The past few weeks are unprecedented in American History. We have never had as large resistance to a peaceful transition of power, and uncertain times can wreak havoc on anyone’s psychological health. These are a few tips on how to best cope with this.
1. Develop a group of people, — be it friends, colleagues, people you know on social media, — who you can talk about your feelings with, in an environment where you feel safe and know that no major feelings are going to be hurt and no political disagreements are likely to occur. We all feel safer when we feel that we’re in a supportive community with others who understand how we feel.
2. FInd your level of appropriate awareness. It’s wise to stay tuned to the news and to be aware of what’s happening. But it also may be wise to limit this — maybe to an hour a day — and then make a conscious effort to move on to thinking about other things. Your work, your loved ones, other types of projects. It will give you more balance if you don’t find yourself being captive to a news cycle that is raising more adrenaline than is good for you.
3. We’re all a bit simultaneously stressed by the panic. This makes it harder to pursue a full range of activities that we might enjoy in non-COVID times, but it makes the need for being grounded more important. So if you’ve slacked off on your jogging, — get back out there and have a good 45-minute run. If you don’t have a regular exercise practice — this is a time to get one. I highly recommend using resistance band training which can help give you great muscle tone and also is a good aerobic workout. HASFIT has a great you tube channel with a number of workouts for all levels, and resistance bands are inexpensive and can be purchased on line. There are also many yoga studios which are offering online classes that can let you experience the bliss of finding inner serenity, without having to leave home.
4. Remember that all things are temporary. We’ve had bad times before. The Watergate Scandal. The economic collapse of 2008. And crises like this are temporary. Like seasons, good times follow bad. Try to think ahead to what you’re looking forwards to, and try to make as much of that happen in the now. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm are very effective in reducing anxiety and can bring us all into the “now” so there’s less worry and more being in the moment.
Good luck with this. Stay healthy, stay safe.