With COVID-19 invading pretty much every part of our lives these days, it’s hard not to feel anxious. From watching the 24-hour news cycle of doomsday headlines to the constant flux of quarantine orders, it’s clear what we’re experiencing is far from normal.
We have to remember that no matter how terrible we might feel in any given moment, if we choose to let go, transformation is possible.
Uncertain of where to start?
Try these tips:
Whether it’s getting up from your couch, taking a shower, or going for a walk, your body needs a physical reminder that it’s not stuck.
Think of a tiger moving towards its prey in slow motion. Now, replace the tiger with your terrifying thoughts on what could happen in the future, and you see what I mean. Stop focusing on the danger, and move on to something else. It’s really important to do this physically so your brain understands that a change is taking place.
So, practice some yoga poses. Do some jumping jacks.
Heck, why not even run around the house for a hot second?
2. Take a Deep Breath
Now that you’ve moved around, it’s time to take it easy. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, put your hand on your belly, and close your eyes. Slowly inhale, as you count up to 4 seconds (You should be able to feel your belly moving while you’re doing this). Then, hold your breath for 7 seconds. Finally, exhale for 8 complete seconds.
Try to do this for at least five minutes every day.
Believe me, your body and your brain will thank you.
3. Change Your Inner Dialogue
Inner dialogue, so to speak, are the things you tell yourself in your head. The voice that only you can hear.
So, when your brain is constantly being a debbie downer, spruce it up with a deep clean of positive, grateful tidbits.
Think of this practice like a vacuum, sucking up all the cobwebs in your brain.
And when all else fails, remember the words a wise therapist once said – “What you’re feeling is real, but it may not be true.”
I learned the importance of this many moons ago when one of my boyfriends at the time saw me frantically reading a self-help book and pulled up a funny YouTube video on his phone for me to watch.
“Hey, check this out,” he said with a smile.
Guess what happened next? I laughed. It was like pouring a magical elixir on my thoughts – suddenly everything started to look a little rosier.
By doing this you’re consciously moving your brain to a lighter head space. And when your brain is in chill mode, your body will be, too.
Have you ever started drawing or writing and suddenly forgot all the nagging things you were thinking about?
There’s something pretty extraordinary about art and the very act of creation in itself. From dance, to music, painting, or even acting, there’s endless ways to express yourself.
In fact, studies show that after making pretty much anything, our cortisol levels are drastically reduced.
Well, it’s a harmful substance our body creates whenever it’s in a stressful situation. Too much of it can increase your blood pressure, decrease your sex drive, and even give you type 2 diabetes if it’s not kept in check.
So, pull out that easel board and conjure up your inner Rembrant. Find that guitar you buried under the bed and make some tunes. Write the novel you keep putting off. Dance your heart out to some of your favorite tunes.
Don’t worry about making the next masterpiece. Just do it.
Remember, anxiety is something that can only be tackled on a day-to-day basis. Healing takes time. Every step forward, no matter how small, is always a win.
Trust me, you got this.