The question of how to deal with my anxiety has become increasingly important since last November. All of a sudden I felt far less safe, both as a woman and a citizen of the world. The country I live in turned out to be far more sexist that I had thought (and I thought it was pretty sexist) and the man now living in the White House (#notmypresident) is clearly unstable and unaware of how he might provoke an attack or war.
So, although this is an ongoing process I'd like to share a few of the methods I'm using to remain calm during these tumultuous times.
- Being kind to yourself. For me that means limiting the news that I watch and read. I get the Huffington Post's daily email, but on days that I feel overwhelmed, I don't read it. I can't sustain being angry for four more years. I just can't. On the other hand, my best friend watches everything he can. He feels like being vigilant reduces his stress because he's not being surprised. I've also found myself enjoying the things that make me smile more. I look at a lot more pics of my puppy (Sunshine) and I use pens with pink ink and write on cute stationary. I just try to remind myself of the things that make me smile.
- Realize that this isn't the first time. Trump isn't the first crazy man with dictatorial leanings who has come to power. I know the obvious example is Hitler, but don't forget, Joseph McCarthy came to power in the US. He ruined people's lives for possibly being communists, when being a communist wasn't even illegal! We worked our way through that and we will overcome this.
- Realize that you do have power. You might feel helpless, but you really aren't. There are lost of things that you can do if you're feeling powerless: protest, donate time or money to a charity in jeopardy, boycott products with ties to the administration, tell the truth to people who believe "alternative facts" (aka: lies), write your representatives, run for office yourself, and just be kind to everyone you encounter. We can't all do every one of these things, but if we each focus on some of them, then we take back our power.
- Have the serenity to accept the things you can not change, the power to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Sometimes all you can do is take a deep breath and have faith that things will work out.
It will be okay.
As my mom pointed out, America has been through a lot and it always survives. We have checks and balances. So even thought you might be suffering from anxiety now, things will be okay.
About the Author: Lauren is the Founder of Sunshine YOUniversity and the creator of the Confidence Cure (now available on Udemy). She spends her time helping women gain confidence in themselves and doting on her adorable Havanese pup, Sunshine.