Feeling overwhelmed? Anxious? Worried? Scared? All of these things and more? So was I, so I thought I would share some things that I have been doing to stay grounded. I still have moments of all of the above but they aren't taking over my day now!
So in no particular order:
1. Focus on the present. Try not to think too far ahead and let your mind run away with you. Be in the present and focus on the positive things or the things that are just seeming safe and normal right now. Anna Mathur has two fabulous courses available to purchase if you are really struggling with this and one is linked to health anxiety especially. www.annamathur.com/courses/the-reframing-anxiety-course/
2. Meditate. I have been using the insight timer app, it is free and has loads of resources available for free too. I am pushing myself to do this each day ideally for 10 minutes or more. It makes me take some time out and I always feel calmer after doing it.
3. Get some fresh air at various points throughout the day. Even if it is sticking your head out of the window for 5 minutes! If you have a garden then even better, get outside if you can for short bursts or longer.
4. Be mindful. So when you are outside listen to the birds, the wind, look at the leaves budding, the flowers, the blossom. Connect with the ground, take your shoes and socks off if you really want to feel that connection. If it is sunny really feel that sun on your skin for a bit. Go and hug a tree! Seems totally hippy but so what, it is worth it!
5. Go to your happy place. So we may not be able to actually physically go there at the moment but try and go there in your mind. When I am feeling the stress rise or I am having trouble dropping off to sleep, I visualise my happy place and really imagine I am there. What can I see, smell, hear, feel.
6. Chat to friends. Whether that is on the phone, by text, messenger, Whatsapp, Facetime or you could even go oldskool and write letters! But it is being social in some way and staying connected with people. Even if it just a handful. Online groups are great too. Just be mindful not to spend too much time talking about things that may spike your anxiety or worries.
7. Spend time doing something you love. It could be a new hobby or an old one. Something practical or not. Baking or reading for instance. This enforced time at home can mean you have more time on your hands which can sometimes be a negative if you are a worrier. So see if you can fill it doing things you like or have wanted to do that can be done at home. It is harder when you have children or others to care for but see if you can schedule time in each day to do a bit of something you love dping just for you.
8. Step away from negative social media. This may just mean limiting your exposure and popping your phone on a shelf for parts of the day or it could be as much as deleting various apps for the moment. I know for me, I have to limit myself and stop reading so much news and people's views on Covid 19. So I move my phone away from me and may mute some groups and pages on social media too. If I don't do this I find myself taking too much in and it stresses me out.
9. Gratitude. I am good at doing this for a couple of weeks and then I stop as I forget and then before I know it I haven't written in my book for weeks. Writing down 5 things you are grateful for each day is a great way to end the day positively especially if you are feeling sad come bedtime. It is also a great way to start the day too. Some people jump out of bed and declare what they are grateful for and others may think of some things to be grateful for as they are going down the stairs. Start small but do try it.
10. Move. Add some focused movement in to your day. This could be some yoga, going up ad down the stairs a few times in succession, running laps around the garden, doing an online exercise class. This is especially important if, like me, you could happily lounge on the sofa for extended periods of time. The isolation we are finding ourselves in or will soon find ourselves in means that it could be easy to not bother exercising. However I will be making a conscious effort to move my body each day. It doesn't have to be a full on workout but just doing something will inevitably help us with feeling less sloth like. Obviously be careful and take things at a pace that works for you.
I hope that you have found this helpful and will help you find some moments of calm too.
Let me know what you are doing to stay grounded. Where is your happy place?