sound counterproductive to divert attention from the events happening worldwide and focus on our local communities. However, strengthening our local communities is a push for a revitalization of public/private spaces, and makes it possible that people can experience the coexistence and solidarity of diversity.
When we share in communities, we learn about the humanity of our fellow beings and we learn to respect and value the diversity of our kind. Through exchange, we are setting an example of sustainable ways to coexist, beyond ideological, racial, territorial, cultural, or gender variables.
A mindful cup of coffee or tea is a great first step to go out:
When we are surrounded by bad news, it sometimes can be difficult to go out. Low threshold activities or mindful moments can be a very good first step, for example going for a walk to the Lapinlahti park and then visiting the cafe for a cup of tea or coffee. Our cafe is a safe space where people of all walks of life visit to enjoy a cosy and relaxed atmosphere. Come as you are and enjoy a good cup of coffee, a cinnamon bun or just sit and relax, you don’t have to buy anything to sit at the cafe. We are proud of having a space where everyone is welcome!
Kahvila Lähde has also many different types of events such as Lappari Social Club, where you can come and paint with a relaxed attitude, chat and spend a Friday. Suitable for beginners and all ages.
Help is available:
MIELI Mental Health Finland can support you if you feel that you need urgent help with your mental health problems, especially if you are not finding ways to cope. The Crisis Helpline allows you to discuss your thoughts, feelings and situation in life with a crisis worker or a trained volunteer.
Mieli’s Crisis Helpline can help you if:
- your life has just changed and you are suffering
- you have gone through a traumatic event
- you feel you are unable to cope with your fear, anxiety or grief on your own
- you are having self-destructive thoughts, or
- you are worried about a loved one.
In times of crises we might find purpose by connecting to others in meaningful ways through different kinds of activities, voluntary work or activism. Social connections are more important than ever.. The beautiful and peaceful ambiance of our Center combined with the energy and vitality of our diverse events and activities are a great opportunity to pause for a moment. Yes, it is OK to do so!
Author: Jennifer Ramirez