As I sat glued to the TV and computer for hours on end, watching as devastating events in my city and much of Southern Alberta unfolded, I felt an increasing sense of helplessness.
I was also reminded of why I went on a Newsfast over 20 years ago now. I could feel my barely recovered adrenal glands getting zapped and overwhelmed by what I was witnessing. That’s the funny thing about “witnessing” things on the TV or Internet; our body can’t determine what’s real versus imagined.
Simply put, what we see and hear creates the fight/flight response in our body, adrenalin pours out of our adrenal glands and into our blood stream. But, because we’re not getting the hell out of Dodge, which is what the adrenalin is there to help us do, we end up sitting there either frozen or vibrating with fear and exhausted by the stress response we failed to act upon.
I learned from my own journey through adrenal exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue that by doing the following 3 things I could maintain my health and my energy in order to be of use to others and to myself — versus the exhausted mess I would have been otherwise.
I realize this advice, if you’re in the midst of a crisis, is like closing the gate after the horses have left the corral. But those who have a plan in place ahead of time generally do much better when a crisis comes along and threatens one’s health and/or well-being.
When it comes to preventing a health crisis, begin by cleaning up your diet, environmental toxins and emotional vampires — which can be easily done if you take it on in small increments using the following few guidelines:
- At least one day a week eat only unprocessed foods — easy rule-of-thumb; eat food that isn’t made from canned or packaged ingredients.
- Store food/drinks in glass containers rather than plastic or metal tins.
- Switch from drinking tap water (which I hope you know is loaded with chlorine which destroys your good gut bacteria – your digestive system IS your immune system) to drinking spring or, at the very least, reverse osmosis (R.O.) water.
As for preparing for natural disasters that can lead to power outages, limited water supply, etc. there are several survival websites and people out there who can help you feel empowered with a sense of preparedness. See Healthful Links below for a list of my trusted sources.
2. Take action – based upon the “God Grant me the Serenity” prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
The first time war actually came into our living rooms, by way of our television sets, was during the Iran/Iraq War in the 1980’s. Studies done at the time showed that, for the first time in history perhaps, cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rose dramatically in people who were never actually in combat but were witnessing it on TV.
That’s how powerful what we see and hear can be to our state of health. By sitting for hours glued to the TV or Internet, stressing about things that we aren’t in a position to change, we cripple our ability to actually change the things we can!
In times of crisis, it’s the people who take action who are less likely to be taken down by stress and who experience more of a sense of achievement. Taking action, no matter how small, helps you reclaim your personal power. Turn off the TV and find a change of scenery. Here are a few ways:
- If at all possible, get outside, go for a walk and get some fresh air and sunshine. Be sure to smile at passersby — it’s healing for both of you!
- Be there for someone else — volunteer to help others in whatever capacity you are able to. Taking the focus off of your problems can give you a fresh perspective and a much-needed sense of contribution.
3. Take a Timeout
Constant, unrelenting stressors, without any form of release, seriously deplete your ability to make wise decisions or take swift and necessary action — you’re simply too pooped to pop.
There was a point during the flooding in our area where I just had to, for my sanity’s sake, turn off the TV and computer and go read a book. Find something, anything, you can do that will be a mini-vacation from your current situation.
- Laughter can serve as such an incredible immune booster and powerful painkiller, so get out there and laugh. If it’s within your ability, make others laugh, or at least smile, as well.
Bob Hope is one of my all-time heroes. He delivered entertainment to the troops during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and may very well have been one of this planet’s finest healers, without ever intending to be. He sang it best at the end of each show: “Thanks for the Memories” — which leads me to…
Another great way to take a timeout is to give thanks. There’s a saying, “If you say only one prayer, let it be ‘Thank You.’”
- Start your day — and by start I mean before you bolt out of bed, or fire up your TV, iPad or computer — with a few minutes of meditation, prayer or quiet time. It can be as simple as reflecting upon just how blessed you are to be able to be, do and have all that you do in life.
The health perk in all of this is that laughter, meditation and a sense of gratitude increases your sense of control over your life and have been shown to strengthen the immune system, as well as improve adrenal glands and hormone production … bottom line is it helps you look and feel younger and more vibrant!
What tricks do you use to get through a crisis? Tell me below.