Things are a little weird across the world right now. This is a rare and unexpected situation that we are all in together. For the past couple of weeks now I have had many emails from clients expressing their concerns, increased stress levels, and heightened anxiety. I myself struggle with change, the unknown, and not being in control, so here are some tips you can use now, and any other time when things get a little overwhelming.
Firstly, I am not doctor or psychologist! This is simply some ways that I try to alleviate anxiety when things start to get a little much in my own world. I hope they can bring a sense of ease to you too.
Talk yourself down
Think of how you would chat with a friend if they were feeling how you were. And then tell yourself these things! I’m so very guilty of letting my thoughts run away with me but if I take a step back and tell myself its never as bad as it seems first hand, then I can start to see a way around things. Try thinking more so about what you CAN control, or what you CAN change. Rather than how bad things may seem right now. If that doesn’t work, block it out and return to it tomorrow when you have a clearer mind.
Reduce caffeine intake
Most of us are partial to tea or coffee on a regular basis now, but when anxiety is creeping in swapping your drink to a non-caffeine one may make a difference. Caffeine is a stimulant that raises cortisol levels; the stress hormone. This can cause increased alertness initially, but also affect your mood and ability to sleep well. Limit caffeine after 2pm and reduce the number of cups you have or switch to non-caffeine instead.
Exercise in any form, reduces the level of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, whilst producing those feel-good endorphins that act as a natural way to feel good and reduce stress. It takes as little as 15 minutes to produce these hormones and they can hang around for a while after you’ve completed your exercise. If you can’t get to the gym or need a babysitter to go and exercise, try doing what you can in the house. Youtube have an endless supply of home workouts so you can pick what you like from yoga, resistance training, cardio, and pilates! Just search Freshly Centered for all my pilates videos too!
Getting outside has now been proven to improve health and wellbeing. Just 20 minutes per day outside in nature can lower stress levels through reducing cortisol (1). Aside from this research, being outside gives you a boost of fresh air, space out in the open, and time away from things indoors, which can only be positive! Being inside all day can feel claustrophobic, or a constant reminder of all the tasks you have to do, so stepping out can free you from this and re-energise you when you return.
Take the time you need
Clear your diary, cancel that appointment, say no to that event, postpone that work assignment. Give yourself permission to take the time you need. There will always be work to do and places to go to etc so tell yourself to take the night off and switch off. I always feel like I have to “go go go” all the time, but if I TELL myself I need a time out then I feel more accepting of it.
Turn off notifications
Our phones have become the cornerstone of our lives now, from both work and a personal perspective. But having those little red circle icons constantly pop up on our screens can cause repeated triggers of anxiety, Especially if you have things to action such as emails or message to reply. Turning them off temporarily removes this feeling completely and provides a sense of “reset” to give you back some time.
Hope these help for you!
If you need any further tips you can check out my future post on Top Tips for a Healthier Mind.
- MaryCarol R. Hunter, Brenda W. Gillespie, Sophie Yu-Pu Chen. Urban Nature Experiences Reduce Stress in the Context of Daily Life Based on Salivary Biomarkers. Frontiers in Psychology, 2019; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00722