If you have post-election anxiety, you may find the following advice which originated from a Santa Barbara Family Services Agency helpful. Some friends from the central coast passed on this information which I have found very helpful. I hope it might be of help to you and your family as you prepare for the normal stress of the upcoming holidays. I regret not being able to credit the original source.
“Post-Election Stress Disorder” (PESD) is NOT a diagnosis, but it is a phenomenon that feels real nonetheless. Countless Americans are reporting feeling triggered, traumatized, on edge, anxious, sleepless, angry, hopeless, avoidant and alone. There is not just one type of American who has been experiencing these types of symptoms, and there is not just one reason for it. The recent election has highlighted our differences in values, our lifestyle, our early traumas, our relationships, and even our reality. Fear and anxiety are normal feelings after such an unsettling campaign season!
The following stress reduction tips might help!
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat properly, get regular exercise, limit substance use.
2. Grieve. Acknowledge feelings of pain and anger for the purposes of understanding and maturing with it. The deeper our attachment to a desire (or person), the stronger our reaction to the loss. So remind yourself your strong reaction is a reflection of your caring, your connection and your passion. And, give yourself time to grieve; there are no “timelines” to healing, and moving on is not a linear process.
3. Gather with like-minded persons to talk through your thoughts and emotions.
4. Connect with persons in your community with whom you share similar values (e.g., your place of worship, yoga studio, club, team, etc.)
5. Stick to your routine. Maintaining your regular schedule of activities and taking care of your usual responsibilities can help engage you and reestablish a sense of normalcy and regularity.
6. Limit media. Read/watch just enough to stay informed, then turn to something more satisfying.
7. Set aside time to worry, a behavioral technique called “thought-stopping.” Too much worry can be a prison. It hijacks the mind and limits its bandwidth.
8. Take the opportunity to model resilience for those who look up to you –your children, your extended family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
9. Apologize to anyone you’ve hurt. The process of apologizing is very freeing. Even if the other person doesn’t receive it well, your good intentions will help ease your stress.
10. Implement/maintain healthy boundaries with others.
. Commit to talk with others respectfully, or not at all.
. Respectfully confront those who disrespect your
. Listen. Bear witness to what is happening in our country;
seek to understand, empathize.
. When tensions are particularly high, limit political debate
and argument. When people feel anxious they move
into a reactive mode. Anxious people tend to be less
flexible and less open to new experiences and points
of view. They’re more likely to oversimplify what’s
upsetting them and have a binary (Right/Wrong) view.
11. Manifest the values of love, acceptance, unity, inclusion, respect for diversity, and benevolence.
- 12. De-catastrophize, maintain a balanced perspective.Remember that more than 50 million Americans embraced the message of moving forward together, seeing the importance of equality and fairness.13. Impermanence is built into our system of government. Our political system and the three branches of government mean that we can expect a significant degree of stability immediately after a major transition of government.
Hard times pass.
14. Focus on that which you share in common with others.
15. Express yourself through writing– in a diary, a blog, or wherever it feels safe to do so.
16. Connect with people who inspire you (e.g., by reading books about inspirational persons, thanking helpful persons through letters, asking someone to mentor you, etc.).
17. Engage in “mindfulness,” the practice of noticing your present internal and external experiences without judgment. Mindfulness techniques can help quiet our fear and anxiety, which allows the nervous system to settle down. Then our perspectives can broaden and we are more likely to cope.
18. Become aware of the emotional pain that might express itself non-verbally/physically (e.g., tightness around the eyes, a tense jaw, contracted shoulders and throat, clenched abdominal muscles); then, engage in self-calming techniques.
19. Reframe, responsibly. There is a lesson in every painful experience and something to still be grateful for in every failure.
20. Take Action. Move with determination to organize, mobilize, and find new ways to create change. Channel your concerns to make a positive difference on issues you care about. Consider volunteering in your community, advocating for an issue you support or joining a local group, pursuing civic involvement.Highlights of Upcoming Bay Area Meetings Starting Week of November 27th
- Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Nov. 29, 2016, Topic: BioMedical Devices: How wide? How Narrow? Speaker: Guna Selvaduray, Professor, Materials Engineering; Director: Biomedical Engineering, San Jose State Uninversity
- Biopharma Consortium With Dla Piper, Wednesday Afternoon, Nov. 30, 2016, Topic: “Drug Pricing in 2016: Implications for Biotech, Pharma, and the Future of Healthcare”
- Palo Alto AWIS, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 30, 2016, Topic: Are you looking for a career transition to the Biotech Industry?
You can download the details for the above mentioned events as well as those listed for balance of year in audreys-picks-nov-20-2016