10 Plus Tips To Cope With Anxiety

Got Holiday Anxiety?

With Thanksgiving comes tension for some. . .

10 Plus Tips To Cope


Don’t Let Anxiety Ruin Your Holidays

By D. S. Mitchell 

Turkey and Pumpkin Pie 

The holidays are right around the corner. Some are excited about turkey and gravy, and fancy wrapped presents, but others see only stress and anxiety on the horizon. If you are hosting parties, the stress level is on steroids; fancy china, excited young ones, guests, surprise and otherwise. It can seem overwhelming. Read on if you are looking for some tips on how to get you through the holidays as anxiety free as possible.

Be Ready

Stay rested and recharged, ahead of the holidays. Take time for yourself.  Get enough sleep, engage in activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. Don’t skip self care routines under the pressure of the approaching holidays. Don’t do it-skipping health care routines will cost in the long run. You need that 30 minutes of cardio and any other health activities you are engaged in. These activities will keep you balanced and ready to face the upcoming holiday challenges. It just might be yoga, biking, stretching, Tai Chi, or  aqua aerobics, that  saves your sanity.

Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks. Common ones, your first day at a new job, heading an important meeting, meeting your SO’s parents. Time and reflection will be required to identify your triggers. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxious mind.

4.) Use aromatherapy

Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood are soothing. Certain receptors in your brain are activated by aromatherapy.

5.) Walking or Yoga

Just walk away if the situation is causing anxiety. It might be time to focus on  your body and not your mind to relieve your anxiety. Just move. Whether it’s the pool or the yoga mat, move your butt, it helps reduce stress. Try stretching, it can be incredibly beneficial.

6.) Write down your thoughts

Many mental health therapists suggest a client write down what’s causing their anxiety. Writing it down, gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. My mother used this one, on a regular basis. She would write letters to the offenders and put them in envelopes addressed to whoever was causing her frustration and then stick it in a file, never sending it.

Not All Anxiety Is The Same
The previous suggestions are helpful if your symptoms are situational or sporadic. If anxiety is an on-going, persistent part of you life you may need more serious interventions and coping strategies.
Five Strategies For Coping With Long-Term Illness 

If anxiety is a regular part of your life, not just around the holidays, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you manage it. There might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or perhaps cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger. Confused, as to where to start? It is always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before moving ahead with your plan.

Some Well-Known Triggers:
  • debt
  • a stressful work environment
  • traveling
  • driving
  • DNA-genetics — anxiety, depression, alcoholism can run in families
  • drug withdrawal
  • medication side effects
  • trauma
  • phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of crowded or open spaces) and claustrophobia (fear of small spaces)
  • some chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma
  • chronic pain
  • multiple mental illness diagnoses (such as depression, OCDC, anxiety)
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
Managing Those Triggers

Sometimes triggers can be obvious, such as caffeine, alcohol consumption, and drug use. Other times triggers are less obvious and we may need a therapist to help us isolate those triggers. Long-term stress, such as financial or work-related situations, can be more difficult— is it a due date, a person, or the situation? At this point you may need some extra support, through therapy or with some trusted friends.

Then What?

Once you do figure out your trigger(s), you should try to limit your exposure to them if you can. If you can’t limit it — say because it is due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.

1.) Try Meditation

A successful meditation regime will take time and practice.  When done regularly, you can train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting your exercise routine with more active physical exertion and then start your yoga routine.

2.) Adopt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral into a panic attack.

3.) Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Embrace Life 

Exercise regularly. Eat balanced meals. Get enough sleep. Stay connected to people who care about you. You may want to talk to your psychiatrist about adding supplements or nutrients to your long-term strategy.

4.) Consider Adding Supplements

Research shows certain supplements or nutrients help reduce anxiety symptoms. Some of these include:

  • lemon balm
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • green tea
  • valerian root
  • dark chocolate (in moderation)

It can take up to three months before your body is actually using the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor. I’ve said that twice. I cannot say it enough. Different medications interact with one another whether OTC  or prescription. Talk to your doc.

5.) Prescription Medications

If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health practitioner believes you’d benefit from psychotropic medication, there are a number of directions to go, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Is My Anxiety Harmful?

Identifying what variety of anxiety you’re dealing with can be challenging-mainly because everyone’s body reacts to danger in entirely different ways. I’m sure you have heard “anxiety” used as a general term for feeling worry, uneasiness, or nervousness. It is often situational, a big dance, a speech, a tryout; it is often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome. Every human being deals with such emotions-at some time in their life. It is part of how we are wired, our brains respond to perceived danger, even if there is no real danger.

Things Can Get Dark

There are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that may begin slowly and initially feel manageable, but build up over a few hours. (Panic attacks are different. A panic attack comes out of the blue and then subsides.)

Signs and Symptoms of an anxiety attack

These are some of the more common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • feelings of danger, panic, or dread
  • nervousness/restlessness
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • trembling/chills
  • tiredness/weakness
  • gastric problems
  • difficulty focusing
  • rapid breathing, hyperventilating

It is possible to have both an anxiety and panic attack simultaneously. The quick coping strategies mentioned above may also help with a panic attack.

Try focusing on an object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.

Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Causes of Anxiety

If you notice that quick tips haven’t been working, you may want to consider seeing a professional for help. Especially if you believe you have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and the symptoms are interfering with your daily routine and physical symptoms. A mental health professional can help with identifying your triggers, maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy, medications, and more.

Living With Anxiety 

If your anxiety stems from a past trauma, it can be helpful to work through those issues with a licensed therapist. On the other hand, if your brain chemistry predisposes you to persistent, chronic anxiety, you may need to go on medication to manage it. Anxiety is likely to continue to be part of your life, but it doesn’t need to take over your life.  Treatment is available to help control those painful symptoms and make those holidays at least tolerable.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is about candy, fun and costumes.

Happy Halloween!

It’s That Time of Year…

By Anna Hessel

All About Pumpkin Spice

Happy Halloween, everyone!  The pandemic has changed how we celebrate, but it’s fun to remember Halloweens gone by, while dreaming up ways to make new memories.  The crisp fall air, bright and vivid autumn colors, and everything, from facial wash to floor polish, going all pumpkin spice, makes me think of Halloween. Chocolate, candy apples, and costumes, every child’s dream.  The crowning of our newest Miss America made me recall a particular Halloween costume of my youth.

A Mask of a Different Kind

Unlike the very cool Halloween ensembles we now see displayed in retail establishments, when I was child, costumes were different.  They came in a square box with a cellophane window and consisted of a one-piece garment made of a flimsy, shiny nylon, and a full face, molded plastic mask with cutouts for eyes, nostrils, and mouth.  Those masks were quite like a sauna for the face – those of us that have reached a certain age can remember that sweaty-faced feeling that came with wearing one of those frightful false faces.

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OPINION: Halloween Identities


OPINION: Halloween Identities

Halloween is all about candy and ghosts.

OPINION: Halloween Identities

By Megan Wallin

The Unspoken

In the United States, there are five (unspoken) varying brands of Halloween, celebrated by distinctly different groups. These celebratory traditions exist in order to satisfy the holiday-savoring appetites of the average American, who—sadly relies on holidays and social media clicks for their happiness rather than access to affordable healthcare, parental leave, clean air and water, pothole free roads, safe bridges, tuition free college, and a whole array of policies that could change their real world.

Type One: The Family with Children

You know this type. They’re the  ones you buy candy for, leave on a porchlight, and decorate your house (just a little) in the hopes to see little witches and Disney characters bound up to your door with their hapless, usually sleep-deprived parents, as all the adults spend a night being tricked into treating their little ones. There’s a sort of child-centric quality to most holidays, undeniably, but Halloween ranks quite highly on the list, with dress-up and make-believe already being prominent tenets of their young lives.

Escapism

The motivation behind most families going out to celebrate Halloween is to make memories that give their children something to talk about with their friends at school or daycare, and to give the parents some time away from the responsibilities inherent in staying home. Trick or treating, especially with kids, allows an escape from both your usual surroundings and the identity you wear day in and day out as you about work, school, and house chores.

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Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

By Wes & Anna Hessel

**On the last day of Women’s History Month let’s celebrate the women in our lives. **

 

History In The Making

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we must remember that the part women play in history is never-ending.  The month of March celebrates women’s contributions to history, in conjunction with International Women’s Day (March 8th).  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic salutes strength of women in times of difficulty.  During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore last year’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, has been extended to this year, as we honor the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris.

Glass Is Trash

This empowering subject, designated by the National Women’s History Alliance, pays respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

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30 Quotes Celebrating Women

30 Quotes Celebrating Women

The International Day of the Woman

30 Quotes Celebrating Women:

International Women’s Day

D. S. Mitchell

March 8th is celebrated world wide as International Women’s Day. I thought it might be fun to just look at some famous quotes celebrating women.

1.) “Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” –Unknown 

2.) “To tell a woman everything she cannot do is to tell her what she can.” –Spanish Proverb

3.) “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

4.) “The best protection any woman can have is courage.” –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

5.) “Where there is a woman, there is magic.” –Ntozake Shange

6.) “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” –Unknown

7.) “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” –Hilary Clinton

8.) “Feminism is for everyone.”-Bell Hooks 

9.) “There’s nothing a man can do that I can’t do better and in heels.” –Ginger Rogers

10.) “Above all, be the heroine of your life. Not the victim.” –Nora Ephron

11.) “Girls should never be afraid to be smart.” –Emma Watson

12.) “Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.” –Stephanie Bennett-Henry

13.) “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.” –Gina Carey

14.) “She wasn’t looking for a knight. She was looking for a sword.” –Atticus

15.) “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” –Unknown

16.) “Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” –G.D. Anderson

17.) “You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down.” –Unknown 

18.) “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand

19.) “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” –Madonna

20.) “A woman is like a tea bag: You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

21.) “A woman should be like a single flower—not a whole bouquet.” –Anna Held

22.) “I know what I bring to the table… So trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.” –Unknown

23.) “Women are the real architects of society.” –Cher

24.) “When women wake, mountains move.” Chinese Proverb

25.)  “She’s a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love.” –Unknown

26.) “Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” –Unknown

27.) “I expect woman will be the last thing civilized by man.” –George Meredith

28.) “Women are made to be loved, not understood.” –Oscar Wilde

29.) “The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

30.) “In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits” –Arnold Schwarzenegger

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2017/03/29/quotes-on-courage/

 

Women and Heart Attack Warning Signs

 Women and Heart Attack Warning Signs Early signs of a heart attack are missed in 78% of women and their heart attacks are more fatal.

*Although not exactly what Valentine’s Day is about, we here at Calamity Politics.com thought it was important to highlight women’s heart health.*

Women and Heart Attack Warning Signs

D. S. Mitchell

It’s Not Always Crushing Chest Pain  

Signs of a heart attack are often the same for both men and women, but not always.  The most common symptom of a heart attack for men most often includes “crushing” left upper chest pain. Also notable is generalized upper body pain and discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness. Women, however, can have a heart attack without the traditional “crushing” chest pressure/pain.”  They like men may also experience: 1) pain or pressure in the lower chest, jaw or upper abdomen, 2) dizziness or faintness, 3) upper back pressure, 4) overwhelming fatigue. Any of these symptoms without the crushing chest pain can be early signs of a pending coronary event.  Any of these signs can occur weeks before the actual heart attack.

Statistics Reveal Inequality of Research

What is important is that early signs of a heart attack are missed in 78% of women and their heart attacks are statistically more fatal than those of  men. Women often report NO chest pain. The reason for these startling facts is that the majority of heart research has centered on men. Typical tests such as electrocardiograms and blood work come out normal for women because they were designed to interpret information about men’s hearts. Often women are sent home mis-diagnosed with “anxiety” or “heartburn” when in fact they are experiencing a myocardial infarction (MI).

What’s an MI?

An MI occurs when one or more of the arteries that feed the heart with blood and oxygen is totally blocked by a blood clot or fatty plaque. This means immediate care is essential. Without treatment the affected parts of the heart will die.  Muscle tissue death, depending on how severe, typically leads to the death of the individual. An emergency trip to the cath lab is imperative during such events. It is in the cath lab where stents can be placed to open the blockage and save the patient’s life.

Our Bodies

It is time for more heart research funding to be spent on women’s cardiac health and diagnosing potentially lethal events. It is especially important that women with a family history of heart disease to be especially vigilant when assessing their symptoms. Women must be more persistent when discussing symptoms with their care givers and insistent that when something feels wrong it might very well be. We know our bodies better than the physician. Be your own best advocate.

HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGNS IN WOMEN:

  1. Pale clammy skin
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Heart fluttering or rhythm irregularities
  4. Cold sweat
  5. Unusual fatigue
  6. Dizziness and or lightheadedness
  7. Shoulder, neck, jaw, arm, and or back pain
  8. Nausea, and or vomiting
  9. Insomnia
  10. Stomach pain

If you experience any of the, above symptoms, whether you are a man or a woman, please immediately chew 160 milligrams of aspirin and call 911. Your life may well depend on it.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2017/10/12/warning-signs-of-stroke-and-heart-attack/

Doug Emhoff A First Class Second Gentleman

**Calamity Politics thought we should tell the real life story of Doug Emhoff and VP Kamala Harris for Valentine’s Day.

The new VP and her Second Gentleman have a great love story

Doug Emhoff:

Our First Second Gentleman is First Class

By Anna Hessel

 Second to None

The United States of America has its first ever Second Gentleman. Apparently that is the official title of the spouse of the first female Vice President, the fabulous Kamala Harris. Douglas Craig Emhoff is an accomplished entertainment attorney in his own right. Another ground breaker, Doug happens to be the first Jewish spouse of an American VP.  Mr. Emhoff has stepped into his new defining role with ease, grace, and enthusiasm.  His dignified and quiet demeanor, enthusiastic support of his wife, distinguished good looks, and resplendent normalcy make him the ideal individual to become the first Second Gentleman.

Lawful Beginnings

Born in New York on October 13th, 1964. The 56-year-old Emhoff married Kamala Devi Harris in 2014, Their birthdays are only a week apart.  He spent his high school days at Agoura and Cedar Ridge. He attended the University of Southern California and California State University – Northridge.  He continued his education and graduated from USC Gould School of Law.

A Career of His Own

Doug has enjoyed a successful legal career as a partner and litigator with the law firm of DLA Piper, working from their District of Columbia and state of California locations. He specializes in intellectual property and entertainment law.   As an attorney, Mr. Emhoff’s achievements include defending a former well-known Olympic and NFL athlete in a civil suit instigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  He also represented those holding the rights to a well-recognized character of animation in trademark and copyright infringement.

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HUMOR: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Humor

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love

Valentine’s Day Humor

By Anna Hessel

The Wonder Years

The cold days of February bring thoughts of one of my favorite holidays, Valentine’s Day.  Some of my fondest memories involve Valentine’s fun.  We all remember when we were growing up getting those tiny Valentines in their little white envelopes placed in a big wooden box on the teacher’s desk.  Each year my miniature Valentines had a different theme: puppies, kittens, Barbie, and of course, princess.  My earliest Valentine’s memory is my kindergarten campaign to provide trousers for that little guy with the bow and arrow, since it was cold outside.   Those timeless teddy bears with pink and red bows, and heart-shaped boxes of candy covered in ruffles, bring back many teenage memories.

Flying Hearts ACA

Of course, I have a few specific Valentine’s memories: one in particular was actually after Valentine’s Day: I snatched up all the clearance conversation Sweetheart candies as I had just won the Miss American Sweetheart Pageant, and decided tossing boxes of stale Sweethearts during summer parades was a classy thing to do – this idea was short-lived, however, thanks to that guy on the corner with the sunglasses on his head.  I’m still amazed at how far a pair of shades can travel when they come in contact with an airborne box of conversation hearts.

Gourmet Jewelry

My favorite Valentine’s memory was when my husband and I were found by an adorable black terrier in our condo parking lot on a particularly cold Valentine’s Day.  We named him Cupid, and he was a part of our family for over 17 years.  In more recent times, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated by my spouse’s penchant for hiding expensive jewelry in food.  My first diamond cocktail ring arrived in a dish of carrots because it was a “1 carat” ring.  My engagement ring was presented, much to the delight of the charming waitress at Red Lobster, in a plate of mussels – my husband’s theory was since pearls come in oysters, diamonds can come in mussels.

Ladyfingers

Another diamond ring embedded in Tiramisu (ladyfingers…) appeared at our favorite Italian restaurant.  A sapphire ring came atop a cupcake; my diamond and sapphire wedding set was encased in a miniature pink gumball machine.  Hmm, I wonder what I’ll find topping our heart-shaped pizza this year (hint, hint…).  Fortunately, I never broke a tooth on or ingested any of these gifts so I don’t have any trips to the emergency room stories to share.

Can He Take a Hint?

Now if your significant other isn’t a foodie romantic, and you don’t receive bracelets or earrings in side dishes or desserts, then perhaps a few well-placed hints will get you the goodies you desire this Valentine’s Day.  If you do seek something sparkly, put a jewelry catalog in his toolbox.  Or if you’re like me, a gift certificate for a mani-pedi is a perfect present – I suggest placing a flyer from your favorite salon in his sock drawer.

Don’t Forget The TV Remote

If a romantic dinner is on your wish list, wrap coupons from a favorite place to dine out around a six-pack of beer and secure it with a pink ribbon.  My personal favorite hint, sure to work every time, is to tape a business card from the local flower shop on the TV remote control – he’ll never miss that.  No matter how you end up celebrating, may your Valentine’s Day be blessed with style…

Goodbye, 2020! You Won’t Be Missed

Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021

Goodbye, 2020! You Won’t Be Missed…

By Anna Hessel

Baby, Baby…

Happy 2021, and good riddance, 2020! We emotionally reflect on the prior year as we look forward to the future, this year more than ever. I’ve been thinking about the baby new year, and in turn, New Year’s resolutions.  This symbolism actually originated in Greece approximately 600 BC, celebrating Dionysus, the god of fertility and wine.  A parade with an infant carried in a basket was representative of the god’s birth.  It is believed by historians that the ancient people of Babylon created the first new year’s resolutions – not about improving oneself, but instead a commitment to return borrowed objects and pay debts.  They and most of the other early major cultures actually celebrated the new year in March during the spring equinox, since that is when new crops were planted.

Resolve This!

Resolutions in Rome around 40 BC more closely resemble what we resolve for the new year today.  Julius Caesar then decreed that what we now call January to be the month of Janus, after the god with two faces, whose image was found in arches and doorways.  He looked back toward the prior year and forward to the future, so the new year started January 1.  The promise to behave in an exemplary fashion was to honor Janus.  Hopefully, we all have the resolution to show God’s love and to touch the lives of others this year and always.  Of course, for 2021, we must resolve to wash our hands frequently, wear our masks, and maintain our social distance, so that we can move beyond this pandemic.  Also, we finally have a new presidential administration as a blessing this year.

Self Reflection

I realize many of us have personal resolutions to enrich and better our own lives.  For example, I resolve to buy more shoes at my favorite outlet mall, drink more mocha lattes from Starbuck’s, McCafe, or Dunkin’ Donuts, to condition my hair and mop the floor daily.  I believe in making resolutions that I know I can keep.  Hopefully, my husband has resolved to be a bit more careful with the outside mirrors on our Saab; this will certainly improve his wellbeing.  I, in turn, could resolve to allow him to sleep indoors, since our puggie Maggie misses the use of her house.

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