Thoughts on Jan 6, 2021 Capitol Protests

As I scrolled through my social media and regular news outlets yesterday, and learned about the outbreak of violence and protest of the confirmation of the election at our Capitol, I found myself thinking: "wait: 2020, the dreaded year of hellacious events and global pandemic is over. 2021 is for new beginnings and positivity! This doesn't FIT with my expectations!" I realized my coping mechanism was to look to 2021 as a hard reset, and I also realized this is irrational. Hope is necessary and healthy, and also knowing 2021 will have its own ups, downs, and neutrals, is a meaningful truth I can't ignore.

The violence and disorder at the Capitol yesterday was difficult for me to watch and to comprehend fully. And I found myself unconsciously limiting myself from exposure to it, whether this is healthy boundaries or plain denial, I'm not sure. I do know that today, I'm thinking of all of you. These events may have been unsettling, frightening, even traumatizing for many of us, especially as we continue to cope with the effects of COVID 19 and racial injustice. It is perfectly reasonable to experience a range of reactions, including anxiety and unease, and I want to normalize that everyone response will be their own, and unique to them.

As we start to navigate the terrain of an uncertain 2021, it's more important than ever to acknowledge the discomfort we all may be feeling, and take time to help care for ourselves and the people around us. I'd like to remind you all, and myself, that there does indeed lie a healthy balance between staying informed and engaged, and prioritizing boundaries needed to attend to emotions and self-care.

If you're looking for practical tips for yourself, loved ones, or clients, check out SAMHSA's page on tips for coping with traumatic events:

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