Post-Election Repair: Three Steps to Not Losing your Sh*t when Election Results Don’t Go your Way

Your phone rings. You look at your screen and notice it is your relative calling you, your family member who voted for the candidate who won the presidency, the candidate whom you did not vote for.

Suddenly all of the sadness, fear, grief, anger, and worry flood over you again. You have been feeling waves of these emotions for the last two days.

Sometimes they are so intense that you burst into tears.

Sometimes they hurt so much that you want to curl up in a ball and hide. It’s a situation that you don’t know how to handle, an unprecedented time of uncertainty and feeling out of control.


Coping With Feelings of Grief and Sadness

These experiences are being felt all over our country right now. No matter who you voted for, you are aware of an energy of divisiveness, fear and judgment that has percolated into our souls like a poisonous drip over the past year and a half.

Stress of this kind shows up in our bodies in somewhat unusual and perhaps unrecognizable ways – physical exhaustion, irritability, difficulty focusing, using destructive behaviors to self-soothe (or to attempt to), digestive problems, sleeping problems, volatility in your closest relationship because you don’t know how else to cope, avoidance, among many others.

The future is uncertain. What will happen next is unknown in many ways, and this can feed our fear even stronger. So what do we do? How do we discuss this with our children when we can’t wrap our heads around it ourselves?

Fear has run rampant in our country ever since the beginning of this election season and it came to a head Tuesday night when the country became more divided than ever before. Fear breeds hate.  We must not feed the hate.


Three Steps to Taking Care of Yourself and Finding Meaning in Despair

I certainly don’t have all of the answers on how to get through this difficult and trying time, but I have been leaning on many of my loved ones and listening to how they are coping. I’ve learned some quite amazing and …hopeful… things.  Here are a few ideas:

1.)  Let yourself feel. Many of us are in shock. Shock affects our nervous system in intense ways, slowing down our responsiveness and our abilities to integrate our minds with our bodies effectively. We are more susceptible to reacting with WHY and HOW COULD YOU, than responding with mindfulness. This will ease up.

 But for now, taking care of yourself and your loved ones in ANY way you need to is our           priority. Leave work early to go home and cry in your bed; call upon your neighbor to come sit with you and hold your hand; attend a gathering in your local community. Don’t try to change your emotions today. They are there for a reason and need to be given space to run their course. It won’t always feel this intense.

2.) Set boundaries. How might you mindfully address the family member in the beginning of this post? Give yourself permission to kindly and gently tell them that you are not able to talk with them right now and that you love them. That you will call them back later when you feel more able to come up with words to speak. This is on your own timeline, there is no deadline.

This is how boundaries are enforced: by identifying your need and your emotion, by recognizing who and want can either help with those needs or who might hurt those needs, and then communicating with them what needs to be in place so you can move forward.

Set boundaries with news sources and with social media. Social media can be a way of connecting with others who feel your pain, but it also can easily become an obsession and lead to more suffering. Choose your battles, and know when to turn it off.

3.) Lean in and come together. This is one of the most beautiful results of the recent election that I have witnessed so far. When we are united in pain, we can move forward to heal it. Connect with your neighbor and smile at them. Organize with your community to rally for local causes that matter to you. Volunteer. Attend a spiritual service. Recognize that we will get through this, stronger together than divided.


Nurture Your Spiritual Self

I’m noticing within myself a need to reconnect with my own spirituality as my soul has felt hurt and broken recently. I have wanted to avoid feeling things instead of trying to be with them and understand them.

I know that I tend to this part of myself when I am in nature. I am uncertain how else I can heal it, but I do know that spirituality connects us with a part of ourselves that is empowered to heal us. How can you connect with your spirituality?


Repairing with Love Instead of Dividing with Hate

In closing, I want to touch on how we might repair the love and connection that our society so desperately craves right now. We all make assumptions about people….this is a huge part of why there is so much fear, hate and judgment in our country right now.

We fear and we judge what we don’t know. Fear loses its power when we open up and allow.

The person who has different views than you do, whether they are a family member or friend or just someone you see walking down the street: try to offer them loving-kindness. Even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Even if it feels like the most difficult thing to do in that moment.  You don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes, and if we can try to accept and allow instead of judge, then we’re one step closer to finding hope in our lives once again.


Steps to Self Compassion

Here is a mediation adapted from HeartMath that teaches us how to practice compassion for ourselves and for others:

  1. Recognize what you are feeling.
  2. Focus in your heart area and breathe in love for about a minute.
  3. Now breathe self-compassion through the heart area and throughout your entire body for a few minutes.
  4. Find a still, quiet place inside where you can feel this compassion. If negative thoughts or feelings about yourself arise in the mind, gently return your focus to the heart area.
  5. Radiate compassion out from your heart to any issues you are addressing – perceived failure, a feeling of inadequacy, insecurity or self-pity – with an honest understanding of what you are going through. Continue to do this for a few minutes, longer if needed, all the while creating within a heart-filled environment of compassion.


I’d love for you to leave a comment with any ideas you have for how to persevere despite adversity and how you have taken care of yourself in a time of turmoil and pain.  We are stronger together!

6 Tips to Get You Out of Your Rut and Energize Your Career MoJo for 2016

Welcome to my three part Busting Holiday Stress for Busy People blog series!  Today brings part one of a topic that I find is super important to focus on as the holiday season approaches: setting boundaries, taking care of yourself, and remembering what the holidays mean to you without losing your mind.  Sound like a tall order? Ha! Maybe.  But I’m here to help you get through it. . . while not feeling like you are completely out of control.

Today’s blog post topic is how to revitalize your career for the new year.  Next week I’ll help you prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving break from work — how are you going to get it all done before leaving for the holiday break??  And finally, I’ll guide you in how to cope with all of the snacks and sweets that your coworkers bring in to the office during this time.  No, you don’t have to avoid the staff kitchen for the next two months!

Read on for Post #1 and keep your eyes open next Tuesday for the next installment. . .


6 Tips to Get You Out of Your Rut and Energize Your Career MoJo for 2016


1.) Forget everything about the “how” you do things (marketing, to-do’s, goals, etc),

and reconnect with the WHY you do what you do.

Reflect back on that moment where you knew which career was for you. How does that speak to you now?


2.) Look at the relationships in your life: with food, with sleep, with your partner, with your family, with work, with YOURSELF. Make a list of how you would like to find more balance and meaning in these areas – where you are feeling fulfilled and where you feel something is missing.


3.) Shred your to-do list into a thousand tiny pieces. Practice mindfulness by doing a body scan and reconnect with the place in your body that holds the WHY to your career – the meaning of it all. Start a new to-do list from that place.


4.) Ask your best friend/mentor/partner to tell you the 5 things they see as your strengths in your career and the 5 places where you could grow. Use these as templates for goal-setting in 2016.


5.) Envision your self and your business at the END of 2016. How do you want to feel/think about those things?   What would you like to be able to say about yourself in 2016? Journal about this for 15 minutes.


6.) Make a list of 100 Pieces of Gratitude. Write the numbers 1-100 on a piece of paper. Begin writing a list of things you have been grateful for in 2015. They don’t have to be complete sentences and it’s okay if there is some repetition (this actually is part of the process). When you are done, read the list. Gratitude is a gift that begs to be shared and can help us reconnect with our values, or passion, and (re)ignite our fire.


Want to download your own free copy of this list to share around?  Find it here.

What else would you add to this list to rejuvenate your career mojo? Leave a comment below!

A poem for the victims of the Aurora tragedy

I have struggled with the words.  The tragedy last Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado left me without breath, without sense, without energy.  As many of us try to pick ourselves up after this devastation, my heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.  There is no understanding of this senseless act, and healing has just begun.  I am floored by the outpour of love and support that has enveloped Aurora and its surrounding communities and this gives me some sense of hope that light will shine again.  What do we do in times of crisis?  We cope in the way we know best.  We come together, or we isolate until we can face the light.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and we all experience loss uniquely.


If you or someone close to you is affected by this tragedy, please know there are many sources of support, many of them free or low-cost.  Please contact me at for more information.  I am here to support you.

I wanted to share a poem that I wrote about this tragedy, as it helped me release some of my pain and I hope it might provide some encouragement for others.


A Poem for the Victims of the Aurora Tragedy

A violation of personal safety

An explosion of broken boundaries

Chaos, fear, pain, then silence

To the victims

To their families

To their loved ones

I hold you

The words dissipate

The wounds are deep

Yet a community embraces

Each and every one

Light and hope are passed around

Like bread at the dinner table

Take a piece

Let it fill your belly

As it nourishes your soul

It empowers your body

This energy fills our limbs

So that we may embrace

One another

So that we may come together

So that we may stay together

So that we may hold one another

So that we may breathe

the healing has already begun


The competition in eating disorders: lifelong athletes’ search for fulfillment in identity

So many of us wrap our identity around the things we do, the accomplishments we achieve, and the trophies we receive — in terms of school graduation, career success, or athletic competition.  We, as animals, thrive on a healthy sense of competition, as it keeps us motivated and pushing forward towards our goals.  Athletes, in particular, know this sense of purpose very well.  The faster you run, the better place you will get.  The better you dive, the greater team you will join.  It can feel authentically validating to be acknowledged for your hard work and perseverance, and it can feel absolutely devastating to land in second place.  Your time and your place can solidify themes of who you are — your identity.  In addition, how you look physically (strong, solid, agile) can contribute in significant ways to your ability to achieve in ways that align with the identity you have created for yourself.

This obsession with perfection, size, and achievement can be an invitation to an eating disorder.

What happens when you retire from your sport(s)?  Or are injured and can’t compete anymore?  When your life is your sport, how do you cope?  There was an article in the Denver Post last week entitled “Body obsession fills void left by sports” which chronicled the lives of several retired athletes (and by “retired” I do not mean AARP eligible; I mean in their mid-20s).  One gymnast “who, since the age of 7 had devoted herself to gymnastics and without it felt a loss of identity”, developed bulimia as a means to have a new fixation: her body.  Sports such as gymnastics are very vigilant about body size, shape, and weight.  To succeed at the highest levels, you need to be thin and light.  For some of us for whom that does not come naturally, that might lead to restricting food or purging it in order to maintain or lose weight.

Not only do these athletes not have the expectation to look a certain way in order to support their identity, they shift their entire lives to find a new meaning for who they are….which may seem daunting and elusive.  Who am I if not a figure skater?  Whether the eating disorder was developed during the years of training and competition, or if it was adopted after retirement, these types of questions are the challenges that we must all face as we walk the path of recovery.  The eating disorder may try to mask or take away parts of who we are — and the beauty of recovery is rediscovering those parts of ourselves — but the initial confrontation of “what if there is nothing else to me?” is quite overwhelming.

The article states that “at least one-third of female college athletes has some type of eating disorder”.  Think about how big that number is!  What contributes to this?  For one thing, the competitive nature of women (and men) in sports can contribute to the feeling of needing to be “the best” — and this can also blend into social spheres.  The best athlete might also be the most popular girl on the squad, and we all know how important that might feel when making new friends in college.  You might get compliments from coaches, family members, or mentors who notice the “hard work” and support it.

It appears that life after sports can leave a void and can create a feeling of loss.  Loss of that team environment and cohesion that the athlete thrived in for so many years.   If a member gets an injury and cannot play the sport, “she may feel like an ‘outsider’ and unable to contribute to the team anymore.”  States Veronica Sykes, “I needed a new distraction, and I was able to fuel all of that angst into running — the same thing that made me good at my sport made me want to get really skinny.”  Another aspect of risk in life after being an athlete is the distance that may come between former athletes and their colleagues and coaches.  After retirement, people tend to split up and get out of touch.  This can be a dangerous time for eating disorder development, as women may be searching for their identity and feel a lack of support and community.

This is a population that needs intervention and attention, as the environment of competitive sports can lead to an expectation to be perfect in life outside of that arena.  It seems to me like a key point in self-care for retiring or active athletes is identity.  Who are you without your sport?  What parts of yourself can you nourish in a healthy way so that you don’t feel lost and separate?  How can you boost your self-esteem and self-concept in affirming and positive ways?  We all can ponder these questions and maintain awareness about the triggers of eating disorder and how to begin intervening.