So, it’s been a barn burner of a year and particularly the past couple of weeks. Here in my beloved New York and the East Coast, we’re still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and last night was, as you know, Election Night. I’m not here to talk about any particular party or the results. I’m only here to see if I can help everyone – including myself – to restore a little calm to their lives.
Right now, even though the results are in, there’s a lot of pressure happening in and outside our own minds. Between social media commentary on who won or didn’t win, the recovery from a devastating storm and the fact that we’re expecting a nor’easter to hit our area within mere hours, I think I can speak for all of us to say that we’re a tad on edge right now.
I find that there is no better opportunity to really, REALLY practice a little self care than when you’re really stressed out. It’s kind of the put-your-own-mask-on-first principle: you have to take care of yourself and your body before you can even think straight.
I can only share what works for me, but here’s what I suggest doing to restore calm to your mind and heart…practices I’ll be utilizing for myself today:
Shut down – or limit your access to – the stimuli that make you upset: Facebook fights, Twitter comments, snappy and pithy comments – all of these can be enough to make your blood boil. You know what the best thing is about living in a free country? You can turn it OFF, hide people and generally unplug today. Watching your News Feed like a stock ticker isn’t going to help anything, so step away for a minute and do something amazing, like…
Take a relaxing bath or shower – I am the first person to hop into a giant tub of bubbles when the drama comes down. My favorite product for this is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath and Baby Oil. Toss in as much as you want, light a candle and shut the door. It will help you rest and it will help you breathe. Speaking of which..
Breathe deeply – Expand your diaphragm and take in some air. Keep doing it over and over again. I’m a fan of adding SERENITY NOW!-type essential oils to restore calm, like my beloved Tata Harper Aromatic Irritability Treatment. I’ve also adopted designer Reem Acra’s practice of having a soothing Cafe Blanc to restore a calm mind. It might sound “woo-woo,” but essential oils rock.
Do a little Downward-Facing Dog – Or whatever exercise does it for you. Take care of your body and let off a little steam by working out. I have a yoga class booked today and I cannot WAIT to leave it all on the mat. Take the stairs at work, throw your kids into the air, walk to the grocery store – whatever it takes, but get your heart rate elevated in a good way.
Do something kind for others – I’ve always found that the best way to take the focus off my troubles is to be of service to others, and we have PLENTY of need out there right now. Whatever your cause of choice may be, take it up today and you can’t lose. The best way to help yourself is to help someone else. This also includes making a quick amends to the people with whom you might have been a bit cross during the election. But don’t push it. If you need to take some time, take some time.
My final suggestion is to make yourself a playlist of music that makes you happy and dance like a fool for a few minutes. Right now, I’m rocking out to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” Join me, will you? And feel better. This, like all things too, shall pass. Let’s take a moment, breathe and move to higher ground.