We’re all carrying around a little more stress and anxiety than normal lately for different reasons. While these feelings are completely normal, they do very little for our overall wellbeing. Many people have turned to prescription drugs to help alleviate these feelings but prescription drugs have their own negatives and may just be covering up the problem rather than addressing it. Learning to properly manage these emotions with healthy actions will not only help to improve our mood and how we feel everyday but may give our immune systems a boost as well and make us healthier!
Control what you can – For many, increased feelings of stress and anxiety come from a lack of control. When there are things in our lives that we have no control over, we panic and right now you may not feel as if you’re in control of anything in your life but you are. Write down a list of things that you are in control and put the majority of your focus into those things. If feelings of stress and anxiety come creeping in over things you can’t control, try to push them out of your head to the best of your ability and re-focus on actions that you can do something about.
Keep a journal – A journal is like a little mini therapist that you can take with you wherever you go. Being able to write out your feelings and emotions without fear of judgment is an amazing outlet. Keeping a journal also helps you to rationalize your fears and emotions by getting them out of your head and onto paper. If you are a person who frequently gets to far ahead of themselves with their thought process and gets anxious about an event before it even happens, a journal may be just want you need to rein your thoughts in before they get out of control.
Exercise – This is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind right now but exercise is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Exercise will help you to get into better shape, which is something you can control and once you get past that initial hesitation of working out, you feel great about yourself. Exercise is also an amazing way to mellow out your brain and tendency to overthink. When you’re exercising, you’re so concentrated on getting through the next minute that you don’t have much energy to think about anything else! Clearing your head with exercise is a fantastic way to clear your thoughts and start fresh.
Take a time out – Taking a time out doesn’t mean that you’re giving up, it just means that you’re giving yourself a break. Everyone needs a break. When you feel like the world is closing in on you or that there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it in, just stop doing it. Stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing, take a deep breath and enjoy your moment of peace and silence. Sometimes the stress and anxiety can come from being overwhelmed and burnt out and the best way to bypass it is to chill out, relax and come back to whatever you were doing later.
Do something you enjoy – Read a book, take a bath, have a glass of wine and paint your nails. Doing something that makes you feel good or that you enjoy doing is a natural remedy for stress. Self-care is especially hard to fit in but it’s important and if you can fit in time to do something that brings you joy into your schedule in small increments each day or weekly, it will greatly help to improve your mood.
Sleep – Sleep is necessary and most of us don’t get enough of it. Yes, our plates are full but if we’re really truly honest with ourselves, we can probably find a couple of things that we’re doing each day that are less important than sleep. That nightly binge or deep dive into your Facebook or Instagram feed can take hours. Finding balance so that time doesn’t fly by and you’re past your bedtime before you know it means setting limits and sticking to them so that you can get to bed on time. Studies have also shown that using electronics just before bed can stimulate you and make it hard for you to go to bed giving you even more incentive to cut whatever you’re using off early rather than using it until the minute you fall asleep.
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