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Coping With The Stress Of Recent Events
It is my heartfelt wish that this finds you, and your loved ones, accounted for...and Safe. Each of us in our own ways is immersed in the devastation of recent events as we sort through what is happening; what this will mean for us, and for our families, our nation, our planet. We have each seen indelible images that will likely stay with us for the rest of our lives. But the resilience of the human spirit is a remarkable strength. And we must call upon that place in ourselves now...

Yesterday I received a request from a site named, Militarywives.com, for which I feel enormous respect, gratitude, and compassion, particularly whenever our men and women in uniform must find themselves in harm's way. As I wrote to these brave, deeply concerned women, I found myself thinking as well of my own friends, family and colleagues...and the thousands of people I've never met with whom each month I share tools for coping with various aspects of stress in our day-to-day lives. I thought of those who write of workplace stress and health issues..and their children, of sleeplessness and worry, their victories and losses, psychotherapy ........and chemotherapy. Stress in all those forms and more, has, unfortunately, become a "routine" part of daily life in America.

But Domestic Terrorism was not...

And nothing about this is "routine." There are no rules for coping with Terror. There are no "magic" words of comfort and I so wish there were...but I send my heartfelt compassion to any of you waiting, and wondering, and praying. (I live just outside NYC, myself...) Coping With Fear & Uncertainty: Intensive (SELF) Care Below are some simple, no-nonsense suggestions to help you through this stressful time as healthy and whole, and available to those who need you, as possible. Just do the best you can with these...some will feel more comfortable for you than others. (No rules, remember?) I hope that something here will bring you some comfort. Please know they come with my warmest wishes and deepest prayers for the safety of you and all your loved ones, and that of people we have never met....

1. Make your own health and wellness your daily gift to yourself, your friends and family. They need you now, perhaps more than ever. So much is out of your control, but attention to your body-mind-spirit are not. Your physical wellness will support emotional strength.

2. Get as much factual information as much as possible and try to disregard rumors. Maintain normalcy in your routine where you can. Try not to "catastrophize" in your imagination when you do not know the facts. You will be told if there is a problem, and you will deal with any problems that may arise, but unless you KNOW there is a problem, try to assume the best.

3. Put your body chemistry to work for you. You can boost endorphins, and perhaps serotonin, natural "feel good" substances. Get some moderate, pleasurable exercise each day, even a walk around the block can increase the "feel good factor."

4. Get plenty of rest! Listen to your body and rest as often as you need to right now. When under excessive stress, we may need more rest and nightly sleep may not be as long, deep or restorative as needed. So take mini-breaks and rest when you need to. BUT...then get up and do something productive.(You can rest again if you need to, but accomplishing small tasks will boost morale.)

5. Eat enough, eat well, drink plenty of water..and make conscious choices. You need to nourish your body, mind and soul. It's easy to forget to eat, or go for empty carbs when stressed. Try balancing food groups, perhaps try eat small meals several times a day rather than 3 large meals, and monitor your use of sugar, alcohol and caffeine. (All can exacerbate stress in some cases.)

6. Let your friends know you need them now -- and will be needing them - and that you are there for them as well. They care and would like to help, but they may not know what you need. Call a friend TODAY and make a date to visit, perhaps go out for a bite so you can talk. If time is too short, schedule a 'phone date' to talk things over. Take yourself to a museum, a walk in the park.

7. Read what brings you comfort, and do whatever is spiritually meaningful for you. Hug those dear to you and starting today (and for the next 75 years at least!) tell them every day how much you love them.

8. Schedule at least one pleasure daily for yourself--no exceptions. (Massage, exercise, listen to music or relaxation tapes, lunch with a friend, sports, time to journal, cry, nap.)

9. Talk with others about your feelings, and listen to simply support theirs, without judgement. Be alone if you need to be. Then be with others...

10. If you are missing someone with whom you cannot talk, write letters to them....even though you may never send them. The act of writing itself can be a great comfort. (Suggestion: Try a writing meditation in which you write to that person..and THEN, write a 'pretend' letter back to you FROM that person. Sounds strange, I know, but this is a deeply powerful exercise and you may find great relief in it.)

11. Ask for help. You don't have to do this alone. Give your kids, parents and other relatives an opportunity to talk out what they're feeling, as you do the same. Teachers and school psychologists can often be a wonderful resource for age-appropriate books that help kids address different emotional issues. If you sense that you, or another, could benefit from talking with a skilled mental health professional, don't hesitate. Every community has such professionals. Your local hospital, physician or clergy member is a good starting place.

12. Stay in-the-moment: Mindfulness is the first principle of meditation for healing relaxation. Try, as much as possible, to release the past...and the future...and Be Here Now.

Above all..Hope..

Hope is what gets us through the most challenging moments of our lives, and surely this is one of them. Plan and Dream and Hope...

I wish safety for you and all those you care for, Courage and Hope..
and above all, Peace...

Susie Mantell
Award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell's best-selling relaxation audio, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace," has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, NBC, ABC, CBS-TV, Town & Country, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, American Spa, The American Pain Society, Susan G. Komen Breastcancerinfo.com, Alternativemedicine.com, Playboy. Listeners include The Mayo Clinic, Canyon Ranch(8x"BEST SPA") and The U.S.Military. Customizing programs for American Express, Remington, The Arthritis Foundation and New York Hospital, her techniques appear in Cosmopolitan, McCalls, OnHealthWebMD, iVillage, Executive Update, Militarywives.com. Susie Mantell serves on The Coca-Cola Company's 4-person,"Dasani Wellness Team." Find more of Susie's FREE stress-relief tips or order, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" at: http://www.relaxintuit.com Susie Mantell offers support as an adjunct to, but not a substitute for, professional health care. Consult your personal physician regarding any practices or suggestions that might in any way affect your health and safety.
E-mail: info@relaxintuit.com
Web Site: http://www.relaxintuit.com

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