On Friday night, my husband Michael and I had dinner with two friends who are healthcare professionals in private practice. During the meal, I asked how their patients were doing given the stressful political climate.
“Not good,” they both said in unison.
Since the election, more than 75% of the people they treat are coming in with stress-related health complaints like anxiety, insomnia, depression, and chronic headaches.
That’s a lot of people.
There are great changes underway and regardless of where you stand politically, chances are you feel the anxiety, too.
This is a time to return to basic self-care practices that restore a sense of peace, inner strength, energy, and an adult perspective.
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing that have made a big difference...
I set an alert on my phone that reminds me to stop and take ten deep breaths (slowly, through the nose) at least five times a day. Deep breathing lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and relaxes the mind and body very, very quickly.
This daily habit also allows me to enter into conversations with a compassionate heart and a sense of open-minded curiosity.
I often do it when driving, too.
My daily meditation practice has been a blessing. I set an alarm for ten minutes and sit quietly, bringing my thoughts back to the present moment by focusing on the word “peace.” I’ve found it to be an excellent way reset a bad mood, calm an anxious mind, or prepare for a good night’s sleep.
I use it any time I feel overwhelmed, too.
I’ve been listening to music rather than talk radio or the news while driving in the car. I’ve made new playlists of favorite songs and I can count on my energy being lifted by the time I’ve finished listening to the first song on the list.
I’ve started doing yoga on a more regular basis, something I’ve wanted to do for years. It keeps me in my body and makes me feel grounded and strong.
And then there’s tapping.
As many of you know, this has been my go-to technique for twenty years because it works. I’ve not found anything that calms anxiety quicker than the tapping technique.
I still remember early on, tapping with a friend in the ladies room of a restaurant in Boston. She was having a full-blown panic attack and I was stunned to see her return to a calm and peaceful state within three minutes of using the basic algorithm.
It can do wonders for your emotional state, too.
As I prepared this blog post, I realized that Facebook Live would be an excellent tool for teaching you this technique. If you’ve been having a tough time with anxiety, insomnia, or other stress-related issues, please check this video out.
This will give you a chance to see for yourself how powerful (and immediate) this tool can be.
Let’s make this time of change and transition work for us. Let your anxiety be a messenger. See it as an invitation to take your self-care to a new level by being more consistent in the practices that will improve your quality of life.
Enjoy good music.
Move your body.
And join me for tapping on Tuesday.
Video of the Week
Here’s a powerful video to share with the people in your life who may hold different views than you. You can watch it, here. Thanks, Lynda .
Life Makeover for the Year 2017(sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson.© Copyright 1999-2016 Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950, www.cherylrichardson.com. All rights reserved. Used with permission.