Are you a stress ball like me? Managing anxiety is tough on a regular day, but these days are anything but regular! I've spent most of my life trying to manage stress and anxiety naturally, and I'm not going to lie- some times I win and other times the nerves take over.
Adjusting expectations and finding a new routine since the Coronavirus showed up has been challenging. One day I'm on top of the world ready to take on all the things, and the next I'm clenching my jaw, mind racing with thoughts of the uncertain future. It's those days that made me want to write this blog. Maybe I'm not the only one who can use some help to manage these feelings.
So, if you're one of the people struggling to control your anxiety right now, here's 8 tips to try today:
1. Validate your feelings
Know that it’s ok to feel however you’re feeling. And that it can change from moment to moment. Make sure to validate your family’s and those around you too. We can all use a little extra grace at this time.
2. Find solace in the small things
It can be hard to find anything positive right now, but it's important to try and see some silver linings, or find things to be grateful for. When you feel stressed or anxious, start making a mental list of all the things you're thankful for right at that moment- big or small. I bet you'll feel better afterwards.
I suggest this a lot, but it's because I've seen firsthand how powerful this can be. Even taking a short walk, dancing in your jammies, light yoga, or even just stretching is enough to get your endorphins pumping. I often refer to my workouts as my therapy- I'm not exaggerating when I say that. Test it out by starting small and doing whatever feels right for you. I'm certain that you'll feel the results.
4. Know your limits
It's really easy for us (especially if you're Type A, like me) to want to take control of everything. But right now, A LOT is just out of our control. Get a realistic view by making a list of things you can control & can’t control. Then make a choice to change what you can and don’t try to control what you can’t. See, don't you just feel lighter already?
5. Small steps
Just getting out of bed and moving one foot in front of the other is a win right now. Keep moving forward every day- whatever that looks like for you. Now's not the time to beat yourself up for not meeting a goal, or taking longer to accomplish something at work. Just keep working toward it and you'll get there. Baby steps for the win.
I love this one! Try practicing some breathing techniques to calm yourself. You can use these if you feel especially anxious or just to relax and unwind from your day. I like to do these before I meditate at night to quiet my mind.
- Box- Inhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds, Exhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat at least 6 times.
- Deep calm- Great before bed! Inhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 8 seconds, Exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat 8 times.
- Equal- Count the length of your inhale & match it with your exhale. Continue breathing evenly for 5 minutes.
For more breathing techniques, click here.
7. Mantras & Affirmations
Use these to maintain a positive attitude and even feel empowered. You can use your mantras all throughout the day, or just repeat them to yourself in the morning to start the day right. Your mantras should make you feel positive, uplifted and strong. Keep reading til the end for 5 BONUS mantras you can start using right now.
8. Avoid going to the worst case scenario
This is huge. If you can learn to reframe situations in your mind, you'll actually use this trick for the rest of your life. Instead of thinking about years in the future, think about today. Try to see things from other's perspectives and don't take things too personally. Chances are that everything is going to work out, even if it's not how you might've pictured it.
For additional information on managing anxiety due to Coronavirus, click here.
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BONUS Mantras to Manage Stress & Anxiety
1. I handle things in my own way on my own time.
2. Nothing can get me down.
3. I’ve survived worse than this and I’m going to be totally fine.
4. I'm strong and nothing can break me.
5. I choose to make today great.
Feel free to come up with some of your own mantras. And if you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear them in the comments!
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