It’s Friday night and I’m sitting in bed wondering what tomorrow might bring. Tomorrow is Saturday. If you don’t know what happens on Saturday morning you’re not paying attention. It’s when President 45 is left alone long enough to tweet whatever comes into his mind. And tweet he does. He says the most outlandish things. Recently on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski pointed out that, if a child lies in school, he gets sent to the principal.
Not in Washington, not in American politics. Apparently our president can lie, and, oh yes, name call, and, oh yes, scare the heck out of us. It’s been less than two months since his inauguration and this has been quite a roller coaster ride. And there’s no principal’s office to send him to!
The stress is palpable.
Trump may take credit for some things: the stock market rise, unemployment going down, and, yes, the extra pounds on my body. It seems that stress eating is the only thing that eases my anxiety. I teach parents and children how to deal with stress. “Breathe, relax and think positive thoughts,” I tell them. Feel the feelings, then let them go in an imaginary balloon. It’s easy: just meditate, go for a walk in nature, sing happy tunes.
Well, it’s not working for me. I can’t breathe deeply or let my mind and body relax for fear that my whole world is going to come crashing down. “Go on a news fast,” is easy to say but harder to do. I look on social media for help. Does anyone feel the same way I do?
I rented a movie the other day on iTunes to ease the pain. I rented Titanic. I thought it would take my mind off of the craziness. But it only reminded me that I feel like I’m on a ship that has hit the iceberg. Waiting helplessly for the boat to sink into the deep, cold ocean.
I’ve been listening to a channeled meditation the last few nights after I wake up in a panic. My guide says to know that everything in life is perfect. I repeat that to myself all day long. These days that’s not quite as effective as a fresh bowl of popcorn! Carbs seem the only answer.
No, my soul tells me I must trust that the universe has a plan. I must hand myself over to it and trust that all is well.
Hogwash! I need pancakes, or a bagel. That will do it!
Being an over-achiever, I like the challenge that life’s stresses bring. They motivate me. I usually do more, exercise more, go for longer walks, take on a new goal or challenge. But Trump stress has immobilized me. Maybe, because he attacked women, I feel abused.
All I know is that I can’t move; I can’t breathe; all I can do is eat! So I blame 45 for my lack of willpower.
Every day I wake up saying, I’m not going to let it bother me. I’m going back to my over-achiever ways. But then I can’t. People I love are being hurt. My gay, black, Mexican and Muslim friends I love are in pain.
When they hurt; I hurt. It’s not just about me.
And that’s why I, and probably many others, are eating carbs to deal with the deep hurt we feel for our fellow citizens. I could cope if it was just about me, but it’s not.
Fear not! I have a solution! Mindfulness to the rescue. Here’s the deal with mindfulness, a little goes a long way. Here are a few activities I use to help me through.
1) Close your eyes, breath deeply, and relax. Imagine a light or energy moving through your head, down to your toes, and back up again. This moves energy that is blocked in the body.
2) Feelings are like a wave, they come in, crash down and subside. Imagine a wave coming over your head, down through the body, and out your feet. Breath as you see the wave and feel the feeling, then let them go. This helps a great deal with anxiety.
3) Write your feelings down. When you wake up in the morning, instead of turning on the news, grab a pen and pencil and start writing. Don’t think about what you are writing, just write stream of conscious and let the pen take over. This helps get the feelings on paper that are swirling in your head.
4) Go for a walk. Look around and note all the things you are grateful for, the sun, birds singing, new spring buds on the trees. This sounds almost too simple, but by focusing on the good in nature we begin to realize that there is a higher power. Trust that, as the spring brings rebirth, that we will get through this together.
5) Get involved. Find an organization that is doing good things in the world and volunteer your time. This helps us focus on doing, being part of a group, and helping others.
6) Be your best self. Start eating healthier, pick up an inspirational book. Watch a documentary. Start a new exercise program.
Soon, I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and get moving to do something about my anxiety, remembering success is the best revenge. Maybe in the end 45 will motivate me to be my best self, since as he says often, “What do you have to lose?”
In the meantime, I guess a few carbs won’t hurt.