Finding Comfort in Times of Crisis
I don’t have the words. There are no words for the horrible terrorist attack that happened to our people in Israel on our holiday of Simchat Torah. I have been addicted to the news and all of it is awful and heart breaking. I have found myself “doom scrolling” on my phone for hours at night and flipping endlessly through the channels watching the 24-hour news cycle. But while it is important to be informed and to bear witness to all that is happening, it is also important to turn off the television and put down our phones to take care of ourselves. Here are a few ways I have found to seek comfort during these dark times.
- Spend time with friends and family, including your pets: Reconnecting with old friends and spending time with my family helped to bring me to the present moment and appreciate the people in my life. If you have one, spend some time with your adorable pet.
- Spend time with your Jewish community: It is at tough times like these that we need to be together. We are Am Echad, one people. Come to the temple for Shabbat or programming or host a Shabbat dinner at your house.
- Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions: We are feeling stress, anxiety, grief, worry, anger, fear and more. Give yourself time to process all of these emotions and grace to not be okay for a while. Take care of your mental health and talk to someone.
- Take care of yourself: Be good to yourself. Move your body. Take walks and get fresh air. Eat healthy, delicious food. Drink water. Try to get enough sleep, even if it is hard. Spend time meditating or taking a few deep breaths.
- Take care of others/engage in activism: Help Israel through donations, attending fundraising events to aid Israelis or rallies in support of Israel. Or closer to home, give back to our local community either through the temple’s many social action programs or through other organizations. Focus on ways you can help and support others. Find purpose in lifting others up and being the light.
These are just a few ways to find comfort during this crisis. For more ideas see the Kveller article written by Lior Zaltzman “Being on Social Media Feels Awful Right Now. Here’s What You Can Do Instead.” And also keep in mind the words we say as we finish chanting each book of the Torah, “Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazeik”. Be strong, be strong, and may we strengthen one another.