Article #8, March 22, 2003
Living For Today and Handling Today’s Stress
A week ago, everyone I know already had stress and uncertainty in their lives. Today stress levels are higher than ever.
It’s so easy to get caught up in watching the news hour after hour and worrying about our world and how recent events are affecting our loved ones and how they will affect our future. We feel profound sadness for the American families who have lost their sons and daughters. We feel anxiousness and frustration at not knowing what will happen next. We feel more sadness when we allow ourselves to think of the many, many Iraqi families who have lost their sons and husbands. You may even feel intense anger that the war is occurring at all.
While I agree that it is important to be aware of what’s happening around us, it’s also important not to forget yourself – your wellness. We have no control over the day-to-day activities in the war; what we can control is our own day-to-day activities. It will not make anything better for anyone if all of us stop eating out, taking our kids to the zoo and going to the mall.
As your virtual coach, I feel I need to ask you some important questions. Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating healthy foods? Are you getting exercise? Do you have some time for yourself every day to write in your journal, meditate or just veg (with the TV off)? Have you spent extra time with your children making sure they understand – to the extent they are capable – what is happening in the world?
Perhaps the silver lining to this dark cloud is appreciation. We only have one chance to get today right – there are no do-overs. Appreciate the way your children and pets wake up in the morning. Stretch with them! Be thankful for the heavenly smell of the orange blossoms. Count the many blessings we share because we were fortunate enough to be born into this rich country.
There are no rules for how to feel. Your feelings are simply that - your feelings. There is no right or wrong way to feel. If you are uncomfortable talking about the war, it’s ok to say you’d rather talk about something else. If that doesn’t work for you, just excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or go back to work.
Allow yourself to feel and express your feelings with someone you trust. It really does help to talk it out. If therapy will help, please see a qualified therapist. If you need someone to talk to, give me a call or send me an email. I always have an ear for you