Welcome to the Soul Wisdom Therapy newsletter!  

Ducking for Cover in the Midst of Bombardment

There are days when we all feel like hunkering down under the covers since the state of the world echoes the 1986 top hit song Land of Confusion, by Genesis. Violence, a pandemic, war, book banning, political unrest, social upheaval, climate crisis, racial injustice, reproductive rights—most of us feel under assault. It is understandable that anxiety and depression are off the charts. Numerous studies have indicated that the realities of COVID19 have contributed broadly. Although we may feel as if we are finished with the pandemic, it is not finished with us. The ripples of the disease itself as well as the unnecessary politicizing of a virus that might have been better addressed, have left people reeling and disoriented. Humans are social creatures and the isolation that ensued has brought with it a sense of despair. Even as we are emerging and interacting, it feels for some like learning to walk again after a broken leg has healed. It will take time to reach a sense of equilibrium.  
When world events feel overwhelming, there are those of us who turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substances (legal and illegal); excessive eating; too much time spent zoning out with the internet news, social media, tv, radio, and doomscrolling. A sense of hypervigilance has become common, since we wonder what occurred in the world while we slept, and we want to feel prepared to deal with it.  
Regardless of which side of the political aisle you stand on, what you take in during the 24-hour news cycle is bound to affect the way you think, feel and act. Even the most ‘Zen’ among us feel the impact. To get a sense of whether you are experiencing depression and anxiety, take a look at this article that identifies signs and symptoms that include: sleeplessness, or excessive sleeping, palpitations, isolation, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in activities that used to draw your attention, hopelessness, and thoughts of self-harm. If you notice feeling this way, please reach out for mental health support. A new hotline with the digits 988, is replacing the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It is meant to be a safe space in the midst of crisis.   
There are several ways to offer scrupulous self-care.  
Appreciation - Take some time each day to appreciate you. It could be as simple as thanking yourself for waking up with the alarm clock or perhaps before it. Write yourself a thank you note, highlighting the things you are grateful that you have experienced, did for yourself, or for others. That might include eating healthfully and mindfully, taking time to savor each bite, rather than rushing through a meal to get on to the next thing on your list.  
An Attitude of Gratitude - As a continuation of the last ingredient, consider all the blessings in your life including those that may not have felt that way at the time. Make a list each morning, thanking yourself in advance for what you plan to achieve, and one at night before closing your eyes, highlighting who or what came your way in the previous 12 hours. If you are feeling a bit draggy throughout the day, give yourself a boost by looking around you and adding to your gratitude list.  
Change Your Mind – Just like you change the foods you eat each day, knowing that you would likely get bored having the same meal three times a day, you can change your mind about anything you want. It’s been said that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 thoughts flow through our minds in a 2-hour period.  Most are unconscious, automatic, and repetitive and more often than not, negative. They are what fuel our decisions and actions. Imagine random, willy-nilly thoughts running amok…what havoc might they wreak? Take a look at your current life circumstances and ask yourself this question: What would someone have to be thinking or believing to be having the experiences I am having? Think about the things you used to believe when you were a child and notice how you no longer believe some of them, because you gathered more information and chose a different path.  
Other ideas for your self-care tool kit.  

  • Sufficient sleep, which may vary from person to person  
  • Time in nature which can be restorative  
  • Engage in soul nourishing activities  
  • Listen to music, singing and dancing along  
  • Create gratitude lists daily  
  • Take a media/news fast each day  
  • Movement (walking, running, dancing, skipping)  
  • Get creative (drawing, painting, writing, sculpting, making music)  
  • Be with those you love, either in person or via technology  
  • As it feels safe and comfortable, hug the people in your life, yourself, animal companions and trees  
  • Make healthy food choices  
  • Remember times when you have faced adversity and challenges, triumphing over them  
  • Write in a journal for immediate relief and as a time capsule that you can revisit to see how far you have come.  
  • Laughter Yoga  
  • Ground yourself by walking barefoot in the dirt or sand  
  • Drink plenty of water  
  • Write a letter to the future you via the site Future Me to be delivered to you a year later  
  • If you have a spiritual practice, use it as a therapeutic tool  

“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path - the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.” ― Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power  
Someone Else’s Cafe / Doomscroller Tries To Relax
Max's Corner

I know the benefits of stretching your body and your comfort zones, hiding under the covers and coming out for treats, purring for comfort and meowing loudly for attention.
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Soul Wisdom Therapy 

Deborah Cohen, M.A., M.P.H., LMFT 

Mailing Address
 P.O. Box 4254
Hidden Valley, PA 15502