Soleimani Stress Shopping Guide
Whatever political party you claim as your own, no one feels good about the recent escalation of tensions with Middle Eastern countries. Iran vows violent retaliation for the American drone strike that killed top Iranian military commander, Qassim Soleimani. The world is up in arms, literally, and as we wait to see what form revenge will take, our anxiety rises. Recent surveys reveal the majority of Americans say the future of our nation and the current political climate is a significant source of stress. Symptoms can include emotional irritability, headaches, insomnia, stomach problems, depression, fatigue and high blood pressure.
Political uncertainty can be challenging, but rapid change in the political situation can lead to an equally rapid increase in our angst. Life on Twitter escalates right along with political situations. Even trying to check the latest movie news can find you confronted with polarizing comments and arguments more divisive than ever. Add in impeachment stress, 2020 election tension, and it’s fair to say that we’re in full-on Dread Mode. What to do? Try these tips and corresponding products:
1. Move your body and breathe deep.
Exercise is an important part of both physical and mental health. It can ease feelings of anxiety and boost your sense of well-being. You don’t have to make room in your life for a hot yoga obsession, but a little morning yoga in the comfort of your own home could do the trick to get the day started right. Join Adriene Mishler, international yoga teacher and host of Yoga With Adriene, in this series of Morning Yoga practices perfect for when you first wake up.
This 11-minute Morning Yoga practice is short but impactful. Start your day with calm intention, efficient movement and mindful breath work. Nourishing and revitalizing, Morning Yoga is the perfect way to wake up the mind and body so you can start the day fresh. The program also includes a Morning Meditation and a Sunrise Yoga practice to stretch and strengthen. Even better yet, Morning Yoga is free with Amazon Prime. And it also seems to be available free on YouTube (above).
2. Good vibes can always help.
So, while you’re doing your yoga, or after work when you come home and peel of your work clothes, try putting on this soft and comfy Good Vibes long sleeve graphic t-shirt, with its own happy rainbow. Don’t worry, it’s not too cheerful or bright; the shirt comes with a well-worn and slightly distressed look, to take the edge off. It will help you feel relaxed, and when other people look at you, they’ll smile. $19.99 on Amazon
3. Build an underground bunker.
The Big Activity Book for Anxious People by Reid & Williams is “funny as hell” and might do the trick if you’re too stubborn for yoga. (Certainly, this is no time for a small activity book.) Your most irrational — or rational — fears are hilarious fodder for this sharp and relatable activity book. Part journal, part coloring book, part weird coping mechanisms and part compendium of soothing facts, The Big Activity Book for Anxious People will be an outlet for anyone who wants to take a break from reality, laugh through their fears and realize with every page that they are not alone. It will help you figure out what to do when it’s 3AM and you’re wide awake worrying about whether you cc’ed the right “Bob” on that email. (Probably.) On a bad day, try coloring in the soothing grandma. On a really bad day, find step-by-step instructions on how to build an underground bunker. Plus, there are Zen mantras for the anxiously inclined, soothing facts about hand sanitizer, and more.
$10.31 on Amazon.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
Both quantity and quality are important for sleep, and sleep is a key time for your body to restore and heal itself. So, if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping soundly, the time you spend in deep, restorative sleep (stages 3 and 4) may be reduced. Adding insult to frustration, if you sleep poorly at night, there’s a good chance that you’ll be more reactive to stress the next day.
Sweet dreams are made of these: Olly Sleep Melatonin Gummies help you drift off without chemicals (or gluten), have all-natural flavor and colors, with L Theanine and botanicals like chamomile and lemon balm to help boost your natural sleep hormone, encourage a calm feeling, make it easier to fall asleep and support a healthy sleep cycle. They will lull you to dreamland like your very own sandman. Night.
3 mg per serving, 30 Day Supply (60 gummies) $14.96 on Amazon.
5. Act out your frustration.
Tired of searching for the perfect Dammit Doll? Well, stop stressing! Let yourself be surprised. Each randomly selected Dammit Doll is constructed of handmade, high quality material, and it’s durable enough to take a mean squeeze. When the stresses of work, traffic, or fear of terror attack won’t let you breathe, just take a second and smash the Dammit Doll! Your frustration will flow out and you can reset your day with ease. Bang it on your desk or just scream all your accusations it; Dammit Doll don’t mind.
$15.49 on Amazon.
6. Schedule your worry time, with music.
It may sound backward to plan to worry, but doctors actually recommend you pick a time to think about your fears on purpose. They suggest you take 30 minutes to identify what’s bothering you and what you can do about it. Don’t dwell on “what-ifs;” focus on what specifically makes you anxious, they say. So, since there is nothing you actually can do about the impending risk of Iranian retaliation, we suggest you spend your 30 minutes venting with some headbanger music. Spotify has a top-ten headbanger songs playlist already selected for you, to make your rage music stress-free to choose, or 8tracks Radio has 18 headbanger playlists to stream for free.
7. Laugher is the best medicine.
If expressing your rage doesn’t calm you enough, try watching one of the funniest movies ever made – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Perhaps only the collective brilliant minds of the Monty Python film and television troupe are up to the task of tackling a subject as weighty as The Meaning of Life. Sure, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and their ilk have tried their hands at this puzzler, but only Python has attempted to do so within the commercial motion picture medium.
Happily for us all, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life truly explains everything one conceivably needs to know about the perplexities of human existence, from the mysteries of Catholic doctrine, to the miracle of reproduction, to why one should avoid the salmon mousse, to the critical importance of the machine that goes “Ping!” There is a musical production number about why sperm is sacred, a look at dining in the afterlife, a visit from Mr. Death, and the all-time-greatest puke scene in the history of film. Sadly, this was the last original Python film, but it’s a beaut. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (probably because you’re laughing so hard). You may even learn something about The Meaning of Life.
Available for streaming on Amazon or for purchase on DVD.
8. Scratch your head.
Scalp massage is a great way to relax and relieve stress. In addition to feeling good, scalp massage can promote blood circulation, help a person loosen up, and even promote hair growth. This Claw Scalp Massager, with an ergonomic handle and high-quality massage steel balls, is a good friend you can carry around with you. When you need to relax yourself, it will appear in your hands in no time. In addition to massaging your scalp, its pressure-point stimulation can be used on the whole body (especially shoulders).
A 2-pack is $8.99 on Amazon.
9. Don’t feed the monkey mind.
Ancient sages compared the human mind to a monkey — constantly chattering, hopping from branch to branch, endlessly moving from fear to safety. If you suffer from anxiety, you’re familiar with this process. Unfortunately, you can’t switch off the “monkey mind,” but you can stop feeding the monkey, or stop rewarding it by avoiding the things you fear. Written by psychotherapist Jennifer Shannon, Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear and Worry explains how the very things we do to control anxiety can make anxiety worse. This unique guide offers exercises based on a cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to find the personal peace you crave.
$13.28 on Amazon
10. Tend a Zen garden.
Raking a sand garden is a great way to calm your mind, relieve anxiety or simply start a conversation (and conversation is better than argument). This Mini Zen Garden fits neatly on a desk or tabletop. It includes five beautiful quartz stones, a miniature rake and enough sand to fill your garden. Rake away your stress by drawing designs in sand. Yeah, it’s kinda leftover from a new-age bygone era, but… it’s not like the threat from Iran is new, so maybe this is the vintage help you need to adjust your perspective.
29.99 on Amazon
One More For Good Health:
11. Bomb your bath.
Everyone knows baths are soothing, and this set of 24 Natural Bath Bombs makes them fun as well. (Sorry if the word “bomb” frightens you. Maybe try a soothing bad to calm you.) This gift box collection includes six different color combinations, each with essential oils such as rose, lavender and lemon. Each bath ball with float and bubble, providing an “amazing visual impression.” These are all natural and organic, made from grape seed oil, shea and cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, etc. They are gentle, nourishing and they just look so darned happy. Soak away the stress.
$24.69 on Amazon