During this pandemic, I have seen and heard a general uptick of both anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, scientists have not yet discovered a one-stop cure to anxiety and stress and many millions deal with both of these throughout their daily lives. I am not a medical professional, I don’t even play one on TV, but I do have some thoughts on the subject.
It seems that in the last 30 years diagnoses of anxiety have been rising. I am not sure whether we were ignoring cases, brushing off people as weak, or we were satisfied with helpful advice like “suck it up”. Not sure that helped.
Here are some stress management and anxiety-relieving techniques that you can incorporate in your daily routine that can support and help to manage these conditions. It is important to first identify what is causing your stress and try to analyze patterns and themes between stress-inducing events. Below are six different strategies to help minimize stress and feel calmer overall in your life.
- Proper Sleep
- Meditation & Prayer
- Exercise and Make Healthy Choices
- Make Time for Self-Care
- Positive Thinking
Getting a proper night of sleep is one of the best ways to relieve stress and feel less anxious throughout the day. When you are not sleeping because all of your responsibilities are repeating through your mind before bed, it is important to take time to notice this and perhaps focus on the positive things that you plan to accomplish. As a bonus, your subconscious mind can work on solutions while you are sleeping. You may also benefit from checking off the accomplishments from the day,
Jotting down your emotions, thoughts, and the various stressors in your daily life will allow you to clear your mind and feel relaxed during the day. I did not do this with any rigor until I started coaching, and I found how helpful it was for both me and my clients. When everything feels bottled up in your mind, you will not be able to focus on the tasks and responsibilities right in front of you and will likely feel very overwhelmed.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and learn to breathe more deeply when anxiety arises. I find that prayer and what I call mini-meditation is the best way to stay calm and allow your mind to feel balanced during the day. It at least reduces dread.
You may find taking a couple of minutes each morning for meditation is the best way to clear your mind before all of your responsibilities come into play. This will also allow you to stay present in the moment which will could alleviate your anxiety around the future.
I have memorized a bible verse from Philippians, which says in part, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in anything, with prayer and supplication, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Reciting that has helped me again and again. Is this for you? Only you know – I am only saying it has helped me.
By making time to go for a walk or a bike ride near your work or home, you will probably feel better and more alert throughout the day. Some people even jog (not going to happen). Even a short walk will make your stress more manageable and this was even more important when we all felt trapped inside.
Taking time for yourself is one of the best ways to not feel too overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities and allow your mind a place to calm down. There are so many different ways to practice self-care including a haircut (three months later), practicing your favorite hobbies, or even watching your favorite television show. I rely heavily on music – if you have Google, Spotify is a great go-to. Any song ever published in your living room or den.
Lastly, positive thinking is a great way to reduce your stress and anxiety and stay more present in the moment. Practicing gratitude and realizing all of the great things in your life can allow you to not feel as overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have. If you want a list of some of the books I have used to help me with this send me an e-mail.
Hope this was helpful, till we chat again,