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Three Tips for Managing Your Election Dysfunction Despair Disorder

21 Mar

Wow, and to think, we were all bemoaning the mean-spirited nuttiness of the electoral process of 2 years ago! Remember this post?

I guess that was just a warm-up for what's going on now. Who knew?

At the time, wellness mavin and holistic Chicago doc, Martha Howard MD called it PEST or Pre-Election Stress Trauma.

Bestselling author Priscilla Warner wrote a blog piece about Political Punditry Panic Attacks.

The comedic Swami Beyondananda (Steve Bhaerman) quipped about severe Irony Deficiency.

And my personal favorite is from prolific writer-psychologist Bill O'Hanlon, talking about Elective Dysfunction.

What to do, other than gnash your teeth and moan, "Ain't it awful?" to friends and neighbors? ...Because those 2 responses, if experienced often enough, will just get you deeper into the EDDD hole.

Here are three simple suggestions:

  1. Take a News Fast. Even if you're a political junkie, there's only so much ugliness any reasonable human can consume. Be mindful of what's going into your ears and eyes and how you're responding to it, and press that "off" button – maybe even for hours at a time – to refresh your spirit.

  2. Try to find some way to positively impact the situation. You can combat your sense of helplessness and dismay by figuring out something good you can do. You might want to volunteer for a local politician who stands for your principles. Or maybe you'd feel better doing something for a group that's been pounded by some of the mean-spirited rhetoric. Don't worry about it being too small or insignificant. Every little bit helps.

  3. Pay special attention to self-care. Breathe; meditate; listen to your guided imagery; pet the dog; hug the kid; soak up beauty; get a massage; enjoy a pedicure; whack a tennis ball. It's even more essential when there's so much poison in the air!

I realize that none of this is rocket science – just a little common sense.

What are you doing to manage during these strange times? Got some wisdom for us?

Take care and be well.

All best,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.