Here are some strategies you can utilize for dealing with stress and anxiety. Try one or try all. Either way, please try! These will help.
1. Get Out of Your Head
A change of geography; even virtually, will work! Walking in the forest, a walk on the beach, watching the ocean, etc. can have a positive impact on your mental state. Google these and visualize actually being there. You will still have a positive visceral response.
Walk. Again, if you can go outside, great. A treadmill if you have it or there are plenty of online exercise programs, yoga, etc. Simply doing planks, sit-ups, jumping jacks, push ups, etc. will help your mind and your heart AND exercise will improve your anxiety and overall wellness. We must keep moving during this time.
If you are working from home, I highly suggest time blocking. I use a blocking system and have my client’s do the same. Sitting for 7-8 hours a day is not good for our bodies. Every hour an alarm goes off on your smartphone and you get up, exercise for 10 minutes – plank, sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, squats or simply walking and then take two large gulps of water. At the end of the day you will have worked out for at least an hour. This is part of the blocking method that I put together based on Ben Franklin’s blocking method, incorporating the needs of my clients and myself called The R.O.S.E. Method. Return, Optimization, Strategic, Empowerment.
3. Connect with New and Old Friends and Family Members
Facebook, Zoom, Skype and other media platforms makes it easy for us to connect during isolation. Also — A simple phone call will do the trick. Seeing and/or hearing someone’s face/voice that you care about can ease stress and promote joy.
4. Give Back
Yes, you can do that from home. Helping others will not only benefit others but give you a sense of purpose. By helping others, it will make you calmer and feel better. How can you help while in isolation?
Ideas: If you have a food order being delivered … ask your neighbors if they need anything. If you sew, you can make masks. If you are in online groups – see if someone needs help with their business, etc. There are always ways in which we can give back.
5. Eat Healthy
Being more conscious of the choices. Certain foods will increase your energy level and make you more stress- resistant. You want to be mentally and physically fit to tackle the challenges that confront you.
I know you have heard it all before … The more green and leafy vegetables the better, as those release calming antioxidants and provide essential vitamins that help protect your mental health. The problem right now seems to be that people are grazing all day long.
I have personally found that rather than counting calories or points .. intermittent fasting is just easier. It also very, very healthy and will help you save food and money. You can start off slowly – simply skipping breakfast and starting your first meal at noon. Then work you way up to 2 or 4pm. You then eat within a window that ends by 7pm. You can drink water, black coffee and tea the entire time but nothing else. It is amazing. My energy level and my concentration has never been better. You can google Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor who prescribes Intermittent Fasting to heal his clients.
My friend Eve Meyer just released a New York Times Best Selling Book on this very subject with with Dr. Jason Fung about her own journey and how easy IF can be. Here is a link to the book on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/LookatLifeinthefastlane
6. Shift Your Mindset
Practice yoga and meditation. I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years and became a Yoga Instructor because of the vast benefits I received in terms of my mental and physical health. If you are a beginner, now is a great time as there are so many yoga instructors offer videos online.
Yoga combines strengthening and stretching poses or Asanas with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. It’s a “total mind-body workout.” Yoga truly helps reduce stress and anxiety and promote mental and physical stamina. Studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing anxiety and overcoming depression. Being mindful makes one aware of what one is feeling and experiencing in the moment and allows you to remain in a calm, accepting state.
Yoga and other meditative techniques have proven highly effective in reducing or deactivating the “anticipatory anxiety” normally associated with generalized anxiety disorder. I do teach private virtual lessons if you are interested. I know that yoga can be intimidating. With the right teacher and mindset, it will open up a wonderful new world for your mind and your health.
Every night write down 3 things that you are grateful for. After a week or so, you will train your brain to look for these things throughout the day and you will begin to see a lift in your mood.
I hope these tips help you during this uncertain time as well as beyond. Please reach out if I can help you release any anxiety, fear, stress, worry, doubts or more. You don’t need to suffer. I am just a Zoom call away!