Wikipedia defines healing as the process of the restoration of health from an unbalanced, diseased, damaged, or unvitalized organism.
No matter your interpretation, or whether you lean left, right, or somewhere in the middle, Americans have quite a road of recovery ahead.
The world will not soon forget those images of the U.S. Capitol under siege. Sadness, hopelessness, and anger are just few of the feelings awakened inside of us. Today, as we start a new revolution, the true healing begins. I put my own spin on a Psychology Today article [Psychology Today 10 Tips for Emotional Healing] to bring you these tips.
- Flip the anxiety switch off. There are many anxiety management strategies you might want to try—breathing techniques, cognitive techniques, relaxation techniques, and so on—but what will make all the difference is if you can locate that “inner switch” that controls your anxious nature and, deciding that you prefer to live more calmly, flip it to the off position. With one gesture you announce that you will no longer over-dramatize, that you will no longer catastrophize, that you will no longer live a fearful life or create unnecessary anxiety for yourself. It is like asking New Year’s guests (your feelings) to leave your party that I blogged about [link to that blog post]. Flip that switch.
- Make meaning from mood. You can decide that the meaning you make is more important to you than the mood you find yourself in. Rather than saying “I’m blue today,” you instead say, “I have my business to build” or “I have a grocery list to make.” It also allows you to take control. I learned in DBT therapy, to avoid saying “have a great day” (which I will still do from time to time, I admit). Instead, I say, make it a magical day or make it count, today. Active voice. Active life.
- Invent yourself. Some things are out of your control, yet some things very much are. My friend Curt Harding, host of the podcast “The Short Pause”, talks about it in his cast called, “Who do you want to be?” You are more in charge of your own destiny than you think. Look to your higher power for guidance and go for it. I didn’t set out in life to be an author. I started as an ambitious TV news producer. As my bipolar kicked in full force, I became a stay-at-home mom who would spend all my time trying to decide on dinner. After my diagnosis in 2016, I decided I would not let this challenge beat me. I was “the worst case of depression ever seen,” according to some of my doctors in the hospital. I am certainly no superhero and I am not garnering sympathy. My story is full of hope, and so my friend, is yours.
- Kick Unwanted Thoughts to the Curb/ Getting a grip on your mind takes work. Yet, it’s totally possible. Tell thoughts that get you down to get out. If you have depression or anxiety, you know exactly what I mean here. If you are inviting what therapists call this “stinkin thinkin,” then it’s time to stop that. No more lattes with “loser callers,” or tea for two with “not good enough” nellies. You are who you want to be. Put in the work. Find out who you are.
- Surround yourself in love. Part of our nature requires solitude. But this isn’t the whole story of our nature. We feel happier, warmer, and better, live longer, and experience life as more meaningful if we love and let ourselves be loved. Wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket and book. Take a walk in nature. A friend and I went on a brisk walk through a dark park last night. It was lovely. We saw decorated Christmas trees, deer, and a snow family complete with a pooch! The way the moon reflected off the snow was glorious. Wherever you find your joy, if it’s a healthy choice, go there. Alone. Even in a pandemic, seek companionship, even if it’s online.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so poignantly put it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Those words could not ring truer today.