Anticipating and watching the ongoing updates from the infamous Cove of Taiji, Japan can be very draining. Here are a few tips to help you cope:
1. Find something beautiful to look at every single day - a sunrise, a blossoming flower, a sunset.
2. Meditate - Find a quiet place & start by focusing on your breath. Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out...slowly...try to keep your mind focused on your breath. If your mind wanders, gently nudge it back there. See if you can do this for 10 minutes.
3. Get outside - run, walk, hike - enjoy nature.
4. Participate in an activity that brings you joy - photography, sports, writing, cooking, reading, scrapbooking, diving, yoga...
5. Talk to like-minded friends who share your commitment to this cause.
6. Make sure you are getting enough sleep every night.
7. Do not feel obligated to watch every single facebook update, video and post from Taiji.
8. Do call, fax or email the numbers provided for Taiji & the Embassies. Doing so makes a difference and is also personally empowering. Please do be respectful when you call.
9. Please share The Cove Movie with as many people as you can.
10. Do not support marine mammals in captivity. The quickest and easiest way to end the Taiji slaughter is to end the demand for captive dolphins in dolphinariums, aquariums and "swim with" programs. These programs are based entirely on economics. If they do not sell tickets, they will not stay in business.
11. Please do not hate the people of Japan. The nation went through a horrible ordeal in 2011. Thousands are missing and millions still struggle to pull their lives back together. Most people in Japan aren't even aware of The Cove. It is important for them to learn about it and to be comfortable speaking out. Please find positive ways to help the people of Japan learn about The Cove.
12. If you find yourself in a downward spiral, consider talking to a mental health professional. It is not a sign of weakness to talk to a mental health professional.
Sandy McElhaney holds a Masters in Counseling. She has authored & edited numerous books and articles on primary prevention and youth violence prevention. For nearly a decade, she served as Director of Prevention for the National Mental Health Association.