Sharon Ufberg, DC talks about ways practitioners can reintroduce positive rituals into their daily practice and lives.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC

Let’s face it. Our patients are not the only ones stressed out about the current economic landscape. Most of us are wincing and scowling with each glance at the morning paper. Between the precarious upcoming Presidential election and spiraling financial turmoil, the thirty to sixty-year-old, well-educated and employed American is now coping with more uncertainty and less security about the future.

There is no doubt that we, as practitioners, see people every day who are managing enormous amounts of stress. Today, more than any time in recent memory, we are witnessing the impact of this overload on our patient’s health, whether it is through the increase of sudden onset acute conditions, worsening of chronic symptomology or an overwhelming amount of anxiety, depression and insomnia cases.

But how are we coping with our own levels of anxiety and stress? How are we using some of those helpful tools in our repertoire for our own good health and well-being? It’s no surprise that without holding up a mirror to our own fragility and finding ways to manage it, we will be much less present and effective as healers for our patients.

I am forcing myself to incorporate a few “must do” items back into my weekly regimen during these trying times. I suggest you may need to add a few positive rituals back into your own busy schedule too.

The first item I put back into my daily practice is breathing. Conscious breathwork is one of the most under-utilized and most easily accessible relaxing, rejuvenating and centering techniques we have available to us. I am always joyously satisfied at how quickly the results are felt in every cell of my body.

The second is a commitment to no less than thirty minutes/five days per week of some form of exercise. Running, yoga, Pilates, stretch class, weights or another one of the endless fitness choices that spark our interest.  A consistent routine creates a level of physical strength that is extremely stabilizing during more emotionally challenging periods. 

The third is cooking and eating at home. This may appear to be an unusual item to mention, but for those of us living and working in large metropolitan areas, it is an issue that needs constant re-introduction. The enormous number of meals many of us take-in or eat out in any given month is staggering. Making time for cooking and eating whole, organic and healthy meals at home is a huge upgrade in a harried lifestyle.

Finally, there is the important issue of gratitude. Despite the many challenges we all face, there is an abundance of people, places and things in our lives to be gratefully thankful for and to acknowledge. Taking a few moments each day to remember and celebrate the bright spots makes all the difference.

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