Most of us are worried and fearful in today's culture. We worry about others. What they think of us. What they like or dislike about us. Sometimes this line of thinking descends into the depths of despair. We worry about our boss. Why didn't he smile at me? He didn't include me in his 'atta boys during the meeting....did he not like my last product? Is he worried I am not doing my job?
With friends it's the same - did she get her feelings hurt when I said that? Are they mad at me? Why didn't they include me?
Family stressors include worrying about being included as well, but also not understanding changing roles.....
Now those are issues in a normal world, but we do not live in a normal world. We live in a world afraid of socialism, afraid of capitalism, afraid of vaccines, afraid not to vaccinate, afraid to go out in public, afraid to eat at a restaurant...the list is endless. Where does it end? How do we enjoy life despite the world around us? What are we able to control?
First, our jobs. Try to have a job where your leaders are supportive and empathetic. A place where you love to work. Not just a job, but a joyful place....After you listen, try to emulate that leadership in your life - in your family, with your group of friends, with those with whom you work!
Take 15 minutes to stop and watch the above url. It's amazing. This guy gets it. We need leaders with empathy. He states it so clearly.
Secondly, pay attention to your body. Right now lower your shoulders. Did you realize that you were so tense? Try some deep breathing. Listen to some beautiful soothing music. Look at nature. Just focus. Be in the moment.
Release the trauma from your body! Peter Levine is famous for somatic healing. Watch this video and understand a little more about yourself.
Watch as the psychologist explains what is going on with our bodies filled with trauma. You may not have trauma from war or battle, but you may have trauma from an unhappy life or childhood or even just depression that becomes stagnant.
We know we need empathy in our lives. We know we have trauma we need to rid our bodies of...
- Step 1: Learn More About Your Fear. This first step can be the hardest one, but it's also absolutely necessary. ...
- Step 2: Use your Imagination in Positive Ways. ...
- Step 3: Use Your Brain in a Different Way than Usual. ...
- Step 4: Focus on Your Breathing. ...
- Step 5: Practice Mindfulness. ...
- Step 6: Use Nature as Your Therapist.
Deep breath! I am shaking and angry and I want to share why. As a therapist and as an educator, I know that I am to keep my personal feelings and thoughts mostly to myself, especially around my students and clients. Today I received a blog from a large entity that supports counselors and I was triggered by one of the points the blogger was making: Trump caused irreparable damage to our country and world....Some synonyms for irreparable are irreversible and irrevocable. Are you serious??? You can't change things a president does? You can't undo laws, mandates, etc? Who says they are wrong? Who says that the current administration isn't even worse? Or, better yet, what if the Trump administration was on to evil and was trying to combat it? No matter what side of the fence you are on and how righteous you feel about your beliefs, the solemn duty of educators and counselors is to go where the client/student is and teach them from an unbiased viewpoint.
Conservatives, liberals, middle of the roaders - call if what you may. There is no absolute. There is NO black or white in knowledge and. I believe in the little gray matter in my head, as Poirot might say. These little gray cells help me maintain a balanced position in life.TEACHING. What a concept, huh?
Working on my own countertransference about this matter, I chose to write this blog. I feel a bit better. I don't feel superior. I simply affirm what I believe and I pray and hope that every educator, counselor, coach, adult, etc., realizes that we cannot brainwash our students or clients. We must allow for critical thinking and free speech. God bless America!
- Create a flexible schedule. Emphasis on flexible.
- Alternate passive with active times. For example, 20 minutes of schoolwork and 20 minutes of gonoodle.com!
- Walk around the neighborhood and practice mindfulness with nature.
- Keep hydrated.
- Eat a balanced diet - avoid sugary concoctions, but don't eliminate them totally! Give yourself a "treat" when you've accomplished something difficult (like vacuuming or doing the toilets???).
- Improve your spiritual life.
- Practice daily gratitudes.
- Read a good book - not one for work or self-improvement - just a sweet story. How about trying the Mitford Series? Very relaxing and easy read.
- Contact one person a day via Hangouts or by phone.
- Smile- that very act creates a hormone release that helps you feel emotionally well!
- Draw or paint - do something creative.
- Listen to music or play music. Drum with your fingers on your desk!
Find a good series to watch on Netflix or Hulu or whatever.... the list is endless. Try your best to be upbeat and positive and happy! May you have a peaceful spring and may you find joy in your life that you uncover through this crisis....Maybe one day we will know the whys....
As an educator, I am influencing many young people. Fresh minds. Open minds. Minds I don't want to blemish with untruths and negativity. But if I am confused, how am I able to do that?
Deep breaths help a bit, but it is a struggle. People who've never experienced this sometimes see it as a weakness - a way of not being in control. I wish I could mentally control it and eradicate its presence the minute I begin to feel it. In the past physicians have told me to breathe into a paper bag. Somehow that never worked. My pulse is racing as I write this and I feel fear. Fear of what? I imagine most of us have experienced some fear as this is a new world for us. New expectations. New standards. I am as confused as the next person about this coronavirus. I'm not sure if we are doing all the right things or if we need to do it differently. I feel that there are so many opinions, I don't know what to do with all the information. But I do have a plan:
1. Stay in the present. Practice mindfulness.
2. Self talk - I am safe. I am good. I am loved.
3. Preventive measures - get enough sleep. Last night I had less than 5 hours sleep. That may account for some of the anxiety....
4. Drink more water!
5. Continue trying to move more, as my hobbies aren't conducive to movement!
6. Think positively.
7. Practice gratitude - what are three things I am grateful and think of it daily.
8. Do my best to not allow my anxiety to infect others.
9. Keep busy. Too much free time is not healthy, I've found.
10. Read, write, and keep social contacts alive and well....
So know that you are not alone. Even we therapists have our issues and we are working together to come to a place in our lives where we can experience true inner peace and balance. It's not easy sometimes.
It's very difficult to put into words, but this quarantine business has actually been a time of rejuvenation for me. I have not suffered physically, emotionally, or even socially during this time, although I have practiced social distancing and any other mandates set forth by our government. How can this be when others are struggling, stressing, and obsessing about what they are being deprived of? Of course, I miss my grandchildren. I miss my sons and their wives, but not to the point of it making me internally unbalanced.
I am a teacher. I am a therapist. But not in that order. Primarily, I am a loving and caring wife. That is my first order of business during these times. I cherish being at home with my spouse of 45+ years. I cherish watching television with him, just knowing he is in the house when I am studying or reading. What has further given me pleasure is the satisfaction of following a schedule these past few weeks.