The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Author: thefocusonyou (page 2 of 65)

2017 Needs New Coping Skills

2017 has really screwed with my ____________ (Fill in the blank).

Personally, this year has been hell on my productivity. For many of my friends there have been family struggles, health setbacks, career changes, you name it. I can absolutely attribute my troubles to the political climate.

As an empath, social media lurker and blogger, it’s impossible to stay away from the news. Sharing my content and connecting with my networks requires a heavy social media presence. Unfortunately, the consistent barrage of bad news is wreaking hell on my soul.

I honestly feel useless and unsure of how to help. I share information about food drives, donation efforts and whatever information is helpful and not “gossip.”

If you’re feeling exhausted like me this year, let’s create a new stack of coping skills.

Here is what I’ll be doing to cope in the next few months:

Preparation: For many people, being prepared can give you a sense of control. Prepared doesn’t always mean being organized and I am a classic example of this. My husband can vouch for this! Regaining a small sense of control in our lives is important when things are feeling out of control. Click To Tweet I have felt this lately, especially because of my earthquake trauma. When I feel edgy or unsettled, cleaning or organizing important papers helps me channel my energy effectively. Although there are many events in our lives we can’t prepare for, it can’t hurt us to have family emergency plans or first aid kits in the car. Our household has been clearing out clutter and donating them to hurricane efforts as well as stocking up on canned goods. Preparation and donating to others can increase your sense of purpose and eliminate clutter.

Movement: I have found it easier to unplug from negativity and bad news if I am outdoors or just moving. Sitting and binging on Netflix makes it too easy to pick up my phone, which goes against self-care and healthy coping. I am committing to more dog walks, bike rides after dinner, gym classes and weekend outdoor activities. The change of season is a perfect time to get fresh air, increase circulation to my organs and release funky energy that is undigested in my system. I recently watched a webinar that discussed the concept of “emotional digestion.” When our emotions get stuck or clogged, they become toxic in our system. It’s similar to food digestion. If we never expel what we consume, it stagnates and toxifies our system.

Challenge: How can you expel toxic emotions that haven’t been digested? How could movement help?

Asking For Help: We don’t have to suffer alone. Regardless of what we’re struggling with, how can we reach out safely to others? If all of our problems could be solved by asking friends and family, there would be no need for therapists. Think about it……Sometimes we have to share our frustrations or thoughts outside of our circles. If you’re having employment difficulties, wouldn’t you want to chat with someone who understands what you’re going through? Wouldn’t you lean towards articles or groups focused on this? I’ll be getting creative with my own battle plan and reaching out to my networks for clarity. I’m also venturing out with another therapy internship so I’ve been looking outside of my comfort zone for assistance. I recommend Facebook groups, local support groups and spiritual groups to be an added link of support. There are numerous Facebook groups for the recently divorced, infertility, career, health-related issues, grief, etc.

Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed!

Most importantly, we have to remind ourselves that no matter what is hurting our soul, we matter. We matter to someone. We have a purpose and our purpose doesn't change based on a bad season of our life. Click To Tweet Our ancestors have struggled with 10 times more than us, yet they made it through with less resources. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to cope. We’re all learning as we go!!

Finding Peace Using Meditation

In stressful times like these, it’s important to find ways to tune out the extra noise. Personally, I can’t leave the news on for too long. The noise we hear affects our energy and mood & I’m very mindful of what I’m hearing during my “off” hours. Background news or negativity can be draining even if we don’t participate or pay attention to it.

This week’s post is my low-key way to introduce or encourage you to consider meditation.

Unfortunately, people get discouraged by numerous myths about meditation.

“It’s too woo woo for me.”

“I can’t quiet my mind because I have too much to do.”

“I don’t know where I can do it. Don’t I need a meditation room?”

(No you don’t need a meditation room but if you’re interested in decorating a peaceful area in your home or office, I got you! Read: 4 Ways To Inspire A Peaceful Environment)

What helped me ease into a meditation practice was listening to guided meditations. I use the Calm app, which provides free and paid memberships, and it’s a perfect lifesaver when you need visual or audio imagery to help calm the eff down. I also use the sounds of waterfalls or rain as background noise when I’m writing (heads up creatives)!

Need ideas of where you can do a 5-minute meditation?

-After dropping off the kids at school (in the car or at home).

-On the train, plane or airport (especially if you’re a nervous traveller)

-During a break at work

-Driving to pick up lunch

-Waiting in the drive-through line

-In the shower or tub

-While working on deadlines at work (reports, grants, audits)

Plus, research has shown that guided meditation can help calm children and babies. A therapist told me how a client and her baby responded when she played a guided meditation during their session. She said the client’s baby stopped fussing, fell asleep during the session and the mom was obviously relieved. Try playing meditation music during your kids’ bedtimes and see if you notice a difference!

I have attached a link to a YouTube video introducing you to an easy 5-minute guided meditation. You don’t have to sit cross legged or close your eyes. Just sit comfortably, breathe slowly and focus on 5 minutes of peace. You’re welcome!!

 

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