Sleepless nights? Worried about the future? Anxiety seem to be around 24/7 (especially given the current quarantine and COVID-19 conditions?) You are not alone. Many people are making the comment that during this difficult, trying, changing times, their anxiety is at an all-time high. So how can you try to unwind and relieve anxiety? Try some of these 5 simple steps in your daily regimen to assist your anxiety and turn your struggles into more peaceful moments.
Start A Journal
This is my personal favorite way to unwind. I used to be a NIGHTLY avid/devoted journaler (is there such a word??) Pen, paper and unwind. Some nights (or mornings) I’d write next to nothing, or just capture my day on paper. Other times it would focus on writing out my fears/stresses/trials and more of a venting session. And sometimes it would focus as strictly a gratitude journal.
Since the quarantine, I started journaling again. And it’s been fascinating to already look back on day 5 of quarantine vs. today (which feels like day 972!!!) But I’ve personally been journaling what I’m learning/grateful for through this time. Some days, it’s being grateful to walk to my mailbox by myself (HELLO—any other moms out there with quarantined kids get my gist…3 minutes of silence feels like 30 minutes!) But journaling is such a wonderful stress reliever and great way to get anxious feelings out of your soul. (And no fancy journals needed…I like a basic striped journal from Target that was on the $3 rack, but you can do it on your computer, or use any ink and paper that suits your style!)
Incorporate Quiet Time
I use the word quiet time as I am a mom that finds myself telling my daughter we all need some quiet time. Which is true. But for adults, treat quiet time as a meditation time. The word meditation gets such a “ooo that’s weird” or “I don’t know how to” vibe, but meditation is truly nothing more that quiet time with your thoughts. No phone. No TV. No distractions (yes, to the work-from-home and be a teacher mom that is quarantined with multiple kids, quiet time may sound absolutely impossible) but, it may just be 3 minutes locked in a closet…but find YOU time. Quiet time. Be with your thoughts and deep breathe and exhale the stress and anxiety.
Learn Something New
Teaching ourselves something new is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Have you always wanted to know how to do a certain craft or pick up a new hobby? In the past, we all had the excuse of “I don’t have enough time”…well guess what friends, now you have ALL THE TIME in the world! Keeping your brain busy, challenging yourself to try new things and keep going (when there seems to be nothing but stresses) helps the anxiety to be relieved.
Take a Hike
Figuratively and realistically. Let’s start with phase I—turn off your TV and put your phone down. I promise this will help you with your anxiety in less than an hour. After the first full week of quarantine, we did this in our house, and it’s been a gamechanger. I personally am so much calmer without all the doomsday information being on or in front of my face.
But then phase II of this, get physical. Get out on a walk, a run, a hike, fly a kite…just get moving. Physical activity is proven to reduce anxiety and stress.
This is a wonderful family activity that will allow EVERYONE to focus on the good and not the stresses/anxious thoughts that one can go through. What is even more fascinating is the small thoughts of gratitude that will come from children and/or elders. To see what makes everyone grateful will in return make you explore the positive that is going on, not focus on the negative.