How to Deal with Political Anxiety

Written by: The Circles Team

Jan 12, 2021

Among the many difficulties this past year has brought with it, an uncertain political climate is also something that’s impacted our lives. With the pandemic, the social movements over the summer, the election, and recent events in the capital, many Americans report high levels of anxiety connected to the social and political climate in the country. What’s the good news? Our team of experts at Circles have some easy tips to deal with the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing right now:

  1. Set boundaries Staying connected and informed can reduce anxiety and fear of the unknown, but there’s such a thing as too much news. Set some boundaries when it comes to your daily news intake. Find a solution that will keep you informed, but not too overwhelmed and consumed by the never-ending news cycle. Decide on the times and channels where you want to consume your news, and stick to it. This way, you’ll be in the know, but won’t be greatly affected by the repeating news.

  2. Take a social media break Social media is a major time-consuming activity and source, though not necessarily the most trustworthy source for breaking, current events. Take a break from social media and from looking at your phone. If something major happens, you will know. Fill your spare time with relaxing and enjoyable activities, such as reading, working out, watching a fun TV show, or speaking with a friend on the phone.

  3. Change what’s changeable and control what’s controllable — and understand the difference. Understanding what we can control and what we can change is a powerful component in controlling our own stress levels. Accepting the notion that we can only control ourselves and change things for us is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in trying to change things that are beyond our control.

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5 Tips to Becoming More Resilient

Written by: The Circles Team

Oct 15, 2020

Many people talk about building resilience or grit, but what exactly does it mean? How can we develop resilience, especially when we’re going through a hard time? Though it may seem like a difficult, abstract thing to do, there are certain beliefs and mindsets we can put into play and practice every day to help ourselves feel better and build resilience.

What does resilience mean?

The theory of resilience holds that adversity occurs to all of us, but what is important is how we deal with it. Strength can help us deal with difficulties or misfortune. It can have different meanings across cultures and societies, and individuals can be more resilient at specific points in their life than others.

Resilience is closely related to positive psychology, which says that specific characteristics can help us deal positively with challenges in our lives. It has been defined as “the process of adapting well” in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress, such as family and relationship problems, health issues, or financial stress.

Can we learn resilience?

How can we transform an idea into something we can implement in our daily lives? The good news is that it’s been found that resilience can be built – it’s not something we either have or don’t have. It’s something we can practice every day, just like we learned how to ride a bike, how to be a good friend, and what works best for taking care of ourselves. It’s something we can work on and develop, just like building up our muscle strength.

So, the answer is yes, we can.

5 Tips to becoming more resilient

There are many ways to build resilience. By understanding how our thoughts and beliefs affect our feelings and experiences, we can begin to recognize our own role in how we react to things. And we can start becoming more resilient and bouncing back from challenges.

-** Be aware of personalization.** This refers to holding ourselves accountable for all the bad things that happen, blaming ourselves, and saying that it’s our fault. This can be an automatic response sometimes. Notice it. Know that it’s not always the case, and we can begin to recognize there are other possible reactions.

  • Notice pervasiveness. Pervasiveness is the belief that a negative situation can spread across all areas of our life. Acknowledge that bad feelings don’t impact every aspect of our lives, or ourselves.
  • Recognize things are not permanent. A feeling of permanence, especially as it relates to bad events, can prevent us from improving our situation. It can overwhelm us and make it seem that we can’t go on. Change is an ever-present part of life. Things change, situations change, and we change, too. It’s a natural part of life.
  • Share our emotions. Sharing emotions, both positive and negative feelings, can help us be open and honest about how we’re doing. It helps with our communication processes and can not only bring relief through expressing ourselves but also help us clarify our situations and start working on feeling better. -** Build connections**. By purposefully connecting with others, we know that we’re not alone in dealing with our situation. We can ask for help, gain other perspectives, check in with others about how we’re doing, and feel less alone. This helps us build strength and support for dealing with things and moving forward.

Resilience isn’t about ignoring the bad things in life or pretending they don’t matter. It’s about reflecting upon ourselves and our situations and creating a positive mindset to help ourselves feel better. We can all practice resilience every day.

How to Have the Ultimate at Home Self-Care Day

Written by: The Circles Team

Aug 26, 2020

The truth is the best relationship you can have is the one that you have with yourself. Self-care is a critical part of maintaining this all-important and nurturing relationship with yourself.
The truth is – life gets busy. And sadly, self-care is all too often the first to go. You are not alone if your job, family, and household responsibilities take precedence over your own needs.
In fact, studies show that 1 in 3 Americans feels bad about taking time for themselves, even though 67 percent desperately want more time for self-care.

We don’t hesitate to call out of work sick when we have a sore throat or cold. It is acceptable and expected. Our mental health is equally as important as our physical health. Yet, our mental health takes a spot on the back burner. The thought of calling out for the day when we need to relax or feel burned out or run down is looked down upon and not common place at all. With the average American working harder than ever and having relatively little vacation time compared to the rest of the world – taking a “mental health” day every now and again makes sense. In fact, taking a day to care for your mental health will leave you healthier, refreshed and more productive at work in both the short and long run.

What is Self-Care, Anyway?

Self-care is doing good for the mind, the body, and the soul. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be luxurious. It simply needs to be time spent focusing on restoring health, reducing stress, and enhancing energy.

The benefits of self-care are far-reaching. They include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Lessened anxiety and depression
  • Increased production of “feel good” hormones
  • Increased happiness and joy
  • Positive physical health benefits

Taking care of yourself is easy. Finding the time to prioritize yourself can be difficult. This week set aside some time for just you. If you don’t have a full day, focus on yourself for an hour. Small increments of less time-consuming activities that focus on just you can be equally beneficial. We hope you enjoy these ten ways to get started with self-care.

  1. Don’t set the alarm. Wake up to your body’s own natural sleep and wake rhythm.
  2. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and a fresh fruit salad.
  3. Surround yourself with people who make you smile.
  4. Write down at least ten things that you love about yourself.
  5. Take a warm bath with essential oils.
  6. Give yourself permission to draw boundaries and say no the things that no longer serve you.
  7. Take a walk outside. Breathe deeply in the fresh air. Enjoy the sunshine!
  8. Buy yourself some fresh cut flowers or pick your own bouquet.
  9. Read some feel good poetry or inspirational quotes.
  10. Ask yourself: What do I need? And make plans to make self-care a priority every day.

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