These days there seems to be no shortage of things unfolding in the world that can send us into anxiety about the future. It’s easy to find ourselves in a state of overwhelm and to lose our sense of center when things feel out of our control. Build a toolkit of self-care practices to reduce the roller coaster ride of emotions.
Tune into the body
Close your eyes and feel your feet on the floor. Sense the boundaries between your body and the space around you. Place your hand on your chest to feel your heart beating. Try five minutes of some gentle self-massage or stretching. Remind yourself that in this moment you are safe.
Conscious breathing is the fastest and most effective way to interrupt the spinning mind and shift out of “fight or flight” mode. Try practicing Nadi shodhana (Alernate Nostril) breathing. Aim for at least 5 minutes. You’ll be amazed how powerful this breathing tool is!
Take a media break
Turn off the news. Turn notifications off. Silence your phone for 30 minutes (longer if you can!). Reclaim your time, energy and attention from the constant stimulation and onslaught to the nervous system created by being constantly engaged with your electronic devices.
Get outside and sweat
A brisk walk, hike or run burns off stress hormones, boosts endorphins and helps to clear stuck energy! Get outside in the fresh air. Get your body moving and heart rate up for 20 minutes. Recalibrating the physical body through exercise and engagement with nature brings peace to body and mind.
Lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, and kava are all great for nervous system support. A cup of tea, tincture or concoction made from one of these plants can be wonderfully nourishing.
Put yourself in the way of beauty
In times of high stress we especially need regular doses of the things that fill our cup and remind us of the magic in the world. Beauty and pleasure build resilience. Browse through art you adore. Look through baby photos of your grandkids. Take yourself to a place in nature that inspires you. As author Cheryl Strayed writes, “There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it. Put yourself in the way of beauty.”
The profound impact of music has been documented throughout the ages. In our modern era, we have ample science to show the effects of music on our mental and emotional state. The right piece of music can uplift, soothe and inspire a shift in consciousness. Create a playlist of songs that speak to you and make you feel good! In a pinch, youtube has a variety of tracks with specific frequencies shown to help with stress and anxiety.
Emotional Freedom Technique
The Emotional Freedom Technique works with the energy meridians of the body for letting go of distressing thoughts and emotions and overwrite negative thought patterns. Check out the many tutorials available on youtube to learn some simple yet effective sequences. EFT can be incredibly liberating and easy to learn and do anywhere you are.
Small actions can create subtle yet powerful shifts that change the way we see and respond to what is happening around us. Remember, it takes regular practice and commitment to reclaim power over our own mental and emotional wellbeing . You can do it!