It seems like daily we are hearing more and more negativity in our world. It’s not new, but the media seems to sensationalize even the most mundane events, which increases fear, anxiety, and anger within us.
This is then multiplied by social media. Everyone having an opinion and turning against one another. Long gone are the days when we can have a civil disagreement and still shake hands at the end of a discussion and respect one another. We have turned into a society, as Brene Brown says “you are either with me or against me”.
Fears are educated into us, and can if we wish, be educated out.
Karl Augustus Menninger
This week has been full of fear as a parent, and a member of our community. We are experiencing more and more kids screaming for attention in terrifying ways. I have heard concerns coming out of my daughter’s mouth that is unfathomable to think that a child has to process.
When my mind starts going down that whirlwind of fear and anger I know I must ground myself, and demonstrate compassion and practice my healthy coping skills.
Start with disconnecting
Start with disconnecting from the media. The media’s number one job is to create viewers, and this is done by sensationalizing events. They have this magic that can turn a benign event into a catastrophe. So start with turning off the television.
Social media is just as bad if not worse than the tv/radio media. Take a break, or even spend some time unfollowing certain organizations or “friends” that only make posts for drama. Don’t engage with social media energy vampires that are just looking for an argument.
Check in with yourself, what do you need? My favorite go-to tool is just being aware of my breath. I sit in a chair, close my eyes, and just feel my breath as I inhale, and as I exhale. Research shows that just bringing our attention to our breath for as little as 2-3 minutes decreases our stress levels.
Reconnect with your friends and family. Get out of the house and do something together that does not involve technology (unless it’s bowling 😉 ). We are social beings living in an easily isolating world. Sometimes we must make a concerted effort to get out of the house and engage with others.
And lastly, reconnect with nature. As I am writing this, it is early March in Upstate NY and I am still looking at 1 foot of snow in my yard. I am most guilty of using the weather as an excuse to avoid leaving the house, but I know my mental state increases significantly when I get outside and MOVE. Last week when we were hit with 20”+ of snow, it was fun to get out and play with the kids and the dog in the snow, and BONUS my mood improved! Wahoo!!!
I will be sharing more tips on stress management in upcoming blog posts. I love creating stress management toolkits with my clients, as it is empowering to have tried and true options for when life hands us more lemons than we can handle.
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