Promise Law October 2019


October Is Emotional Wellness Month What Roles Do Fear and Stress Play in Our Lives?

With Halloween celebrations in the near future, people have spent hours sorting through local costume shops to find the scariest outfits, face paint, and decorations to make their festivities as spooky as possible.

emotionally, and why it’s necessary to separate your worth as a person from your immediate physical state. Otherwise, you’ll have a limited ability to feel like yourself while navigating your physical ailments. On those darker days, it might be necessary to call upon other resources. In fact, when I started to question if I would ever get better, I sought support and guidance both from my pastor and a counselor. It’s important to ask for help unpacking all those feelings from time to time. Once I recovered from surgery, I didn’t have to work as hard to separate my emotional and physical wellness, but that doesn’t mean fear, stress, and anxiety don’t creep into my everyday life. Fortunately, I’ve found healthy ways to work through them. For example, when I’m brainstorming solutions for a particularly complex file at work or chewing on a tough personal situation, I’ll take a walk outside. My neighborhood is fairly wooded, so I can listen to the chirping of birds and the wind in the trees while I gain some perspective. Other ways I counter worries are through yoga, meditation, and voice lessons. In fact, I’ve been taking voice lessons from Tammy (yes, the Tammy in the office!) for over 10 years and have found that it allows me to get out of my head for a little bit, taking part in a fun and creative endeavor. While all of these pastimes are certainly helpful, the one I enjoy most is cooking. Lining up all the ingredients for a new recipe, pondering the process of getting to the best result, and then actually making the meal is exciting for me. Again, it’s a way to give my brain a chance to slow down and change gears.

When I think about Halloween, I realize the thing that most memorable ghosts, goblins, and monsters all have in common is fear. Fear plays an interesting role in the human psyche. We can pinch our eyes shut and scream at the top of our lungs all the way through a haunted house, but the second we step out of the house and into safety, those frightened feelings dissipate. But when it comes to real-life worries and fears, many of us have a harder time finding emotional stability. In my own life, I’ve discovered that it’s important to understand the interplay between emotional and physical wellness. Prior to my surgery and recovery last year, I experienced firsthand how physical difficulties can influence how one feels

Even when I’m not cooking, you can find me reading about cooking. In fact, I recently worked my way through a book called “Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise.”Written by Ruth Reichl, a world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, the book chronicles some of the remarkable (and comical) experiences Reichl had when going undercover to review high-profile restaurants. She even shares some of her favorite recipes, which I immediately bookmarked to try later! All of this is to say that everyone needs their own approach to assuage stress and fear, and what works for me may not work for you. But if you’re finding that you’re having more dark days than bright ones, I encourage you to start thinking about some pastimes that might help change that, and enlist the help of a therapist if you need more support.


Wednesday, Oct. 2 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 16 2:30–4:30 p.m.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. Call (757) 690-2470 for more information or to register.

-Geneva Perry | 1

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