Political Therapy or Therapeutic Politics?
New Year, New President
In light of the recent election of our new President, it is likely that many of you are struggling with differing viewpoints, emotions and questions/concerns about the weeks and months to come. You are not alone! Many people are feeling a variety of emotions and not sure how to make sense or cope with them. Many are posting thoughts/feelings publicly on social media or even taking action and joining demonstrations or marches. No matter what your views, here are some things to consider if you are struggling with how to cope.
Do Not Be Diminshed! Ask for More!
If your method of coping does not seem to be working for you, then trying a new strategy may be helpful. If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the amount or content of news, taking a news and/or social media fast may be just the thing. It allows you to digest bits of information more at your own pace rather than be constantly inundated with stories, images, others remarks, etc. You do not have to take everything in in order to be informed.
If being around people (family, friends, coworkers) with different views than yours, then it may be good for you to set some healthy boundaries for yourself. You do not want to shrink and isolate yourself, never to have an opinion again, but you seeking balance and even footing when feeling emotional. As kindly and in the most courteous fashion you are able, let others know you cannot have certain discussions about certain topics or in certain places (like the workplace), etc. Take the time for yourself to consider what upsets you, how can you manage your upset without “leaking” over onto others, or vice versa. Do this in the healing environment of nature or your place of worship if possible. Although difficult, saying no to others can be one of the most loving acts of kindness and compassion for yourself! Remind yourself that taking the time to care for yourself is important and that you intend to return to others/societal endeavors with more . . . more tolerance, more empathy, more perspective, etc.
Don’t Zone Out, ZOOM OUT!
Amongst all of the uncertainty there are a few things we can be more clear on; like all other issues that impact us emotionally, most of us need time to process. Many of us need additional support. Some of us our catapulted into a journey of deep exploration and personal growth. Very few are left unaffected. If things are really tough and you are having a hard time navigating, remember to ZOOM OUT; this is very different, mind you, from Zoning Out! To ZOOM OUT, you want to gain higher perspective, like the kind you get from climbing up the mountain and looking down over the city. From that vantage point you can see more and consider yourself and life from different angles.