The Theme of the Month is Courage, yet it is hard to be courageous while holding our breath.
We are all holding our breath this week. We are inhaling as we watch each other engage in one of the most important rights in our Democracy, voting. We are watching to see what happens at polling stations near and far. We are watching to see how those running for office make their last appeal for a vote. We are watching to see how the different forms of media – news and social – report what is happening.
Our collective breath is being held as we wait for the results and then lean in to see if the losing party will accept the results.
Our country is not used to holding our breath for so long over elections, at least not in recent memory. For decades we simply went to the voting booth, voted, and then watched the outcome on the networks. Yet, here we are, holding our breath and waiting.
Waiting creates a lot of space for our imaginations to answer our questions and fill the gap of the unknown. We can easily slip into worst case scenario narratives as if to prepare ourselves for the worst and avoid surprises. Yet, this type of imagining the worst can actually increase our anxiety.
An article in Psychology Today about combating election day anxiety recommends that we take care of ourselves by recognizing we are unlikely to know the results by the end of Tuesday. This is a long run, not a short sprint, so shifting our lens may help. We are also advised to take breaks from watching and engaging in media reporting. It may even be helpful to plan for alternative, more healthy activities such as watching a fun movie, taking a walk, or playing a game. Think about what is soothing to your nervous system (cuddling with your beloved, taking a bath with candles, focusing on your pet if you have one, or borrowing a pet). Listen to your favorite soothing music.
Make sure you create a space for sleep. Don’t take your digital device to bed; read something light and fun before closing your eyes, and imagine being surrounded by your beloved family and friends.
Most importantly, breathe! Try using the Buddhist practice of breathing in peace and breathing out love. Breathe some more. Our bodies need breath to circulate our blood and keep our hearts beating. Breathing is the best way to release fear and anxiety. Breathing creates space for love, compassion, and facing the next day with courage.
With courageous love, Rev. Kate
Care and Connections
Laura Wenneker and Michael Morrill are sharing a great joy. Their daughter, Molly Morrill, gave birth to a little girl, Oona Wenneker Wilson, on August 17, 2022. Molly grew up in First Unitarian and worked in R.E. several years ago.
If you have joys or sorrows you would like to share with the community; please send them to Rev. Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.