This has been a difficult week for our country. As I walk through the streets of New York I have observed two things these past few days. I looked around and was once again inspired by how many different religions, cultures, perspectives our city is comprised of. I love how my city is filled with every type of person from all over the world with varying beliefs and religions and how we can learn so much from one another. I have also noticed a deep sadness and people on the phone talking, talking, talking trying to make sense of the election. I see a nation divided. I do not want to get into politics here. No matter who you voted for I think we need to heal as a nation by having a strong voice of love, unity and one that values all human beings. Once we are past any grief we may be feeling, this is a time to gather with loved ones who can support you. There are a few tools I would like to share to re-center yourself and do self-care.

  1. Hug More – Hugging releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone, and we need more of that! The day after the election in Union Square a couple of young women had signs up saying……NEED A HUG?….I said yes. I received and I gave one. It made me smile and yes, it uplifted my spirits. I was very grateful for those young women.

2. Dance – this is a time when you need to shake off the stress, worry, fear, anger you may be feeling inside. We need to get out of our heads and into our bodies. Here are some videos/songs to get you started. Make your own play list and share your favorites below.

3. Journal – journaling has been proven by James Pennybaker to promote healing. Let it go onto the pages so you can unburden yourself.

4. Take a walk in Nature – ground yourself, listen to your heart, get back to your center. All of this negative media can put anyone into turmoil and disconnect. Turn the media down, stop reading on the internet, take a break and calm your self down. While you are at it make it a gratitude walk. With every step think of what you are grateful for. Your breath, your legs, your heart beat, the air, your life.

5. Meditate – Go to Barbara Fredericisons website and listen to the various metta prayers. They will open your heart and help you send good energy out into the world which is needed now during this uncertain time. Put your hand on your heart and give yourself some self compassion.  it’s unbelievably effective for creating a sense of compassion and empathy, says Kristin Neff, PhD, University of Texas associate professor in human development, culture, and learning sciences, and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.

“It seems weird at first, when you start practicing this,” Neff admits. “But your mammalian system kicks in immediately when you place your hand on your heart. You begin to use a warmer, gentler tone with yourself and with others.”

6. Remember the Serenity Prayer

“ God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change.

The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

Listen to your own heart. Are you an agent of change that supports the elevation of humanity? Get back to your center and bring that light into the world. Send that energy out in every encounter you have. What are your personal values and how do you want to BE in the world? This is a challenging time for our country, I am choosing to get off the negative news feed and to thrive moving toward the future I want for my children and grandchildren. Using my positive psychology tools will help me shift my attention to what makes me energized, hopeful , resilient and inspired.