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With our world as we know it completely changed and anxiety at an all time high, I thought now would be a good idea to share some ideas to help reduce anxiety.
Our feelings of anxiety and isolation are exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, separating us from our loved ones and support network. It is more important now than ever to check in with yourself, see how you’re feeling and take some simple steps to help you reduce your anxiety.
For me personally, I do not have a diagnosis of anxiety from my healthcare professional, but I am definitely the type of person to get quite wound up and emotionally stressed. I’ve written some of my favourite ways to help me feel less anxious below, give them a try and let me know what you think.
Start your day with a morning ritual
One of my favourite times of day is the morning. Everything slows down, the sky lights up pretty colours and the air has that fresh chill to it. With a morning ritual, you get to choose to start the day doing the things you love on your time schedule.
What is a morning ritual? It is kind of like a morning routine, except you are adding in things that you enjoy to the morning to start off your day with a smile. For example: You might wake up, light a candle, do a 10 minute yoga flow and make a drink your coffee cuddled up on the couch.
You can literally do anything that brings you joy and helps you feel calm and ready to start the day. If you’d like to read more about morning rituals I’ve written a whole post on them here.
Welcome in some exercise to your day
Exercise is a well known endorphin-releaser. It helps you to decrease stress, improve sleep, clear the head and feel refreshed.
Most importantly with exercise, try to choose something that you enjoy doing. If you actually enjoy doing it, not only will you get the endorphin rush but you’ll be smiling and feeling joyful during and afterwards.
Some types of exercise in particular have proven benefits to decrease stress:
If you’re not sure where to start, these can be great options. I’ve also written a post on how I tried to make myself run even when I hate it, that has some other great exercise suggestions – read it here.
Start learning meditation
I think a lot of people get scared off by meditation. It seems to be this big deal philosophy where you have to sit still and not think about anything. But it really can be as simple as taking 10 deep breaths and closing your eyes.
If you’d like to have a more comprehensive meditation, I really recommend the Calm app. It has heaps of different meditation styles – guided meditations, sound meditations and my personal favourite, bedtime stories.
Also, my favourite online yoga and Pilates studio Merry Body Online Studio has easy 10 min or less guided meditations available.
Meditation is really just about slowing down, and clearing your mind to make space for what really matters. Sometimes it is easy for our thoughts to become out of control, but with just a few deep breaths or a short meditation the things we are worrying about can seem a lot smaller.
One of my favourite ways to reduce feelings of anxiety is by getting creative. Trying a creative activity such as painting or journaling can be a great way to slow down your mind and bring some joy and happiness. You might even end up with a wonderful piece of art that you are proud of!
Some creative ideas could include:
- Crocheting or knitting a rug or a scarf
- Painting with watercolours
- Sanding and repainting an old piece of furniture
- Cross stitch or embroidery
You can get creative pretty easily with things that you already have at home, so why not give it a try?
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
Particularly in this period of isolation, don’t be afraid to reach out. Contact your friends, your family, and even a health professional or counsellor if you find yourself feeling really alone or struggling during this time.
There is absolutely no shame in seeking help when you’re struggling. In fact it is one of the biggest acts of self love you can make.
So if you are struggling with your anxiety, please do reach out to those you love. If you’re not sure where to turn to, a great non-profit organisation here in Australia is Beyond Blue – dedicated to help people manage anxiety and depression.
Remember to be kind to yourself and to others in this difficult time. Hopefully by trying some of these ideas you’ll help reduce anxiety, and maybe even have a bit of fun during isolation.