During a time of uncertainly it is important to look after your mental and emotional wellbeing. Here are ten things for you to try to help ease your worries and find some inner calm…
It might sound simple, but some slow, regulated breathing can be extremely soothing for the body and mind. There are tonnes of apps that you can download for free which help you time deep breaths in and out as well as other anxiety relieving techniques. Stress and Anxiety companion is one recommended by the NHS and it is free to download. To find out more click HERE.
We all get to that point where we want to spend a day on the couch but not moving can be detrimental to our mental state. Just moving around the house can make a big difference. You can move to different rooms at different points in the day just to get a change of scenery. For example, sit on the couch to read, shift to a different spot to watch TV, eat your lunch in a different area if possible, stand looking out of the window when talking on the phone and so on. Shifting your perspective can help to improve your mood.
There are loads of different beginner videos on YouTube, I find this one is really good: 10 minute Morning Yoga for Beginners. You can do it any time of day, you don’t need much space to do it and you can even do it in your pyjamas! It helps relieve tension in your body that you weren’t even aware of.
If you find yourself worrying or unable to stop thinking about the same things over and over, jot everything down in a list. Equally, you might want to just write down your thoughts in a diary style entry or just write a stream of consciousness. Seeing everything written down can help you to make sense of what you’re thinking and why. Putting it on paper can also help to feel like you’ve reached a resolution which can ease the ruminating thoughts.
Focus on your Surroundings
We can all become entrenched in our own head, deep in our own negative thoughts. A way to pull yourself out of that is to take in our surroundings. An easy way to do that is look for things to ground you in your surroundings, for example, look for 1 white item, 2 black, 3 blue, 4 yellow and so on. Looking around the room or out of a window for things can help pull you from your deep thoughts. Once focus has shifted, it is easier to accomplish other tasks.
Create a list of a few key phrases that you can repeat to yourself at various intervals throughout the day. For example, phrases like “I am safe”, “I am well” and “I am calm” can help reassure your mind that things are, and will be, fine. You can say these out loud, or in your head. Have set times to say them, for example when you brush your teeth, pop the kettle on, or when loading the washing machine. Repeating these for a couple minutes three or four times a day can change your mindset.
Social Media Break
For some people, social media will be a lifeline and way to stay connected, for others it will be an added source of worry. There is currently a lot of misinformation being shared as well as a lot of negativity. You might find that you’re getting drawn in to reading these kinds of things even though it makes you feel anxious. If that’s the case, you could take a break and put a block or time limit on these apps. A great way to encourage you to maintain this is an app called Hold, it awards points for every minute that you don’t use your phone. These points can be used to earn rewards or to donate money to charity. You can find out more HERE.
Talk to People
Don’t just text your friends and family, actually speak to them over the phone or on a video chat. Hearing a voice of another person is proven to help you feel less anxious. Calling someone for a chat will not only make you feel better, but could brighten the day of the person you call.
Listening to a podcast is a great way to switch off and enjoy yourself, you can couple this with things like gardening, cleaning or colouring in. It helps pass the time in a much more enjoyable way and keeps both your mind and body busy. It is great way to relax and ease some tension, especially if you pick a podcast that makes you laugh. My recommendation – if you haven’t listened to it already – is My Dad Wrote a Porno.
Don’t judge yourself by other peoples standards. If someone looks like they are having a great time baking, doing crafts or doing daily workouts, it doesn’t mean you should be too. Don’t feel bad if you’re not doing those things. It’s also important to remember that just because someone looks like they’re handling things well, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are.
Try to incorporate some of these little tips in to your daily routine. They’re good habits to have and can promote positive emotional wellbeing. Even if you’re not feeling stressed or anxious, it is good to practise mindfullness techniques. There are of course lots of other things you can do, if you have anything you would recommend, let me know in the comments below.
If you feel like you’re not coping well, and if you need further help and support, please speak to someone. It could be a friend or relative, but if you feel you can’t speak to those people for whatever reason, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.
Thrifty Clair x