We live in scary times. I get a sense of dread whenever my phone pings a news alert. “Oh no, what now?” I think. Terrorism, hate, violence, financial setbacks and shocking scandals are all too commonly on our minds now.
So, how can we – a very caring, thoughtful, and affected sign – deal without getting totally depressed? I have a few techniques I am using to help combat my all-too-common insomnia, anxiety, and fear.
1. Exercise that makes you feel good. The hardest part is going to that yoga class or making time for that run, but you need to do it regularly. Feeling strong physically is your best defense. It will boost those feel-good chemicals in your brain, offer a temporary escape from reality (blast your favorite tunes or meditate in silence), help you sleep better, and gives you time just for you.
2. Look for good news. It’s easy to focus on the bad when it’s right there in your face all the time. But you can seek out good news and learn to appreciate it more, however small this might be. Notice strangers smiling at each other. Share a cute cat video with friends. Ask a loved one to tell you something good about their day. Start your own gratitude journal and list out at least one good thing that happens each day.
3. Give yourself permission to tune out. Sometimes, you just need a break. Whether that’s avoiding the news for a while or turning down obligations you need not hold yourself to, or even taking a vacation to unplug and unwind quite literally, do whatever you can to make life a little easier. You need to look out for yourself, or else, what’s the point? You deserve it for all you do, Cap!
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