If you’ve been feeling increasing anxiety about what the Trump presidency means for you, you’re not alone. Just about every Canadian we’ve talked to has been feeling stressed, anxious and upset about Donald Trump and his policies, and his term has only just begun.
Ongoing anxiety, regardless of the source, can have disastrous effects on your well-being. If left unmanaged, a feeling of helplessness quickly sets in. We spoke to some of the experts at The Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis and Camden Spa about how we can soothe and empower ourselves in the face of Trump anxiety.
- Take a media holiday: You don’t need to be checking social media or news websites many times a day to learn about Trump’s latest scandals. Limit the time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other social media sites. Consider taking a complete media holiday for several days and see what it does for your mood. We’re not saying to stop being civic-minded. Instead, we’re saying that you owe yourself a break from the constant barrage of upsetting news.
- Practise gratitude: Gratitude improves your mood and overall health. In the era of Trump, it’s an appropriate time to be grateful that you’re living in Canada, a welcoming and inclusive country. We can also be grateful that our southern neighbour has checks and balances built into their government—already, the courts have pushed back against some of Trump’s executive orders. Be grateful for anything happening in your life personally, such as personal accomplishments or supportive friends.
- Gain perspective: People are extraordinarily resilient, and you too will outlast the Trump presidency. Through all the ups and downs of life, and through a constantly changing political landscape, things have always worked out one way or another. No matter what happens during the Trump presidency, we will not only survive but we will learn from the experience.
- Connect with your community: Remember that you are not alone. Sharing, connecting and bonding with others eases the burden and pressure we feel when our future feels uncertain. You can find a community within a cause you believe in passionately, or simply with friends and family who share a similar worldview.
- Breathe slowly: In moments of stress or anxiety, slowing down your breathing can have a dramatic and immediate impact on the level of anxiety we feel. Breathe in deeply, then take a full, slow exhalation. Exhalation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm the body and the mind.
- Take care of yourself: Being physically active conditions our bodies to better respond to stress. It allows us to experience deeper sleep and more rest, something we all need more of in times of stress. We also experience an immediate boost in mood with exercise. It can be as simple as a walk outdoors, or as rigorous as a bootcamp. Alternatively, you can manage stress by visiting a sauna, getting a massage or practising self-hypnosis.
- Play: Sometimes a diversion is all that’s needed to ease our anxiety. Play is a wonderful way to take your mind off of any sense of impending doom arising from the Trump administration. Trump has most definitely not taken away your ability to play a board game, watch a comedy, spend time with friends, play catch, or spend time with your furry friends. Do whatever it is that brings you joy!
Any of these strategies can reduce your level of anxiety over the next four years. In summary, we need to focus on what we can control—our own thoughts and actions—rather than those things we can’t. No matter what is happening in the world “out there,” the power to create peace and comfort lies within us.