Emotional DetoxEmotional Detox

We are all reeling from bad news about how the lives of millions of people have been altered since the beginning of the pandemic, so it is no surprise that we are anxious. Our worries are certainly justified but now may be a good time to revisit the ways we might be able to detoxify and calm our emotions and wean ourselves away from any unhealthy routines and habits that we have created since the crisis began.

In the Chinese horoscope, August/September is governed by the Metal Element, and we are just beginning the long march toward fall and winter. It is also time for us to begin slowing down our own energy and letting go of attitudes and emotions that aren’t doing us any good. When we are able to let go of negativity, we will make room for Metal’s transformational energy to enter, and bring us inspiration, love, joy, and compassion.

In the current situation, it is actually healthy to be a little bit anxious because people who are not the least bit worried about wearing a mask or washing their hands, are probably endangering themselves and others. On the other hand, when we remain anxious for long periods of time, we can become depressed, lose sleep, immunity is weakened, our blood sugar increases, blood pressure increases, and our sex drive fades away.

Perhaps this will sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways for decreasing anxiety is accepting the fact that that this is our new reality—the more we try to resist it, the worse we are going to feel. It is reasonable to concur that we don’t like having to do things this new way, that it is hard to live like this, that we have had many disappointments, and that there are risks, even though we can take safety precautions to minimize them.

News about the pandemic is everywhere, and it is important that we know that whichever experts we choose to listen to, are worthy of our trust. Most scientists believe that the CDC is a reliable source for the truth, but no matter where we are getting our information, staying healthy and keeping everyone around us healthy, is the most important contribution that we can make to ourselves and to our community.

We can take time for meditation, prayer, or mindfulness; we can focus on the present and remind ourselves to be grateful what we do have. We can practice good posture, relax our shoulders, eat balanced meals, unplug tech, declutter wherever we can, chat with a friend, take a break from alcohol, lose ourselves in a good book, pamper ourselves, take a soothing bath, dig in the garden, or snog with our partner.

Admittedly unhealthy eating, smoking, and alcohol can serve as welcome distractions when reality frightens us, but these self-soothing mechanisms cam create even worse problems for us in the future. To diminish our anxiety, we have to accept our new reality—even though we don’t like it, and then go on to indulge in healthy practices that relax and refresh us and will help us get through the challenges ahead.

When make mistakes, and we will make many, we need to forgive ourselves for what we did yesterday and vow to start each day afresh and continue to work toward establishing behaviors that we know in our hearts are good for us … we all know what we should do; we just need to keep doing it until it becomes our own new normal!

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September 2020

Volume 18, Number 9

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