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Maintaining Your Sanity During Uncertain Rough Times


Maintaining Your sanity

It is already December and a new year is about to start. In ordinary times, this month is a festive season. A time for many happy occasions, gift exchange, more outings with family and friends especially those coming from abroad, and many other preparations. In ordinary times, this month is a time to experience some “eustress” (i.e. positive stress). In ordinary times, we had to make an effort to keep it all together and accommodate to more situational demands. We had to manage our time, expenditure, and resources during this very busy period.

Sadly, this December is not ordinary. We are witnessing a major crisis in Lebanon making it a time for great uncertainty. People are continuously on high alert to catch up with the day-to-day events. With eyes on the peoples’ revolution, the major political events, threats of dwindling resources and finances, inflation, the layoffs, the media’s focus on everything that could possibly be going wrong, etc.… Under these circumstances, how can you possibly make it through December with all that it requires? The ordinary eustress is changing to full blown psychological distress (at least for many who see it that way). People are oscillating between depressive and anxious states with increased vulnerability to the harmful consequences of excessive stress. So how can you maintain your sanity and cope with this extraordinary December and all its excessive demands?

The number one rule in stress management is to change or avoid any situation that stresses you out. If that’s not possible (like many external events occurring now), you can only change the way you’re reacting to the situation by either accepting it, or adapting to it. This, in turn, will require you to change your thoughts, and engage in different behaviors; thus, practicing resilience by regulating precipitating negative emotions that naturally surface during rough times. Maintaining psychological health requires an intention and active attempts to remain in charge. Doing nothing about it may lead one to lose grip. Here are few things to consider doing:

  1. Take care of yourself: Make sure you have the basics right: sleeping, eating, and staying hydrated. This, also, needs to be topped up with stress reduction activities like doing physical exercise, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc… Put yourself first before any other obligation; and “no!” that’s not being selfish. It’s just respecting yourself enough to give it what it deserves when it’s highly needed.
  2. Take breaks away from the “news” & social media: This relieves you from the pressure of continuously being bombarded with information that has potential to forecast gloom and doom of the current situation. Do a total digital detox for a whole day if you have to.
  3. Get busy working on a project: If your work is slow (or if you’re not employed to start with), have a “To Do Productivity List” of things you’ve procrastinated on doing before. Being productive will give you a great sense of achievement and is a good distraction away from the negative news. What’s even better is to focus on being useful by helping members in your community through their own difficulties. Resist the “freeze response” precipitating often from perceived stress.
  4. Take things a day at a time: Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, STOP!! Be in charge of your thoughts. Worrying is an anxiety symptom. It doesn’t solve the problems you may face later. Work on finding solutions for the daily problems you may have in the “now”.
  5. Create good times to change your mood: Happiness is a temporary not eternal state. You have good reasons, now more than ever, to create moments throughout the day for such a boosting emotion. It could be by meeting with friends, doing fun activities, watching funny movies, or anything else that gives you pleasure. It creates a buffer for experienced stress.
  6. Listen to music: create two playlists to “mindfully” listen to depending on your mood: one relaxing music to listen to when you’re anxious; and another upbeat to listen to when you’re feeling low (dancing to this music amplifies the good psychological effects). Music is therapeutic as attested by scientific research.
  7. Unleash your creativity: One upside for moderate stress is that it boosts the brain’s creativity power. Think of ways to work around the current stressors. For instance, low finances can lead you to adopting new ways to economize (i.e. home baked items, handmade gifts, cheaper ways for entertainment, etc…).
  8. Cultivate gratitude and positivity: It is powerful to intensify practicing gratitude daily and focusing on the positives of negative situations as a way to adapt to things you can’t change.
  9. Be with supportive loving people: Reach out to people you love and vent out your concerns. Your support system is much needed in rough times. They need you too. Research repeatedly associates greater wellbeing with having a good social circle.
  10. Stay focused on balancing your days: Keep your internal thermostat in check socially and psychologically. Avoid extremes like “too much” of everything: isolation, excessive socializing, over/under working, over/under sleeping, over /under eating, etc…

These are but few guidelines to feel more in charge during this rough period in time when it’s supposed to be more festive. In fact, you can apply these throughout for better psychological health. When the going gets tougher, though, you need to be tougher in your attempts to remain in charge. And remember: “This too shall pass!”

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Are your Assumptions?


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Look closely & examine those assumptions you attach to certain situations that you have little information about. You certainly speculate what you don’t know & life is full of “unknowns” day in day out. You make decisions despite that & to the best of your guesses.

Examine, now, the assumptions you hold towards other people (partner, close friends, or distant acquaintances). You give these, too, their share of wild “guesses” that perhaps no one possesses. It’s automatic the way you assume as if you have a need to fill in the gaps to eliminate any stresses…

If you’re the suspicious type, you’re likely to have assumptions of negative intentions. You doubt what others are up to despite their disclosure. You’re uncertain about what they hide behind a probable facade they wear, & distrust the truth of what they share or declare. You assume otherwise just to beware.

And you don’t have to be guarded to keep assuming. When there are no “givens” at hand, you replace thoughts or ideas in empty places to fill in the puzzle-like empty spaces. People are so complex to fully understand & their vagueness can be difficult to withstand. Your assumptions can become in high demand.

Let me tell you this: ASSUME makes an ASS of U & ME. If you don’t inquire, you jump to conclusions that may totally be mistaken. If you don’t communicate to explore, you wouldn’t have definite answers at all. If you keep silent, your created version can be endlessly prolonged.

“Most failing relationships are loaded with assumptions that lack ground. They trigger misunderstandings that, with time, compound.” ~ 3Ds

It serves you better when you dissipate your assumptions with a gentle drill for truths. Through dialogue, verify your speculations with proofs. It takes two to “tango”, they say, so how else can your dance be synchronized?

Eliminate negative assumptions, but allow those that move your relationship to being crystalized. Remember you’re in the same boat if you haven’t, yet, recognized.

Here’s one healthy assumption I’d like your thoughts to be crowned with: “I am fully capable of resolving all of my mind’s myths”. then act as if ….

By the way, you look fantastic in that new attire 🙂 Okay, now go get ready to inspire 🙂

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your Mind Gym – Where In Time Do you Mostly Live?


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Have you ever wondered where in time do you mostly live? Do you live more in the past? In the current moments? Or do you keep thinking a lot about the future? Assess for a moment…. Or start observing yourself if you have no clue.

Most of us combine being in past, present, & future time orientations all together during one day on most days. Still, at times, we get stuck in one time zone for a longer while ….

If you spend a lot of time in the past, eventually you can become depressed. Your thinking likely rotates around memories most of which could be unpleasant – if not horror-like.

If you spend a lot of time thinking about the future (& we’re not talking about fantasizing here), eventually you can become anxious. Your thinking would be more worrisome thoughts of what could happen, or what will go wrong all of a sudden.

When you spend too much time in either time zones you’re tormented, unhappy, & dysfunctional to say the least. What we all need to remember is:

The past prepares you to invent a better future. It’s your best teacher. You can’t change it. Re-visit it if you have to, but quickly abandon it.

The future can’t be predicted, & the possibilities of what could happen – in number – are unlimited. Have a vision of your direction & use it as your path projection.

“It’s no use to rewind the past if you won’t learn from it just as it’s no use to worry about the future if you’re not actively creating it.” ~ 3Ds

It is this specific moment that’s real. It’s the “now” zone where you ultimately live. Make it a moment to enjoy & make sure all your senses to deploy.

It is today that you will be creating tomorrow. Plan it well, but don’t dwell. Just “go” today with no delay.

So here’s a momentary workshop for you: Choose the best idea & wear it. Get the best feeling to decorate it. Take action instantly to confirm all this. End of momentary workshop.

Whoa, what a moment, ha? Would you practice this more often?

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Face Uncertainty?


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Uncertain times come knocking on your door sometimes; and threats to major life components just barge in at other times …

It’s, perhaps, this uncertainty that mostly induces anxiety and distress over what can come next. “How will the future be like?” you wonder.

When what’s coming next seems so unsure, and you feel so insecure, you may consider only two options:
– Wait for things to happen and then respond to accommodate. Get stressed in anticipation meanwhile….
– Or keep planning your life as before , do what you’re used to doing, and deny that external powerful circumstances may eventually lead you to a dark place.

But wait…. there’s a third alternative to go about it. Consider the “waiting time” a chance to do what you never had the time to do before the overwhelming uncertainty barged in. To feel more in control, change anticipation into having plan “A”, “B”, “C”,… Build walls of defense to combat incipient feelings of stress. And affiliate with those facing similar uncertainty, or ask for assistance.

“When excessive uncertainty seems to rule, it’s no use to wait, or deny its existence. It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate resistance” ~3Ds

And then …. with uncertainty comes change. How do you know that this change will be to the worse after all? You may be surprised when you find yourself, eventually, in a better place. Yes, it happens…

Forks in the road teach us how to gallop. Sticks in the wheels teach us how to fly….

Some enjoy and even seek gravity resistance….

Trampolining with you 😉 Eeeee-Haaaaa!

Your Personal Coach

Dania

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