Feeling Post-Election Stress?
With the surprising turn of events last night, I woke up today feeling anxious, sad, and heartbroken. I underestimated how many people would brush aside Donald Trump’s misogynist, racist, bigoted, and greedy comments and behavior and STILL vote for him.
This past summer, I remember being at a bar at Rockaway Beach and seeing a normal looking guy wearing a Trump supporter t-shirt. I thought he was joking. Or that it was sarcasm. Maybe he was using it as a conversation starter that would ultimately lead to a “yeah right who would believe this clown is in a presidential race” conversation? I certainly did not even think his support for someone like Trump could be genuine. However, after questioning it and receiving the “let’s not get into politics” serious response, I closed my gaping mouth and took a second for it to sink in. There are actual normal looking people voting for this person?
Soon after, I began to realize that there were actual Trump supporters living among us and that this sh**was real. However, I was still 100% confident that Hillary Clinton would win the election. Hence, last night the realization of the type of people living in the United States sank in. Plus, the realization that this inexperienced man who perpetuated such hatred was now the President of the United States.
Top 10 Stress Relievers
As much as I was in a trance-like state of disbelief this morning, I still had to go to work and resume my daily activities. So, I gathered 10 ways to calm my nerves and anxiousness and not let the election results completely ruin my day. AND affect my outlook on life and my beliefs that there are good people in this world. So if you’re freaking out about the future of our country, read on to breath a little easier.
- Make time to hit the gym or take a fitness class. Exercise will only improve your mood and outlook. When you exercise you dedicate time to yourself and your needs only. This little bit of selfish time to focus on you and to treat yourself is always important. As an added bonus, try a boutique fitness studio that also has a spa such as exhale. After taking a barre class, where you only focus on your muscle endurance and on getting stronger, you can visit the steam room, sauna room, and you can book a massage or facial.
- Drink a calming tea or coffee and add an herbal supplement or adaptogenic tonic. Adaptogens are natural substances that work with a person’s body and help them adapt; most notably, to stress. Adaptogens are a natural ally in dealing with persistent stress and fatigue because they work with regulating important hormones. There are loads of stress-reducing tonics that have calming effects for your body and mind. I recently bought the Ashwagandha tonic from Moon Juice. Ashwagandha is a potent root that calms the body’s physiological and nervous systems. Moon Juice states that this mineral dense adaptogen aids the thyroid, soothes anxiety, and improves sleep.
- Take a meditative or restorative yoga class. You will experience deep relaxation. This type of yoga class can center your breath and body. You will align the physical and mental by practicing stillness or flowing through movements for extended periods of time. You get the added bonus of stretching and clearing your mind.
- Get in touch with nature. Maybe take a walk in the park? Or simply take a breath of fresh air while looking up at the sky? Maybe go for a run and kill two birds with one stone? Connecting with nature can bring you inner peace as you try not to think about “everyday life” and simply appreciate what nature provides.
- Use a mantra. Mantras can quiet frustrating or distracting thoughts. The repetition of the mantra—either out loud or in writing—shifts your mind from what’s causing it to panic to something more positive and caring. The words serve as a reminder that you will get through whatever is making you anxious and uncomfortable. A new study in Brain and Behavior shows that silently repeating a single word to yourself quiets the system responsible for your mind wandering, thinking about your past, or planning your future. Here are seven stress-busting mantras to keep you relaxed.
- Find time to curl up with a good book or listen to music. These relaxation methods can be a great and healthy way to escape from the stress of everyday life. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68% and listening to music can reduce stress by 61%.
- Channel your anxious energy into something productive like de-cluttering your personal space. Many people have read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and have tested out its validity by re-organizing their closets. I think there is a lot of truth behind the belief that de-cluttering your personal space can lead to a de-cluttered mind. Clutter can add to feelings of tension and a clean, clear home allows a clearer, more peaceful mind. “I think tidying up can be life changing,” Dr. Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, stated when asked if Kondo was on to something. “When people are organized and tidy, they feel more powerful…If you build that into your life, that helps you in everything.”
- Practice deep breathing techniques. When you focus on your breathing, your mind’s attention is drawn to the life-enhancing process of drawing in air and exhaling. Take five long, deep breaths and focus on your lungs and diaphragm as you do this. This is a quick and easy way to instantly feel calm. Try these 6 Breathing Exercises to relax in 10 minutes or less.
- Watch something funny. An episode of Friends always works! Laughter is the best medicine. Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. It reduces the level of stress hormones while increasing the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. Laughter also provides physical and emotional release. Have you ever felt like you “have to laugh or I’ll cry”? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter brings the focus away from anger, stress and negative emotions.
- Eat some healthy comfort food! Stressful events and even the daily hassles of life, cause our cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol causes food cravings, and in women those cravings tend to be strongest for carbs, especially sweet foods, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. You can satisfy your cravings with healthier alternatives. Here is a list of healthy foods that reduce stress.