Self-Care During Troubling Times

So many of the women I’ve been speaking with over the past few weeks are experiencing a higher-than-usual level of anxiety.

 

It’s understandable. No matter who you voted for in the last election, massive change and upheaval are taking place all around us. The protests all over the country (and the world) over the past few weeks have been unprecedented in their size and scope.

 

Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with posts and news articles that alternately reinforce your point of view, and then starkly contrast your point of view.

 

It’s exhausting, stressful, and draining. And over time, stress does have an impact on our physical health. By raising our cortisol levels, stress wreaks havoc on our bodies.

 

It’s vitally important that we manage stress during difficult times. Here are a few tips if you’re struggling:

Look at a sunset and feel the relaxation response in your body.
  1. Conserve your energy. Take a break, and turn it all off.

 

Get off Facebook for the day (or week). Stop watching the news on tv. Turn off the social media notifications and news alerts on your phone.

 

What to do with all that spare time you’ll have? Go to the movies, go to dinner, go work out, watch mindless tv, take a walk outside, play with your dog, prepare a delicious meal. Repeat as necessary.

 

What’s happening in the world will still be happening when you come back.

 

  1. Take action. Donate, make calls, spread the word.

 

One of the best things we can do when we’re feeling hopeless is to do something for others. So do something for a cause you believe in. Donate to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU (or whatever charity does work that’s meaningful for you). Make calls to your congress people and senators to express your views. Get involved with local groups who hold views that are consistent with yours.

 

If everyone takes action, progress will occur.

 

  1. Take care of yourself.

 

If you find yourself slipping into anxiety or depression, do something you know will boost your mood. Go for a run; put on music; or call a friend and go for a walk outside in nature.

 

Remember that your family needs you, and you need you, to be at your best, so take care of your body and mind.

 

  1. Stay in the moment, and live your life.

 

Enjoy the pleasures of the moment, like making dinner with your kids, or walking in the sunshine, or connecting with good friends. Don’t let current events steal your happiness in the day-to-day living of your life.

 

What are your favorite ways of taking care of yourself during stressful times? Let us know in the comments below.

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