Whether you are experiencing extreme stress or a heavy case of the sads, we all seem to find ways to avoid camping out with our emotions. If we don’t, we lie awake at night making up lies to ourselves or seeking solutions.
Lately, it seems like stress is usually right around the corner. And if you’re like most of us, you ignore it as long as you can until you can’t. I know for myself, between life and the news, I sometimes feel layers of it piling up, and infiltrating my daily routine. This week I actually created ‘No Sad Sunday’ to take a day off from receiving or dwelling on any of the news around me. This was the only way to save myself and my partner from drowning in my tender empath soul, feeling for those suffering around me.
Please believe me when I say, I am no expert on this, and there is no one technique for everyone. Personally, I find different things work for different stressors. When I feel pressure or pushed, I reach for my yoga mat and an active sweaty practice. If you love exercise, I recommend you choose something to get your body moving and detox some of those negative vibes you’ve gathered up.
General anxiety or worry is different. I find working through it with exercise doesn’t always help. I tend to start with walks, stillness in nature, time spent with our three rescue dogs. I also love using essential oils or incense, mediation, visualization and reiki when I feel it coming on. I add a lot of positive self talk and varying breathing technques. Many people, including myself find creating or enjoying art extremely soothing. I have the most wonderfully creative clients who often turn to their crafts for relief. Some local organizations emphasize art journaling to create a positive and calm feeling for clients. Once they have spent time drawing and creating their own personal journal, they also find a big sense of satisfaction, also stress relieving.
Altogether different is when I feel a case of the sads come on. Typically this is when I’ve encountered layers upon layers of sad news that seem to settle down in my sensitive empath heart. This past month was so challenging, I finally knew I needed a break, a solution. I created ‘No sad’ Sunday to offer up relief for myself and those around me. Nothing wears people out more than trying to live and cope with the feelings of a empath soul. Please know I am not attempting to address depression. Sometimes depression carries a need for more than stress relieving techniques.
Having worked with several clients who feel challenged by anxiety, past abuse triggers, sadness and the general effects of the news we hear every day, I decided to reach out to my diverse and insightful circle to learn how they choose to respond to these emotions. You might want to get a pen, and hold on to some of these. You may also love to see certain similar themes run through many of these. These are not hard to find solutions, and some of them reappear again and again on this list. Here you are:
Trish Bennett, an entrepreneur … ‘Working out is the only thing that helps me.’
Christine Minkkinen, also a Small Business owner: Working out is the best thing for stress. It has to be a real tough workout though, one that really kicks your butt.’
Sheri Howell Haymore, Author: ‘I talk to myself, sometimes aloud- “You’re fine. You’re doing good. It’ll work out ok.”
James Beers, Entrepreneur: “I get in my car and drive. I drive all night, every night. I drive until the morning light falls upon my sight. I drive all the pain and heartache away. I drive to make it through another day.”
Bradley Cordle, Restaurant managment : ‘Heading to the woods! Usually solo. Nature always makes me feel better.”
Paula Rauenbuehler, Leadership Coach and Human Resources Director: ‘I like to walk a labyrinth to bring things back under control.’
J. J. Carolan, Life Coach: I fight. Literally. I get on the mat and fight.
Pia Goff, Restaurant owner: I go outside, take the dogs to the dog beach, take a bike ride, work in the garden, anything that involves activity and sunlight.
Michael Mattison, Actor extraordinaire: Sit by the river. It always knows the song you need to hear.”
Tara Rummel, Interior Designer: As someone who sufferers mild seasonal depression every winter, here are my go to’s: B-12, Music that forces me to move, Throwing on comedy radio or podcast, basically forcing laughter.’
Kat Winters Caya, the Incredible world of Social Work: I have found that it is imperative to cut out alcohol (it’s a depressant!) and negative people. But, as rumi said, the cure for pain is in the pain. Personally, I think you have to not distract yourself, journal, be of a sober mind, and listen to the sadness. It’s trying to reveal something to you.
What are some of the ways you manage your anxiety or sadness? I would love to hear about them in the comments or you can email me. This is certainly a discussion worthy of revisiting again and again. I deem it valuable to identify what triggers your stress and anxiety and move toward the trigger to resolve it. Imagine if we could start removing our triggers!
Maybe you can find some helpful techniques here for the next time you feel anxiety or the sads creeping in. I believe that many capable and experienced minds are better than one. Anxiety and stress, they can be beasts to deal with. Managing them is key.
Thanks to this incredible group of friends and tribe members for speaking out and offering their wisdom.