Healthy Coping Mechanisms:
adaptations to environmental stress that are based on conscious or unconscious choice that enhance control over behavior and give psychological comfort.
Evolution is of the utmost importance. We must center ourselves, collect our fragmented souls and prepare our bodies for change. . .
Let’s begin with something for our primitive souls; music is medicine.
Nomi is one of the most beautifully inspiring and captivating women I have ever met. She is a combination of an Xman superhero, a 90s supermodel, an indigenous rebel, Kali, Sade, a gorgeous telenovela actress, a trans priestess, a gifted child, a voyeuristic dreamer, an Egyptian goddess, loyal sister and seductress. Her music speaks bountiful truth, showing her soul and bleeding heart. Nomi Ruiz is an icon and healer.
Michael Magnan (@michaelmagnan) is a multi-disciplinary artist, DJ/producer and graphic designer based in NYC. Recent projects include a collaborative solo show with his fellow members of House of Ladosha at BHQFU gallery in New York and a 4-track EP released on the Origami Sound imprint Clubwerks as Fatherhood (created alongside the Berlin-based DJ/Producer Physical Therapy). Michael is the resident DJ at the weekly 11:11 (Eleven Eleven) and monthly Holy Mountain events produced by Ladyfag, and he is one of the most BELOVED people in New York with a legendary grounding presence and his love for the people that come to hear him play is evident by the glowing faces and sweaty bodies that worship his dance floor. I have so much respect for this kind hearted soul, and he has generously created a special playlist just for you to move your little bodies to!
The Carry Nation, comprised of Will Automagic & Nita Aviance, has been producing tracks and remixes for the past 5 years for such labels as Batty Bass, TRAX, Nervous, Get Up, TRIBAL, Night People, DFA, & Twirl. Their party, also named The Carry Nation, started at Brooklyn's infamous after-hours spot The Spectrum, and lived at both Steel Drums & 43 Scott before landing at Good Room. Their crowd is a mix of gay music heads and their straight friends who get it... Their productions and the infamy of their parties have brought them around the world in recent years from Berlin to Chicago, Helsinki to San Francisco, Milan & Paris to Pittsburg & Austin, and our second city London, plus Block9 at Glastonbury Festival. In the end though, home is where the heart is, deep in the city of New York.
Tibetan Healing Bowls create the most beautiful and grounding sounds. Whenever I'm feeling anxious, angry, fragmented, or unable to be mindful with my daily routine, I listen to this. Sometimes my emotions can be crippling, causing me to freeze, but these sounds have saved me from many destructive acts and over time they became a healthy trigger. . .now my body responds immediately before the snowball effect of anxiety takes over. I was very judgmental at first. . .how could this small thing possibly help my giant problems at all? You will be surprised at how your body responds if you are consistent with using healthy coping mechanisms, not to mention, its good for your soul.
SELF - SOOTHING
We as a people are going through a lot right now, its as simple as that. Everyday we are overstimulated with technology and media, we are threatened by racial injustice and police brutality, haunted by ecological disaster, and ignorance and negativity are spreading like a plague, add all of your personal problems, and its a very overwhelming recipe. During this time I want to remind you of SELF CARE, because when everyone around you is also in pain, its important to know how to self soothe.
Drinking a glass of water gives your body a moment to relax, and has the ability to stop the snowball effect of anxiety and bring you back inside your body.
Grab a handful of ice cubes! I swear by this. There have been many times when my emotions were in a state of emergency and running to the kitchen and grabbing a handful of ice cubes and holding them for as long as you can over the sink while they melt can shock your system enough to save your life, and you can repeat this as many times as you need, until you feel safe in your body. Putting them on your face is also effective. I would recommend keeping a bowl of ice cubes in your freezer for emergencies.
Take a bath or shower. Water is extremely healing and sacred. Forcing yourself into a cold shower and standing there until you are back in your body can release negative emotions and panic. . .and long warm showers or baths are a great way to decompress, especially if you are doing it mindfully. I recommend epsom salt baths for physical pain and stress and keeping eucalyptus oil in your shower for grounding your body and opening up your lungs and sinuses.
Wall sits are great for releasing anger and anxiety. The posture forces the blood to flow to your legs and away from your heart. Sit for as long as you can hold yourself up and remember to take deep full breaths and repeat the posture until you feel back in your body.
When you just can't take it, SCREAM. Scream for as long and as loud as you can. Scream until you cry, scream until you drop to your knees, scream until you laugh, get that shit OUT! Scream in your room, scream in a park, go to the ocean and scream into the water! I was once told a story by an elder about a tribe who's warriors would go to the river and scream and cry into the river while washing away the trauma of war before returning home to their people. Thinking of this story has saved me many times..Allow yourself to be primitive and release.
I have found that when one feels like they are in a state of emergency in their mind, and facing reality is too much, simple distractions can ease your mind enough for your body chemistry to calm down, bringing your heart rate back to normal and allowing you to take a deep breath. Pushing the pause button on your overwhelming emotion can both save your life and allow you to come back and reevaluate the situation with a clear head and different eyes. Here are some examples of healthy distractions. . . everyone is different, explore and notice what your body responds to.
CALL A FRIEND
Go find your nearest tree or park
It is spiritually, physically and cognitively important to take time throughout your day to be mindful. Reprogramming your brain to be present with your actions will expand your creativity and reduce stress.
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us the importance of being mindful while making art; being present with your actions expand your creativity and your practice becomes therapeutic. The next time you're getting into drag or creating any form of art, try to be mindful and notice how your work responds. Doing this will also help you with procrastination and time management.
Exercise. We all know the importance of exercising, but next time try to be totally mindful during your workout. This will also give you an opportunity to check in with your body. What do you need right now?
Make a healthy meal or snack. If you are feeling an exceptional amount of distress or anxiety, choose a dish with a lot of ingredients and preparation, giving you an opportunity to stay mindful longer. Be present while measuring ingredients and chopping Vegetables. Yogi Bhajan teaches us the importance of positive thinking while preparing our food as to not consume negativity.