We are living through stressful times. As we all do our best to keep calm and carry on, it can help to have a few go-to tricks up our sleeves for when that’s easier said than done.
Here are a few things you can try the next time you feel the anxiety rise.
Step Away From the News
It’s great to be informed. However, unless you’re making policy decisions on ever-changing world affairs, you probably don’t need to be tuned in 24/7. If you find that keeping the news on in the background or constantly checking your favorites sources online is stressing you out, tune it out.
Trade the soundtrack of repetitive and alarming news reports for a calming music playlist. Replace online new sources with uplifting and inspiring content that has a positive impact on you. Better yet, enjoy some peaceful silence.
To stay informed, choose a few minutes each day that you’ll get up to date and let that be it.
When we’re stressed our breathing tends to become shallow and fast. Slow down and practice deep breathing to refresh and calm yourself.
Take a deep breath in your nose, filling your lungs. Hold it for a moment. Then slowly release your breath from your mouth. Repeat this a number of times and allow yourself to relax.
Those tense shoulders from the weight of your worries are a sign you need to stretch. Ensure you don’t sit for very long periods of time. Get up and stretch your arms, legs, back, and hips as many times as you can throughout the day.
Step out into the sunshine (or even the rain) and take in your natural surroundings. Stay off of your phone, go for a walk, and let the peace and lovely slowness of nature remind you of life’s beauty.
Water is so essential for our bodies to function at their greatest capacity. Stay hydrated and enjoy water, perhaps by adding cucumber or lemon slices. Sparkling water is great, too.
It can be tempting to eat our worries away or just give up and grab the entire bag of chips and head to the couch. Nutrition is even more important during stressful periods, however, to keep your body healthy and your immune system strong.
Stock your home with whole foods—fruits, vegetables, plenty of protein, and healthy fats. Ensure that your choices include easy-to-grab items such as nuts, apples, and cheese sticks for those moments when you really just want all the cookies.
Choose a space, large or small, and take full control of it. Declutter, clean, and make it beautiful. It’s almost comical how stress-relieving cleaning can be.
This would be a great time to ensure you’re getting a full night’s sleep every night. Allow yourself plenty of time to wind down, disconnect from digital devices, and enjoy deep, restorative sleep.
Sit down with paper and pen and list as many things as you can that you’re grateful for. Perspective is a beautiful thing.
Nurture Your Spirit
There’s more to this life than appears on the surface. Reconnect with your spirit, consider your big questions, study a spiritual discipline, and rekindle or reinforce your spiritual practice.