Staying Sane In An Insane World
It certainly is undeniable that we are living in very difficult times. Stress is high and income is low. Family, business and community morals and values globally are at an all time low. Mass shootings, terrorism and war casualties are on the rise. If that were not enough, the real threat of nuclear war has taken a front seat in the minds are hearts of humanity internationally. So the question is, how does one stay sane in a world that seems to be spiraling out of control.
Thankfully, there are daily practical steps everyone can take so as not be overly anxious about world conditions. Our list is not designed to be a solution to world problems. Our list is simply a means of coping with the increasing problems facing the world today.
Our morning routine can set our entire day up for joy or stress depending on how we approach it. With a checklist of things to do, many of us wake up running through or morning shower, breakfast, news updates, goodbye kisses etc. Before we know it, we’re out the door with a high level of stress and a list of things to accomplish throughout the day. It’s important that we change that stressful routine if we are have a sense of tranquility throughout the day.
If you find yourself in that stressful routine the first thing in order is to wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than you normally do. This will afford you the opportunity to slow down your mornings a bit and distress.
Take your time through your morning shower and breakfast. Enjoy them!
While your are going through your morning routine, instead of thinking about what you need to do throughout the day, replace those thoughts with happy memories. (Note: You can use the night before to write out a list of things you need to accomplish the next day. See step 10 De-stressing Nights.) Think back to times when you enjoyed good company, good friendships and good memories. This positive meditation will put a smile on your face and get your morning started off right. You can also write down positive thoughts on note paper the night before and review them when you wake up in the morning.
Instead watching news in the morning or reading the newspaper, listen to relaxing music or a perhaps watch something positive that makes you laugh. This will set your morning mood to one of extreme positivity and relaxation. (You can listen to news updates in the car on your way to work or simply check the weather by looking out your window in the morning.)
Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Destress Morning
Wake up 30 min early.
Meditate on happy memories in the morning.
Listen to relaxing music and or watch something positive to make you laugh.
Don’t watch the news in the morning, save that for your morning commute.
Don't think about all the things you have to do throughout the day. Remember, you wrote your to-do list the night before and you can review it in the car before you start your morning drive.
Driving in any city in any part of the world can be a very stressful experience. Stress can impact our level of concentration and can make our morning commute very dangerous. Modern technology and road rage antagonist can also increase the stress of our commute. A tranquil commute requires that we stay on the offense.
There are many ways that we can stay on the offense while driving. For example, we may have people trying to reach us in the morning by phone. Many people use their Bluetooth to connect their cell phone to their car or to an earpiece. However, we recommend that you wait until after your community to carry on lengthy conversations that require high levels of concentration. A quick call to the office letting them know your in traffic is quite different from having a business conference while you drive. Save the conference for a time that you will be able to give it your undivided attention.
Do not text while driving. Your life is more valuable than a text message. You can also place your phone in the trunk of your car so as to avoid the needless distraction.
Also, if you come across a driver who is rude, obnoxious and makes you want to scream there is a very simple antidote. Put on your favorite musical jam and shake it off. Literally, you can shake off negative emotions and thoughts by redirecting your mental concentration on something you enjoy. Also, tell yourself audibly or in your mind that the individual is not worth it. Avoid eye contact with aggravated drivers as this will only intensify the likelihood of an unwanted confrontation.
Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Tranquil Commute
Listen to music that will relax you during your morning commute.
Place your phone in the trunk of your car so that you are not tempted to text and drive.
Don’t take calls in the car that will require a great amount of concentration.
Avoid eye contact with aggravated drivers.
Easy On The News Updates
While we pride ourselves in the ability to stay informed via the news, too much information can prove to be highly stressful and counterproductive. A good rule of thumb would be to stay informed enough to make good daily decisions. That being case, it may not be necessary watch the news every day.
Also, keep in mind that children have very impressionable minds. That being the case, it is not advisable for them to watch the news daily. When you do allow them to watch the news, be sure to have open conversations with them about how they feel about what they are seeing happening on the world scene. Allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly is fundamental in helping them relieve mental and emotional stress associated with watching the news.
Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Easy On The News Updates
Watch enough news to stay informed.
Allow children to express their feelings on what they have watched on the news
May not be necessary to watch the news everyday as adults.
Do not allow children to watch the news every day.
The cost of living is on the rise while wages stay at record lows. It’s virtually impossible for many families to survive on one income so both partners and even the children work together to cover the high cost of living.
It’s important to live a simple life by keeping bills low and learning to be satisfied on having your basic needs met. You may be able to simplify your life by cutting cost or altogether eliminating non-essentials.
For example, you may be able to downgrade your cell phone service to a more basic plan. Also, you may be able to eliminate having a home internet provider by using your cell phone hot spot when you need to hop online and work on your computer. You also may be able to find a cheaper place of dwelling by moving locally or nationally. Think outside the box and make a list of ways you can cut cost and simplify your life to deal with the high cost of living.
It’s important to keep in mind that you also need to avoid making needless purchases. While it may be a no brainer that you should avoid making expensive purchases, we may discover that our funds begin to depleted mostly from making small needless purchases. For example, that cup of Starbucks coffee every week will start to add up. So find ways to eliminate needless purchases. This will help you properly allocate funds towards personal and household needs.
Simplifying your life will definitely require a little bit of ingenuity but the rewards in the end are well worth it.
Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Live Simply
1. Make a list of ways you can cut cost from daily living expenses and implement them.
2. Avoid making small needless purchases
Take The High Road
It is all too easy to become provoked in today's high stressed world. From corporate favoritism, and racism to pride and envy, there are countless situations that we face daily that require a display of great self-control.
Taking the “High Road” requires that we always respond with kindness and tact despite the intensity of a provocation. This does not mean that we simply become pushovers. On the contrary, kindness can be coupled with firmness and strength. This will ensure that our daily interactions with negative people will be peaceable as far as it depends on us. At the same time, it will be a protective wall around our person. How so?
Well, anger truly begets anger. If we respond with anger and hostility toward a volatile situation, we may indeed make matters worse. As the daily news often shows, minor squabbles can quickly turn deadly with the absence of self-control on the part of one or two parties. And although we may not be able to have control over somonelses actions, we certainly do have control over our actions and responses to any given situation.
Yes, taking the High Road will not only help you avoid escalating tense situations, it will also assist you in building a fine reputation in the community while fostering love and peace in the family.
Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Take The High Road
1. Always respond with kindness and tact.
2. Exercise self-control over your actions and reactions.
3. Avoid adding fuel to the fire with thoughtless comments and remarks.
Daily caution is prudent considering the fact that violence, dishonesty and crime are daily global problems. Interestingly enough, it’s in environments that we typically let our guard down in that we need to keep one up. For example, when we go home we typically are more relaxed. That is the way our home should be. However, if we let our guard down completely we may carelessly leave doors and windows unlocked or allow dangerous people to enter our home. Some people have become victims of murders, sexual assaults and burglary after they let their guard down in their home. This does not mean that the victim is to blame for what happened. The victim is never to blame. However, when we keep our guard up we take away a bad person chance to hurt us.
Another environment when we tend to let our guard down is at school. High schools, colleges and universities are places where we need to keep our guard up. School violence, shooting, on campus sexual assaults and burglaries have become a growing concern for students throughout the world. Keeping one's guard up means daily staying alert to potential threats to our health and wellbeing. It does not mean that we walk around afraid it simply means we walk around watchful and caution, prepared for the worst at every moment.
Exercising caution should be a way of life reflected in our daily activities.
Prepare for Disaster
One thing worse than losing your home in fire is not being prepared for such an event. If you don’t have a family emergency plan or home insurance, recovery after such a devastating event may seem impossible.
What types of disasters are common in your city? Are you prepared if a disaster hits? Do you have a family emergency plan? Do you have an emergency kit in the event of a disaster? Do you have a place to go in the event of a disaster?
The time to get prepared is now!
Prepare for Trouble
None of us like thinking about bad things happening but the reality of life teaches us that preparation for the worst can prove valuable. So instead of figuring out how you will respond in a bad situation when it happens it is best to prepare your response in advance.
For example, you can prepare in advance how you will respond in the event that you are threatened with a gun, a knife or even sexual assault. Preparing your response in advance may very well save your life like it did in the case of one young women who was carjacked. She remembered that her mother told her to never let a person get her isolated from people or it could cost her life. So when the man who carjacked her told her to drive to an isolated place, the young girl jumped out of the car while she was still driving and ran away. That brave move saved her life. She was prepared and she acted when threatened.
So how will you respond if someone threatens you. Prepare now. If something bad still happens to you remember that it is not your fault. Do you best to prepare and find comfort in that.
Heed Warning Signs
Heeding warning signs is imperative if you are to cope successfully with the daily stresses of life. These include literal, physical and emotional warning signs. A literal warning sign includes traffic laws designed to keep one safe on the road. Countless casualties have resulted from individuals who fail to heed the warning to not text while driving. Everyone thinks “it won’t happen to me.” That mistaken view has lead to an early grave for more than a few individuals. Heeding literal signs saves lives.
Physical signs involve your physical makeup. A physical warnings sign may include fatigue, rapid heart beating, headaches etc. It is wise to consult a physician when physical warning signs may indicate serious health issues. For example, numbness of the face and arms may be a sign of extreme stress or of a stroke. Consulting a licensed physician will help make a wise medical decision. Don’t be like the man who ignored physical warning signs for years only to respond when he was in stage four of cancer. By then doctors noted that it was too late to save his life.
Emotional sings involve things related to your emotional health. Have you been depressed for days? Are you experiencing stress that is affecting your mood and disposition? These emotional signs may indicate that you need a change in tempo or scenery. If daily activities are putting emotional stress on you it is wise to change your routine for a week or two. You may not be able to get off work for a week or two when emotional stress hits but can you incorporate things throughout your week to help you cope with the emotional stress that don’t involve the use of drugs or alcohol? (Drugs in this article refers to recreational drugs and not to medically prescribed drugs.) For example, maybe you play an instrument or you like to workout at the gym. Find daily positive legal activities that de-stress you emotionally. This can safeguard your mental health. (If depression and anxiety persist for more than three week it is wise to speak to you regular physician as these may be signs of a more serious mental/emotional condition.
One of the best ways to de-stress from the day and to setup your next day for success is to make a list of tomorrows goals. Why? Well, we often keep thinking about things that weigh heavy on our mind and that means that although we may be at home trying to relax, our mind is still in overdrive thinking about what we need to do the next day.
A simple solution is to make a list of all the things you have to get done the next day or during the week. This will not only help you organize your weekly schedule but it will also help put your mind at ease because you know that you have planned what needs to get done for the next day.
Now that you mind is at rest, you are in a better position to de-stress from the day.
Also, before going to sleep try to avoid activities that stimulate your mind. For example, staying connected to your cell phone with all of it’s distracting apps at night can add needless stress to your night. In addition, it may also impede your ability to get a good night's rest. So instead of using your cell phone as an alarm clock, invest in an alarm clock and power your phone off at least 2 hours before you go to bed.
Your relaxing nights will contribute to your overall peace of mind and will assist you in coping with the next days activities and stresses.
We are definitely living in some difficult times. You and the entire world are experiencing unprecedented pressures, stresses and difficulties the likes that this world has never seen before. Take courage in knowing that you are not alone and that with some practical adjustments you will be better able to cope with the increasing amount of stress.
Yes, you will be able to stay sane as this world goes insane.