Before we start, a little about me: I have lived in Washington DC for over 20 years.  I considered myself having been inundated by the sights sound on vibe of Washington DC which is a good thing.  I also am a licensed psychotherapist and have watched with that same critical eye Washington DC slowly become a city that has increasingly become more hurried, more divisive, and more anxious which in context may be part of the times, but not the best thing for remaining at a low stress continuum.

With that in mind I would like to offer some tips to reduce the daily stress that comes with being in the Nation’s Capitol.

  1. Regarding politics: Know when enough is enough.  Stop surfing from news channel to news channel, reading newspapers, or having those heated discussion around the water cooler.  I am not saying don’t ever do those things however when the daily news, politics, policies etc. start to impact you, it’s ok to take a break
  2. Breathing deeply really does work…
  3. Meditate.  Not for hours on end but for 2 or 3 minutes:  There are many meditation sites that you can find.  One that comes to mind is  It’s a phone app that you can use anywhere.
  4. Harm reduction.  As an example: If you ordinarily have 2-3 drinks after work to take the edge off, next time take 1-2.
  5. Exercise.  Use that gym membership that has collected dust since your last new year’s resolution.

These tips are nothing new, just ordinary solutions to extraordinary stress for the times we live in.


As always, be mindful

The DC Therapist


Karen DeValera is a CACII, SAP, LPC, JD in the District of Columbia. For further info contact