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  • Writer's pictureChristie A. Cruise, PhD

Finding Peace In the Midst of These Storms

I don't know about you, but I find the news overwhelming, even depressing at times. Mass shootings, sexual assault, racial injustice, political upheaval, and the destruction of natural resources are just a few of the topics you can expect to hear about in just a few minutes of watching the news online or on television. This, in addition to our own personal circumstances can be too much!

And, even for those of us who try to control our news consumption by avoiding the television, social media serves as a secondary source of news in our society. My struggle has been how do I keep a handle on my clinical depression and anxiety while still staying abreast of what's going on in the country and the world. I have found that I must take the news in chunks as not to cause added anxiety to my life.

Now, please don’t get me wrong, it is very important to be aware of what’s happening in our society; however, protecting your mental and emotional health and well-being should be your top priority. You must be in control of what you allow to take up residence in your spirit. I have decided that it is more important for peace, comfort, joy, and love to live inside me than hate, hopelessness, anger, and disappointment.

I want to share with you a few of my own personal self-care practices as well as a few I found through reading these two articles (16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety & 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life). I hope you find that they help you to find some peace amid the storms of life.

  1. Exercise – Nowadays my exercise mostly consists of stretching

  2. Drink Calming Teas – I love green tea but have heard great things about lemon balm and ashwagandha teas.

  3. Essential Oils and Candles – I use an essential oil diffuser in my bedroom at night to help me relax. I use candles in my living room when I’m watching television or listening to music.

  4. Listening to Music – This is a must for me to help me to relax, but also to be productive.

  5. Journal – It’s important to not only write about life’s stressors in your journal, but also things you are grateful for in your life.

  6. Meditation – This is a practice I’ve just started this year. It has become a pleasant addition to my nighttime routine. I use the Daily Calm meditations through the Calm app.

  7. Deep Breathing – The Calm app also has a breath bubble to guide you through deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing is a technique I use when I feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on.

  8. Rest – Anyone who knows me knows that I love to nap. Sleep is an essential part of my self-care plan. Rest can also mean disconnecting for a while in a space that is calming.

  9. Eat Balanced Meals – I have a sweet tooth and have had to be intentional about eating meals that contain enough protein and vegetables.

  10. Do Things You Enjoy – What do you enjoy doing? Reading, cooking, shopping, spending time with friends and family? Do the things you enjoy more often.

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