Elections are typically anxiety-provoking, but I have been blown away by the responses I've seen this year with my clients. Families are fighting and even fragmenting - it's like the Civil War. I've also noticed that people are getting sick and canceling appointments. Is this the typical year end cold, or are people actually getting ill over this election process?
Half of the country is relieved, and the other half is mourning or panicking. Regardless of whether you support President-Elect Trump or supported Hillary Clinton, this has been a toxic, even corrosive election season. And it's not over yet. There will be fallout, over the next week, the next 4 years, and for decades to come. But let's focus on the short term. How do you recharge and reset over the next week and build up your strength to contribute to our national healing?
I'm a pretty grounded, even keel person. But I find myself in bed today with a cold that has been threatening me all week. Is this the result of the year coming to a close, my husband being sick last week or toxicity in the news over the last several weeks and months. I suspect it's a combination of all of the above. Stress lowers the immune system and makes us vulnerable to illness. Now is a time for healing body, mind and soul. Here are a few steps you can take to take care of yourself this week:
1. Get rest. Physical and mental exhaustion is the number one cause of susceptibility to illness and overwhelming negative emotions. Take time today and for the rest of the week to rest your body and your mind will follow.
2. Surround yourself with positive energy. When you are swimming in negative energy you can't help but take on at least a little bit of it. Make a conscious change. Surround yourself with positve people and do activites that bring you joy or relaxation.
3. Spend time in nature. Turn off the TV, step away from the gossip circles. Spending time in nature brings us back to our most fundamental selves. Take a walk in a park or go to the ocean. Step outside and feel the breeze on your face. There will be plenty of time later to catch up on news.
4. Have compassion for yourself. If you are one of the many who are unhappy with Donal Trump as our next president, allow yourself time to grieve. If you are relieved by the result, don't gloat over those who are suffering.
5. Hold hope in your heart. You don't have a crystal ball and you don't know what the future holds. You can't control the unknown. Given the choice between hope and anger, choose hope. It's healthier for you and will give you energy to make positive changes in your life. Empower yourself and the people around you with hope.
6. Get expert advice. We all need a little help sometimes. Professional advice can help you get back on track. Now is a good time to make a personal change. Process your feelings and learn new coping skills that you can apply to all aspects of your life.
I'm not a political pundit and I'm not an activist. I am simply concerned for the people around me who are experiencing serious side effects of the election process and exacerbation of already existing problems. Reach out to people who can support you and help you reset and recharge and decide on your next steps.
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