Relief for Political Stress

Just the other day I was thinking about my anxiety level. “Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve felt nervous,” I thought to myself. I shared with my mom how great I had been feeling.

“That’s wonderful! Are you taking any medication?” she asked.

“No!” I replied, feeling accomplished with my healthy habits and natural stress-relieving skills.

Then, Inauguration Day came. Trump smiling on TV, angry social media posts flowing and dismal news reports speculating the fate of our nation made me think, “where is the Xanax when I need it?”

unnamed

Although I’ve been able to maintain a relatively even keel for some time now, the ignorant political messaging, bigotry and utter hatred triggered my mood.

I’ve worked too hard at serenity to let politics interfere with my zen.

Instead of starting a Twitter war or self medicating, I stayed calm and indulged in two days of self-care this past weekend. My roommate and I ordered pizza, enjoyed girl talk and focused on happy things. I wore pajamas all day, snuggled with the cat and started Brené Brown’s book, I Thought it Was Just Me (But it Isn’t). In addition to self-care, a few other things helped me get out of my political agitation and back into a place of positivity.

Self-Improvement

Reading always gets me out of my own head. I’ve found a variety of grounding books that have helped me put life into perspective; from Eckhart Tolle to Gabrielle Bernstein. When I look at life from a higher, spiritual place, my mind is put at ease and my thoughts become much more peaceful. I have to remember that I am not in control of the universe, but I am in control of my thoughts.

I also began watching Matt Kahn videos on YouTube, who has a wonderful website called True Divine Nature. My favorite video discusses soul contracts, soul mates, twin flames and the most important- being your own best friend before you can truly connect with another soul. It’s definitely worth a watch!

16177931_1544189605596143_7066414743657365393_o
Photo: Brené Brown

Know Yourself

As much as I wanted to march in Boston on Saturday, I knew it would trigger my anxiety. I’ve never done well in crowds, so instead I showed my support by sending my friends messages of encouragement. It’s been a little over two months since my last anxiety attack (yes, they’re real, and yes- they’re scary).

I always recommend stepping out of your comfort zone, but don’t put yourself into a situation that will make you feel worse, not better.

Limit the Social Media

My anxiety level went from zero to one hundred when I read a status calling Saturday’s marchers “oppressed, spoiled, and entitled.” I wanted to reach through the computer screen and shake some sense into this person (to put it nicely). Instead, it came out in a moderately condescending Facebook comment. Did I need to comment? Of course not. Did I do so peacefully? Yes, I believe I did.

The takeaway from my social media experience? Use it sparingly. Instead of filling my extra time with social media (an open invitation for an anxiety attack), I try to pick up a book, write down my thoughts in a journal or take action, bringing me to my final stress-relieving suggestion.

postcard-preview-home
Get Involved

The Women’s March on Washington was only the beginning! I highly suggest joining the 10 Actions for the First 100 Days campaign to speak up for causes you care about to take a stand toward equality.

Whether it’s speaking up about violence, reproductive rights, women’s health, LGBT rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice or anything else that matters to you, now is your chance! You can print your own postcard to send to your senator and check out ideas for your message here.

16174611_10104700049555028_756444519361244691_n
Representing Nasty Women on Inauguration Day in Boston

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe


Have you ever noticed how your social circle may change throughout different stages of your life? Where I am at mentally is mirrored in the friends I spend time with; both positive and negative. Life is short, so it’s important to surround yourself with the people who inspire you to be your best.

One of my favorite phrases is “your vibe attracts your tribe.” The Law of Attraction is a powerful concept I have implemented into my life, and has made a great difference in my overall happiness. This theory focuses on positive or negative thoughts bringing positive or negative experiences back to you. As I have begun to live a more mindful, meaningful life, my fear of other people and rejection has lessened. I’ve learned the value of quality of quantity and the power of positivity in my everyday life as well as my friendships.

So, are you still trying to find your own tribe?

Be Yourself

Throughout the years I have made a variety of friends, yet haven’t always stayed true to my own values. I’ve learned to be myself and not to be afraid to speak up- as Dr. Suess said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Find Communities 

Get involved! I can’t stress enough how important is to put yourself out there and find communities that fit your interests. It’s not easy to jump into an unfamiliar situation, but you’ll feel better once you do. Join a yoga class, book club, team or networking group. I love Meetup for learning about new events and to meet new people.

Stay Positive

Misery loves company,” they say, so if you’re looking to bring positive energy into your life, reconsider spending your time with those who bring you down. Stay positive and put your energy into the things that make you happy. Don’t be discouraged!

Patience

Friendships don’t happen over night! Be patient in forming your own tribe- you’ll meet new people along the way, figure out which friendships are long-lasting and learn more about yourself, too. Remember- quality over quantity!

So, think about this: are you the kind of person you would want to be around?

unnamed-22

Table for One- Enjoying a Date with Yourself

12898235_10103825533277658_4596396088063494223_o
Coffee at one of my favorite NYC spots, Cafe Lalo

Dining alone has been one of my favorite pastimes through the years, from solo meals during travel to lunchtime people-watching along city streets. I’ve never been uncomfortable eating or showing up places by myself- from movies, museums, bars to concerts- I enjoy my own company. I love being in my own little world, the lack of small talk, and coming and going as I please.

I remember one particular evening a few years back when I took myself on a date. Yes, a date- with myself. I was living in San Francisco and had a free Friday evening; no plans, no friends around, no dates lined up. I thought to myself, “what would I do if I did have a date? What would I want to do?” I was in the mood for sushi, so I decided to take a stroll to Japantown, where I indulged in a glass of wine, sushi rolls and a movie at Sundance Kabuki. It was the perfect Friday night with me, myself, and I.

12891145_10103825533003208_7458461425975026373_o

Looking back, not much has changed in the past six years. I still thoroughly enjoy my own time and space and have lived in three other cities since that San Francisco evening. It goes without saying that I don’t have a problem adjusting to new, unfamiliar environments. However, this move has been different; this time I haven’t made much effort to be social. I’ve been given opportunities and have been asked out on dates, but lately something clicked:

Being alone sure feels good.

No compromising, no miscommunication, no confusion. Time to myself- time to reflect, learn, and grow. Time to be me. Whether you’re single or attached, there is something priceless about becoming your own best friend. As Carrie Bradshaw said,

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

Being alone has taught me to be my own best friend, my spirituality has become my support system, and staying in the moment has kept me grateful for what I have.

Until the day comes when I meet someone who is worth sharing my chocolate lava cake with, I’ll enjoy every bite to myself. After all, the best things are worth waiting for- and I won’t settle for vanilla.

12376644_10103823386889038_4886349312572110096_n