6 Ideas for Managing Great Intensity

Regardless of your political beliefs, we've woken up in a reality where some people (including kids & teens) are experiencing what I judge as a trauma-level response to the election and it's aftermath. I liken it to how one might feel and react if someone close died unexpectedly- shock, disbelief, anger, unwillingness to accept, grief-level sadness, and despondence.

Though we cannot control world events, there is much we can do in our immediate environments. To that end, I'd like to offer you the following ideas:

1. Be easy on yourself. 
If you or those around you are experiencing any of the challenges above, treat yourself / them as you might if someone close to you died unexpectedly. Offer that level of leeway, compassion and patience.

2. Listen.
As you are able, take the time to listen to those around you and witness them as they work through their feelings around this experience.

3. Get together.
Set up opportunities to be with one another and connect. Reach out to those who tend to isolate themselves and invite them.

4. Lean into your coping skills. 
Do your best to stay grounded if/when you feel afraid. Teach others how to do simple techniques like square breathing to help them do the same. (Breathe in for 4 seconds, Hold breathe for 4 seconds, Exhale for 4 seconds, wait for 4 seconds. Repeat till calm and as often as you need to)

5. Spend time in nature.
Walk slowly outside, near trees and/or water if you can. Walk and breathe slowly. Hang out with your pets.

6. Do your self-care.
Lessen suffering by doing things you can control that you know help you feel healthy- diet, exercise, pray/meditate, reading, creative expression. Resist the urge to cover the intensity with substances and distraction. Resist the urge to blame and to succumb to hate.

Blessings. Jim Donovan (Feel free to share as you like)