Happy Holidays!! This time of year, is not very merry for many of my clients. The reason for that may be that this may be the first Christmas without a loved one, coping with an illness, going through a major life change, being disconnected from family members, being alone on the holidays or just because you have those winter blues.
It is important for those of you that are struggling with being jolly, to practice coping skills. In this blog, I will share what my favorite coping skills are and what I use on a regular basis to help me cope with the stresses of life. I have tried lots of different tools over the year and these I found are the most effective for me and help me feel balanced.
Meditation: I have been consistently meditating for the last few years and it has been life changing! I know that some people don’t think they can meditate, but I don’t believe that to be true. I believe that everyone can benefit from meditation and if you don’t believe me, try it for 21 days and then let me know. Also research the benefits of meditation- there are tons! For me, it has helped me manage my anxiety! And the goal isn’t to clear your mind, if you were able to do that then you wouldn’t need meditation. Check out this video by Dan Harris that helps explain how to learn to meditate in 5 minutes and how easy it is to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKZ9sN3nL2c
Gratitude: After I meditate every morning, I write in my gratitude journal things that I am grateful for that occurred the previous day. I believe that it needs to be 3 to 5 different things every day. And you should feel a slight strain from coming up with new things. The more you look for the little things in your life that you are grateful for, the more you are going to see the things in your life that you have to be grateful for.
Binaural beats: These are great to listen to when you want to relax, relieve some stress, at work, to raise your vibrational frequency and even while you are meditating. These are best listened to with headphones, but I also play music like this throughout my day while I am meeting with my clients. Here is one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyFUtdDJedc
Float Tank: This is something that I really enjoy going to. I choose to go for 1-hour floats. During a float go into a float tank and lay back in water that is around 95 degrees and has about 1000 lbs of Epson salt and float. The lights are turned off and external sounds are kept to a minimum. There are physical benefits to this as well as helping you achieve a deep sense of relaxation as well as psychological benefits. Every float I have experienced is different and unique with where my mind takes me. This is where I choose to go locally: https://requiescent.com/
Hypnosis: I love listening to Michael Sealey on YouTube and his guided hypnosis videos. He has them on every topic including anxiety, weight loss and for people with TMJ (this one is my favorite and helps me not experience any jaw pain when I wake up). I have found that when I fall asleep to one of these audio recordings, my REM stage doubles according to my Fitbit and I wake up feeling more refreshed.Check them out at:https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelSealey/feature
Self Help Books: Some of my favorite ones are:
“Buddhist Boot Camp” by Timber Hawkeye
Any book by Dr. Brene Brown
“The Tools” by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels
“The Untrue Story of You” by Bryan Hubbard
“You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay
Ted Talks or Podcasts: There are some great ones on any topic you are interested in finding out more about. My favorite Ted Talks are:
The Power of Vulnerability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o
The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJsdqxnZb0
For all of the Ted Talks: https://www.ted.com/talks
Go for a walk or run: Get outside and be with nature. Research says that after only 3 minutes of walking outside you will start feeling better. Join a couch to 5k program to get in the habit of running and/or walking.
Whatever you choose to use for self-care, find what works best for you. These are what help me the most! During this challenging time of the year, avoid self-medicating through alcohol and drugs.
If you experience suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line- Text HOME to 741741
I hope that everyone has a nice holiday season and a great 2018!!