Seeing pictures of the people of Haiti - or those of Kabul or Iraq or the unemployment lines in America, take your pick - you may be filled with deep emotions yourself. How you deal with this stress and anxiety depends on many factors in your life, especially what has worked for you in the past. When you've felt frustrated and helpless before, what has helped you regain a sense of control? Was it humor or redirecting your focus or occasional distancing or rededication or creating a Plan B - or another strategy that worked for you? Here are some activities that you can try on for size to help you in the process of coping today:
Talk about your thoughts and feelings with family and friends and reach out to others in your support system. Be open to asking for help and validation of your emotions. You may want to consult a professional counselor for a non-judgmental ear and help in sorting out your concerns. Start a journal to aid you in the process of confronting your anxiety.
Maintain balance in your life between personal needs, work, and your family obligations. Don't overcommit yourself even as you retain a normal routine. If you are a Sandwiched Boomer, plan to carve out some special time for yourself even in the midst of caring for your growing children and aging parents. Remember to be open to the healing effects of laughter.
Exercise moderately several times a week. Find an activity that you enjoy and will stick with - walking with friends, keeping fit through dance or yoga classes, training at the gym. Get enough rest and sleep to allow your body to recover from the stresses of the day.
Eat sensibly, following a balanced diet of healthy foods rich in nutrition that serve as a natural defense against stress. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and limit your use of sugar, caffeine and cigarettes to avoid their contribution to your jitteriness.
Tomorrow we'll share several more techniques to help you manage your anxiety and high levels of stress. If you click on the post title above, you can read one of the articles on our website, www.HerMentorCenter.com, for some additional tips, Five Ways Sandwiched Boomers Can Think Positive in Tough Times.
Friday, we'll be weighing in on tonight's State of the Union speech and its theme of assisting the Sandwich Generation.