With all that's going on in our world lately, I'd be more surprised if you didn't feel anything. If you have anxiety right now, you are not alone! The entire world is in "fight-flight-freeze" mode as uncertainty and primal fears of survival rise to the surface. It's scary, no doubt, but I encourage you to find what works for you to keep yourself from numbing out and shutting down. I hope what I present below will be of service to you.
Without further ado, here's some practical "Do & Don't" tips for managing your anxiety.
Avoid these habits to avoid making anxiety worse:
2) Obsessively watching/reading the news-especially all day everyday, or right before bed... stay informed but limit your consumption to once or twice a day. Otherwise you are likely over-taxing your immune system by keeping yourself in a constant state of hyper-arousal.
3) Obsessively scrolling social media all day, especially first thing in the morning... Similar to the news-it keeps you hyper-aroused and also has been proven to lower self-esteem. Use social media to make meaningful connections now, or find another way to occupy your time.
4) Letting you mind dwell on the worst case scenario...it's not fun, it doesn't make you feel better, and it drastically increases anxiety levels into panic mode. Bring yourself back to this moment and take a deep breath.
5) Skipping self-care practices...when we are so anxious that we either numb out or get stuck in an endless loop of negative thoughts, now is when we need to muster all the inner strength it takes to perform an act of self-care. It can be as simple as stating out loud, "enough! I choose to focus my mind on something different now," or jump up and shake out the anxious thoughts with a "wiggle fest." Invite your family to join you and it will soon be a "giggle fest." (corny, I know, but effective!)
Now that you know what to avoid, what should you do to help reduce anxiety?
2) Breathing exercises- Alternate Nostril breathing is a great one. (it's on my meditation CD)
3) Meditation-Insight Timer is my fave app for a large variety of meditation topics.
4) Exercise-send that negative energy out of your body with movement. Even if it's just a brisk walk or a short dance jam. Or a wiggle fest ;)
5) Start your day journaling, in gratitude, praying, meditating, and/or setting your intention for how you want to feel. Otherwise you'll get sucked right into someone else's agenda or the drama of the world crisis at hand. Give yourself at least the first hour or two of the day to enjoy some peace!
6) Go outside…barefoot in the grass or dirt as much as possible, which has many health benefits, also here…meditate or journal outdoors if possible. Take deep, slow breaths and notice what you can see, hear, smell, and touch. Get Vitamin D from the sun by exposing your skin to the sun for 20 min, 3x's a week as possible.
This is just a short list, but it's a good start. Remember: when you show up for and care for yourself, you make it possible to show up for those that need you. And we need each other more than ever now. So please, take care of yourself!
If you're needing to talk to someone, please call the 24/7 national crisis line at 1-800-273-TALK ( 8255 ). If you're having an emergency, please call 911. If you'd like to schedule an appointment to help you manage anxiety in your day-to-day life, please contact me here.