Self-Care During a Season of Negativity

02/03/2017 12:51 am ET | Updated Feb 03, 2017
Joelle Zarcone
Joshua Tree National Park - 2017

Take a deep breath. Fill up your lungs.

Now let it out. Woooooooooooosh.

Let it all go.

Let out the pain. The stress. The anxiety. The confusion.

Let out all of the negativity you’re holding onto these days, in this weird, feelings-est of times, and just allow yourself to be okay with that. With the letting go.

Given the political changes and general unrest permeating throughout our communities and our nation right now, it feels easy to allow that negativity to swallow us up. To feel like we have to have the weight of the world on our shoulders or else it means we don’t care enough. That we aren’t paying close enough attention.

But really, you don’t have to drown.

You’ve heard the flight attendants! Put your own air mask on first. Then you can problem-solve, or support others.

I firmly believe that self-care is a critical component of our health, wellness, and overall survival. That applies even when the despair seems insurmountable. Even when your anxiety is climbing through the roof because of uncertainty over your rising bills, or about your health coverage, or whatever Congress is saying, or the heated arguments at your office water cooler that just won’t seem to end.

Put your own air mask on first.

Carve some time in your day – one hour, 15 minutes, whatever you can squeeze in – and be quiet. Seriously. Turn off the news. Don’t read another Facebook friend’s negative post or anything on your Instagram feed. Tune out and embrace the silence. I mean, you can listen to some music, but please – don’t have the news on. Allow yourself to take a break and focus on yourself. Your breath, your heartbeat, and what you need in yourself today. Whatever that may be.

You can do this by sitting on the grass outside, or playing with your puppy, or listening to a meditation podcast in the middle of your living room. It can be jotting down some things you’re grateful for, or flowing in a local yoga studio. You do you.

As a yoga teacher, I might be biased, but I’ve found yoga to be my saving grace these last few months. Yes, yes – extra sweaty vinyasa yoga. I’m personally not the silent meditation type (I have too many questions and fidgets), but yoga is my moving meditation. It reminds me to breath (sometimes we need that!), and let’s me step away from the downpour happening outside, even if for one hour.

It makes a difference.

It doesn’t make you selfish. It doesn’t mean you have your head in the clouds or that you can’t also be an informed and responsible adult. But it can release some of that negativity. Lock that inside for too long and it becomes toxic.

So please – please! Take a moment – a handful of moments – throughout your day, and create some quiet time to recharge and reset. You’ll be a better person/citizen/human for it. Promise.

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