For months, the forecast for our country’s — our world’s — financial climate has become bleaker and bleaker. Job layoffs, price increases, bank crises: these have been the headlines. It can be frightening and depressing, so how do we cope?
The first thing that strikes me is this: Regardless of the current crises that are being focused upon, we never know what the future will bring. Not tomorrow, not next week, next month, not even later today.
This realization can be very helpful and empowering when we realize that we can change the things we can control, and make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those that we touch. The sense of autonomy can be a source of calm in the storm. Today is not so different than last week. For example, the sudden announcement of our recession – just a week or so before Christmas – didn’t really change anyone’s situation in that moment, other than creating a sense of fear.
Of course, we are concerned and we can take steps to curtail spending and make wise choices, but realizing that what’s most important is that we are only alive in this particular moment called “now.” This can help maintain a positive perspective. Do we want to live the time we have here in fear? Experiencing worry? Or do we make the choice to live each moment in the best way that we can.
It has already been proven that we are what we believe, and that stress is an underlying cause of illness. So, when we take measures to allay the stress and feel like we are in control of our own cosmos, we are dealing with circumstances in the most positive way we can. When we support ourselves in this way, we are able to support the ones we love in this way too. Similarly, they are then able to do the same.
As the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, I see people – clients and practitioners — working to make their worlds a better place each day. Here’s some of their expert opinions on how to deal with our current situation.
Sarah Lobisco, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine replied, “It may seem like an oxymoron, but the more stressed we are, the more imperative it is to take time out and BREATHE. Your body is your companion — your best, most irreplaceable friend on this life journey, so it’s good idea to treat it with respect. It will do and does do everything it can to keep you healthy and functioning. It may even communicate in harsh measures: a sort of “tough love” response to missed opportunities. For example, if you missed the message of fatigue and that inner nudging to get more sleep for weeks, your body may respond with cold and flu symptoms, in order to get the rest it needs to rejuvenate and re-establish equilibrium.
In this economic environment, many may find it difficult to keep from worrying or running around like a chicken without a head. However, that need not be the case. We can support our body and therefore, our stress response, by practicing relaxation, deep breathing techniques, and mind-body modalities. We can take the time to prepare healthy meals, which nourish our systems and provide quality fuel to our blood cells and brain. This helps us to maintain clarity, which, in turn will help us to make sound, practical decisions such as cutting costs or supplementing income. We may even decide to make a wise choice to visit a good Naturopathic Doctor, [ 😉 ] who can suggest supplemental nutrients or herbs which support the body’s nervous system to keep you grounded and calm.
In all, we can use this time as an opportunity to soul-search our priorities and then plan and implement proactive and reasonable strategies to achieve our goals. What a nice perspective shift from fear!”
Dave Ostrowski, a master Acupuncturist and Tui Na practitioner, added, “We can begin with one word: simplify. Identify what it is that you love to do and do it in a reasonable and practical manner. Through this simplification process, we draw inwards and that allows us to realize what we’re all about, what we love to do or be and what’s important to us.
In doing what we love, there’s a single-mindedness of purpose that becomes a form of meditation, which decreases stress. When we shut down the clutter and live in the present, we are helping ourselves to be well. We have to realize that the mind will continually point out the “shoulds” and the “what ifs,” but if we strive for focus, we find that we are moving forward in this thing called “living.”
It’s really important for us to put our perceived obligations and expectations aside and realize it can be mind clutter that will always be there. So, when we find the quiet spaces in between that stuff to just be present – for even a few moments every day – we’re on the path to living well.”
At Living Well, we help people deal with the day to day stresses of our lives and work to find positive measures to enhance the quality of our lives, whether that be stress management, pain management or other important concerns that we share as human beings. We are readily available to answer questions and support the community in any way that we can, so please feel free to use our resources!