It's safe to say that there is a lot of uncertainty swirling around in our country and in the world right now. I've noticed that I've been a bit anxious and that the majority of my friends are feeling the same.
No matter what our backgrounds or belief systems, it's a hard time to fully grasp what's going on and what it will all mean for our future.
As a highly sensitive person, I'm the first to admit that I can become anxious when things are out of whack around me. I think of my family, my children, my friends, and everyone else on the planet, and feel the weight of what's happening and how whatever is happening will impact us all.
It can get so overwhelming at times!
But thankfully, over the years I've learned some strategies that help me get centered when things seem a bit out of control. I'm hoping my strategies will help you if you're feeling quite stressed and anxious:
#1 - Create momentum from the moment you wake up.
I'm a believer in the importance of a strong start for each day. No matter what is going on around me (or how anxious I may be), I get out of bed, shower, get dressed, and put myself together for the day.
When we're stressed, it's tempting to roll out of bed and begin the day without pouring energy into our appearance. Sometimes it's even tempting to stay in our PJs (especially in the age of Coronavirus), but I'm always amazed at how preparing myself for the day with hair and makeup done and clothes carefully selected gives me the momentum I need to make amazing things happen.
Creating momentum can also include moving our bodies a bit, feeding our bodies powerful nutrients, and intention setting. Write down your goals, express what your hopes are, and then go for it.
Live as though everything will fall into place and you may be amazed at how you can turn things around.
#2 - Consciously remind yourself to breathe deeply.
One of the first things to go when we become stressed and anxious is our breath. Adrenaline pumps through our bodies and we tend to take in less oxygen. Our breathing becomes shallow and we can become ungrounded.
When fear is coursing through my being, sometimes I even find myself skipping a few breaths. I realize this means I've bought so much into what is happening around me that I'm completely abandoning the core of my being.
In these moments, I've learned to stop, close my eyes, and slowly breathe in and out while counting to ten. Doing so helps me regain my sense of being and groundedness.
I then schedule a bit of time for myself later in the day to stretch, meditate, do yoga, or go for a walk. Sometimes I can only schedule in 10-15 minutes for one of these activities. I wish I had more time, but a handful of quality self-care moments can go a long way!
The beautiful thing is that in the moment we all have this wonderful power inside of us that we can tap into.
Connecting with our breath gives us roots — much like a tree — that help us be more aware of the most important things in life. It paves the way for us to have the clarity we need to make sound decisions from a place of power rather than a place of fear.
#3 - Address the anxiety on paper.
I find that setting aside a small amount of time (10-20 mins) to write out what is giving me anxiety and making me worry helps so much.
Take time to identify exactly what is making you anxious. Next to each issue you identify, write out how you're going to challenge and/or overcome it.
If I'm feeling a lot of stressful emotions, I will try to take time to sit down in a quiet room and really dig in to address what is making me upset. Until I do this, sometimes it's hard for me to even know what's up.
Once I address each issue, I find that it's so important to create a plan of action for conquering my fears.
And honestly, sometimes the action I need to take is pure surrender. To me, this means realizing that the universe/God has my back and that I'll pull through no matter how scary and/ore stressful a moment may be.
#4 - Make sure you feed your body powerful nutrients.
Feed your body! Research shows that there is a relationship between mood and blood sugar levels because our brain runs primarily on glucose. When your glucose levels are out of whack, symptoms have been shown to be very similar to mental health challenges.
Fuel your body with omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens, and whole grains to help boost and regulate your mood. One of my favorite go-tos is my wellness smoothie. It's nutrient-rich and helps prime the brain for success.
If you've been feeding your body empty calories, you should highly consider visiting a local farmer's market and carefully choosing organic fruits, veggies, and hearty snacks. Taking this action helps you appreciate where your food comes from and tends to taste so much better than store bought foods.
#5 - Practice gratitude each and every day.
Remind yourself of all the good things in your life that make you happy.
Be grateful and thankful for the love that surrounds you — the roof over your head, food on the table, the ability to think and navigate through life, and even the fact that you have eyes that are capable of seeing the words you're reading.
When I practice gratitude, it changes my mindset and helps me experience positive and happy emotions. It leads me to being more loving and kind to those around me,
This human life is so precious, but sometimes we complicate our lives so much that we forget that true happiness is found in the most simple things.
#6 - Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals.
If you're feeling a bit blue, you may want to try taking vitamins and minerals to help manage anxiety, depression and regulate your mood. Vitamin B12 and magnesium are important to take because they do wonders for the production of serotonin (a major contributor to feelings of happiness). Vitamin D and Zinc also have been known to help reduce feelings of depression and irritability.
Of course, before you really jump into supplementation, you may want to consult your doctor or find a holistic doctor that can help you get to the root of your nutritional deficiencies.
Your doctor can run a blood panel to see exactly which vitamins and minerals will best suit your needs. You may also want to request a hormone level test to see if your hormones are getting you down or triggering anxiety.
Whatever you do, go easy on yourself!
We're living in some pretty complicated times. No matter how hard it gets, let's all vow to support each other.
How about we start a discussion in the comments section below? Share your fears and anxieties, ask for support, offer tips for staying positive and hopeful through it all.
I look forward to broadening this conversation...