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Amidst the highest degree of stress we’ve seen in the US in 4 generations, things are hitting an all-time high right now. But we need to find a way to stay sane. It would be easy to allow the pressures of a high-stakes election, an escalating pandemic, and the myriad of resulting personal stressors these have caused to unknowingly cause irreparable damage to our health. So the question is, how can we find serenity in chaos?

 

We aren’t built for this

We are not built to handle unknowns or things that are out of our control very well. Nevertheless, we are being inundated with fear-provoking situations in a negative and unstable environment. Although wishful thinking may lead us to hope 2021 will be different, the political division and unrest the country is facing may only get worse, no matter who is declared the winner of yesterday’s presidential election.

This pivotal moment in history will be studied for the rest of time, but you and I are here now. Who do you want to be when all of this is over and the dust has settled? I don’t know about you but I don’t want to waste precious time now and then look back wishing I had done things differently. 

 

Adjusting our reactions

So many of my clients have struggled to stick to their health plans and it’s taken its toll on their everyday lives. Their energy is down, irritability is up, sleep is disrupted, anxiety and depression are high. By the way, I am including myself in this! From what I have learned in the last 15 years, specializing in the impact of stress on our health, is that while we may not be able to eliminate stress, we can change how we react to it in not only an emotional/mental way, but also, in a physiological way. Here’s how!

 

Mental and emotional adjustments

From a mental/emotional standpoint, there are behaviors we need to incorporate in order to be able to turn negative feelings into thoughts that give us peace. These behaviors include:

  • Developing a morning ritual of self-care such as The Miracle Morning
  • Stay close to loved ones and actively nurture your relationships
  • Create a daily gratitude and/or mindfulness practice
  • Incorporating a new philosophy of being such as Stoicism or Taoism that will help guide you through difficult times

Create a special space in your home where you can find quiet-calm. Even if it is just a corner in your bedroom where you can place a small chair and table. Always keep it totally decluttered. Keep any items you might need to create a peaceful environment such as a candle, book of affirmations or poetry, or other treasures readily available. You may even need to get a pair of noise cancelling headphones depending on your living situation. It could even be that your bathtub is your sacred space! Use this space everyday to read, journal, pray, meditate, or whatever it is that brings you back to yourself and who you really want to be.

 

Physiological adjustments

From a physiological perspective, we can affect our stress response systems and repair the chemical damage that stress causes. We can do this by:

  • Incorporating 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily
  • Eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods
  • Getting enough quality sleep
  • Taking specific supplements known as adrenal adaptogens to calm the nervous system and help modulate the stress response

In addition to this, it is important to have proper support to help you with some of these things. For example, if you feel you aren’t coping well, finding a community (virtual of course given our current situation) or a good therapist is empowering. Not to mention, some of the symptoms of too much stress are rooted in how the stress response system creates hormonal imbalances. So getting help with this is one of the greatest ways you could armor yourself against stress of any kind. 

 

For more information on how to combat stress check out a recent blog post where I outline the effects of stress on our health and 8 tools to turn it around. Whatever it is that you are experiencing right now, we are here with you. I’m taking my own advice and giving myself some TLC. Won’t you join me? Book yourself a free consultation to get started so you can find serenity in the chaos.

 

Other helpful resources:

https://www.headspace.com/

https://www.calm.com/

https://www.theshineapp.com/

https://www.brain.fm/