Not even a month into the new administration, and stress levels for many are at an all time high. One day after the inauguration, millions of women across the globe marched for the protection of our civil rights. There was a ban placed to limit refugees and immigrants from entering the country which sparked numerous protests again. The president nominated a new Supreme Court Justice. A global gag rule was reinstated denying women access to safe family planning that includes the option of abortion. A protest a UC Berkley resulted in a threat to cut federal funding. #climatefacts became a hot topic on twitter as the government removed the climate change issue from its web site. So many stressful topics coming at us at an unprecedented pace. If there has ever been a time where our mental state has been tested, it is now. How can we handle the stress? Here are 5 great ways to beat the stress before it beats you.
First I challenge you to breathe, meditate or pray. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you should take time out to breathe. When you take time out to pay attention to your breath, it will bring you back to the present and center you. Breathing reminds us how special we are and how precious life is. Breathe.
Secondly, unplug. We are all so caught up with social media, the news and tabloids filled with “alternative facts”, we lose our inner voice. We are addicted to scandal and bad news, this is all we get from local and national news stories. I suggest you unplug and read books and listen to music that inspires and helps you to improve your current situation.
Next, diet and exercise. The Department of Human Services recommends we exercise for 20 minutes per day. Studies show we gain additional and more extensive health and fitness benefits with more physical activity. Being at optimal health is more important due to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare and the government doing everything it can to remove the Affordable Care Act.
Then we should think about journaling. Writing out things you are thankful for in the morning will give you a positive mindset for the day. At the end of the day, journalize 3 amazing things that happened for you that day. If you suffer from anxiety on what will happen in the future, practicing appreciation will cure that anxiety. It is best not to be just grateful for the standard health, family, house etc… The challenge is to go deeper.
Finally, rest, relax and reset. Practice the pause. Turn off the TV and listen to relaxing music or read a positive book before bed. Watching the news before bed is depressing. We must take care of our mental health and be aware of what is happening in the world. But we must not fall into the trap of negativity and remember to take care of ourselves.
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