We are living in turbulent times and it just might be taking a toll on our well being, our health, and ultimately our lives. I think I can assume that everyone is overwhelmed from the ongoing developments of our national political scene and the world at large. The wildfire of conflict and questioning and anger and fear is at an all time high as “Breaking News” slams us every day. We simply must take some action to clear our heads, so we can all survive this madness. Here are five specific steps to take that will help you feel more grounded and better able to manage the stress of it all more effectively.
- TAKE A BREAK.
We are consumed with the onslaught of breaking news, facts or alternative facts, and strong opinions that seem to be pouring out at an alarming rate. We are traumatized relentlessly and any recurring stress can be damaging and destructive to our well being. We can take control of how much exposure we allow ourselves to consume. In order for us to have a mindful perspective, it’s important to stop the inundation of information that can be overwhelming to the point of utter confusion and chaos within our thoughts and ultimately our voices. No matter how submerged we are in the mainstream media, it’s critical we take a break from it all on a regular basis: Turn off the T.V. Get off of social media. Stop listening to talk radio. Turn it all OFF and give yourself some time to think about other things in your life. We need to be mindful, intentional, and thoughtful in how we respond to the unfolding landscape of our times. Taking a break will refuel our strength, clear our perspective, and restore our endurance.
While you are taking that break from it all, simply BREATHE. Stop going and doing and igniting your emotions with more stressful things in your personal life. Try to simplify your daily tasks and responsibilities and clear your schedule for some quiet time. Every day, it’s important to make time for yourself: Go for a walk, listen to your favorite music, take a nap. Shut down. Spend some time in your own white space. Allow yourself to do NOTHING AT ALL. Stay quiet. Meditate. Pray. Take this time seriously because this is where you will refuel, restore, and refresh your peace of mind. Clearly, we all need it.
- DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE.
What brings you JOY? Do that. It’s important to make time for those things that fill you with satisfaction: Read that book you’ve been dying to read. Are you a gym rat? Go sweat and grunt and get your best workouts in now. Do you love cooking or baking? The kitchen is calling your name! Maybe your passion is in creative arts? Paint, journal, draw, play the piano, knit. Do whatever you love that taps into your expressive self. Are you a collector? What are your hobbies? Take the time to dive into these elements of your life that you love. Doing so, will inspire and evoke beauty, fun, and enjoyment. Don’t deny yourself the things in your life that bring you pleasure. You need them now more than ever.
- SPEND TIME WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE.
This is the time where you need to be surrounded by people you love. Spending time with loved ones is the best thing for your well being: Go on a date with your spouse. Plan a fun activity with your kids. Snuggle in with your family and watch a good movie. Hang out with your closest, most trusting friends. Plan a fun get together or outing. Call your best friend and catch up on things OTHER than the news. Go visit your mom, your dad, your aunt, your sister, your brother, your great aunt… Host a dinner for your family friends. Reach out to those you love and connect with them in a significant way. Spend extra time with them to fill your tank with needed connection, laughter, belonging, and ultimately love. Be with your people. The support will do a world of good.
- MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE.
Helping others brings fulfillment and joy. These days, many of us might be feeling helpless and hopeless, perhaps even unheard and unseen. We might sense things are completely out of control. We probably have passionate opinions about everything going on and although we can surely take action steps to make change and take a stand for what we believe in out on the national stage, we can also take steps to care for people right next door. Pull back from the national affairs, and focus your view on those right in front of you- the people in your community. How can you help them? Doing something for someone else can be a small step toward satisfaction and peace of mind. We can all do something right now to make a difference in someone’s life: Drop off food at your local food pantry. Take your kids to a senior home to visit the residents who are in need of company. Make a meal for your friend who just had surgery. Bake some cookies for your neighbor down the street who is home-bound. Go volunteer at any local organization you know that needs help. There are endless possibilities to do good right in front of you. You’ll feel inspired and fulfilled after you serve those around you.
Once you take your break, breathe, do something you love, spend time with loved ones, and make a difference in someone’s life…
You will have the strength and stamina to get back into the world ring.
But most importantly, you will have cleared your mind, restored your sensibilities, and renewed your perspective.
Right here, right now-
We all need these things most of all.