The dictionary says resilience is “the ability to recover from, or adjust easily, to misfortune or change.”
How then, can we become resilient during the ongoing political turmoil currently in our country? Knowing that hate mongering and lying will get worse as we get closer to November’s election, how can we remain resilient?
Can we just turn off the news and not listen? I think not. At least not if we want the situation to change. Even though I was resisting reading or watching until recently, I can see now that I must at least listen to NPR so that I am informed enough to make decisions about the candidates that will serve our country best. As an empath, I do not watch movies that show blood and guts, I’ve never watched a war movie, I don’t read books that are filled with those types of scenes or any cruelty to people or animals either. So, how can I deal with the stress of all this hate and violence?
Let’s start by checking in with ourselves. How does all this turmoil make us feel?
When we read another nasty tweet, or hear a racist comment, or worse, from the person who is supposed to be the leader of our country, how does that make us feel?
When we see “fake news” that demeans either a political party or a group of citizens, what is the emotion that comes up first?
How about when we hear of another friend or relative losing their job, or the farm that’s been in their family for years, or another business closing its doors due to tariffs?
For many it’s anger. For some it’s a feeling of betrayal, for others, fear. Fear of war, fear of rioting, fear for our livelihoods…
Each of us has our own reaction to life’s stressors. And, right now, those stressors seem to be constant in our daily lives. This is not good for our health.
What’s important right now, is, to find a way to reverse those feelings of fear, anger, or betrayal. Remember, this situation is temporary. The people of this country have been through bad times before and most likely will again, but we survived, and some of us have thrived, and we will again.
We MUST find our own ability to adjust and recover, so that we have the strength and the energy, and are healthy enough to take back our lives and our country afterwards.
This is temporary.
Here are some suggestions for finding your own way to deal:
- Comedy works for many people. Listen to the Saturday Night Live gang when they comment on a particularly nasty tweet or fake news story and laugh out loud! Laughter releases endorphins (feel good hormones) which chase away the stress hormones. Recently a student of mine dug out some old George Carlin videos and she is using them to release her stress. Find something funny that works for you!
- Exercise, especially in nature if you can, will also help. Sweating out those stress hormones, while seeing and appreciating the beauty of Mother nature, is essential to our wellbeing. It’s hard to hold onto anger when you are running or biking down a country road and seeing birds, squirrels, fox, deer, or whatever else there is in your neighborhood. A hike in the snow can be beautiful too! Walk in a park, or ride your trainer while watching some app that takes you to a beautiful, far off place. Walking your dog, or even just taking five minutes to throw a stick or a ball to your pet can help. My granddog always makes me smile! Anyway, you get the idea, anything that you can do to reduce that stress is something your body and mind will thank you for!
- Yoga, Breathwork, and/or Meditation have been great tools for finding peace and clarity for thousands of years! Each of these practices involves your mind, body, and spirit at the same time, which, in turn, brings you back to homeostasis – a calm, relaxed state. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, maybe now is the time to start. If you want to learn to meditate, I’m starting another training course on March 2 at 6pm. This series (6 classes) will be slightly different from my previous classes as I am including more ways to be resilient during the election cycle. And each session will be a full hour instead of 45 minutes so that we can practice some specific guided meditations and or breathwork to help in the days leading up to our election. If you’d like to learn more, click here. If you’ve taken my training already and want to repeat it so that you can learn these extra tools, please let me know and you can join us free of charge.
Here is a video where you can join me in a simple breathing practice for stress reduction.
Best of Health,