Lately, things have been a bit…intense. To me, it feels like someone shook up our sheltered snow globe lives and now there’s crazy, not-so-sparkly shiz flying everywhere.

Wherever you turn there’s fear, anger, anxiety, and judgment surrounding the day’s latest headlines. These tumultuous times are triggering us on so many levels, both collectively and individually. So much is shifting so quickly. It’s hard to keep up and process it all.

Are you finding it hard to cope?

I hear ya. As an empath, I’ve felt bombarded by intense emotional energies flying around in the ethers and online. I’ve had to take extra care to stay centered so I don’t turn into an out of control weepy rage monster.

Luckily, over the years, I’ve fallen out of balance enough now to know how to find my way back to center quickly and easily. Below are the practices I use to stay centered amidst all of this chaos. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life’s craziness and don’t know how to deal, give these a try.

Take deeper, intentional breaths.

When under stress, we tend to take shallow breaths. Sometimes we even unconsciously hold our breath. We need to be doing the exact opposite so our body’s nervous system can calm down. The next time you find yourself hunched over your computer getting angry at your screen, pause. Notice how you’re breathing. Breathe in slowly and deeply, exhale slowly and fully. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Step away from the screen.

Get offline! Go on a digital detox to protect your mental health and emotional well-being. Taking a break from the news or social media doesn’t make you an uninformed, uncaring citizen. It makes you a wise one. Let your brain rest so you don’t get psychologically burned out.

Focus on what is in your control.

You are a RESPONSE-able adult who has the ability to choose how you react to whatever you are facing. Will you choose to feel like a victim or will you choose to take action? What actions will you take? You have the power to make thousands of decisions every day that can either leave you feeling helpless or empowered. Always remember that you control your reaction to life’s dramas.

Seek out the good all around you.

The antidote to negativity is gratitude. Actively look for all of the things already going right in your life and in our world. Appreciate the simplest of things: the food you ate for breakfast; the fact that you can walk or see; how lucky we are to have a government with built-in checks and balances. Nothing raises your spirits and brings you back to center faster than being grateful.

Find a way to laugh.

Laughter is one of nature’s best medicines. It’s so effective at balancing our bodies and minds that “laughter therapy” is being used to promote health and wellness for cancer patients. Even the Pentagon is training military families how to use it. Get your giggle on the next time you feel out of balance. When I’m in a funk, this potty-mouthed meditation always does the trick. If you’re offended by strong language, I suggest you find a funny cat meme instead.

You do no one any good if you’re burned out or depleted. Take care of yourself during these intense times. You can be involved AND stay balanced. You can be centered amidst chaos. The most important thing is to pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. When you feel yourself begin to slip, take whatever steps you need to regain your sense of balance.