Coping

Because this is a tough time of the year, when so many of us are dealing with ALL KINDS of triggers, I put together a list of ways to combat those days when we’re feeling blue. I love them, they work for me and, hopefully, will help anyone else who may come across this … blessings.

1.     CRY

- Purely cathartic and something most people are generally terrified of doing. Yet every time I allow myself to cry, I always feel better. Physically lighter even. An actual and emotional weight is lifted and it is such a good way to move that energy out of your body.

2.     NATURE WALK

- We are constantly bombarded with TV, music, driving, texting, phone calls, social media, emails, people, working and general existence that sometimes the BEST way to handle a not-so-good day is to go for a walk. There’s something so exquisite about stepping into the silence of nature. It makes all the problems you’re facing seem so far away and walking can also help to move physical anxiety out of the body. Plus, I’m convinced that trees have magical healing powers and work great for clearing one’s mind!

3.     SUN BATHE

- We are creatures that are designed to be out in the sun! The cells on our skin love to soak up Vitamin D, which more and more studies suggest help combat depression symptoms and boost your immune system (along with many other amazing benefits). It won’t make your problem disappear, but something about soaking up those delicious rays just feels so healing and nourishing.

4.     GROUNDING

- There’s a lot of fun stuff that happens to your body when you walk barefoot on the earth. It has to do with the planet’s negative charge versus the positive ions floating in your body. I think that more than anything it helps to clear your head. It’s relaxing, and if you’re anything like me (and are always way too in your head), walking around barefoot helps to put me immediately in my body.

5.     BREATHWORK

- Since I am always in my head, I embrace anything that helps put me into my body. Since breathing is something we do automatically, by intentionally focusing on it, it begins to have an immediate effect on our central nervous system and our brain. It calms me, especially when my mind seems to be spiraling out of control. And it’s nice to realize that no matter how much pain I feel or how sad I am, I’m still breathing and that I can’t be destroyed by whatever emotion I’m feeling. I can start to see it as a wave and something that will simply pass over me.

6.     MEDITATION

- It takes a while to see the benefits. It’s definitely something you’ll notice in a week or a month. And the changes are subtle. You suddenly don’t mind that the person making your coffee is a little on the slow side. You aren’t as bothered by 5 o’clock traffic or someone texting during a movie. There comes a time when you realize that there is a gap between your reaction and whatever person/thing/place is triggering you. And you realize that in that gap you have a choice about how to respond. More often than not, you still react impulsively but every now and then, you don’t. You can stop yourself from getting swept up by an emotion and instead, chose to let it go.

7.     NETFLIX AND CHILL

- I don’t care what anyone says. Sometimes if you’re having a shit day, you need to just veg out on the couch and watch a ton of Netflix. Since we fall into a hypnotic state when watching TV, it can be a way, albeit temporary, to forget for a little while whatever is bothering us. Plus sometimes all you need is a few good laughs to turn your entire day around.

8.     MUSIC

- While I specifically mean rock music (preferably Linkin Park) you should play any music you can blast from your speakers. Music is such a great way to be expressive and, like dancing, can help to move the energy up and out of you. Just like we smile and feel happy when a song we love comes on, playing music when we’re mad or upset can be a great way to feel those feelings (which is just as important to do).

9.     WRITING

- It doesn’t have to be poetic, beautiful or even logical. But get it all out on paper, however it wants to come through you.

10.  NOTHING

­- We don’t have to “fix” feeling sad or angry. Needing to fix it implies that there is something inherently wrong with feeling a negative emotion. Which is bullshit. It is crucial to feel whatever your feeling in its fullest so it can work it’s way out of your system and there are definitely ways to foster that process. So if for you that’s doing nothing, honor it.

Julia Piantini