1. Participate in Relaxing Activities
Participating in relaxing activities, such as yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises, can lower your stress levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Taking just a small amount of time each day to take one or all of these measures can truly make an impact on the rest of your day or night's sleep. Headspace is a great meditation app that offers both free and membership programs which allow you to relax and take your mind off of reality. Yoga With Adriene is an amazing YouTube channel where you can practice the art of yoga and the various poses within the physical activity.
2. Talk it Out
It is important to remind yourself that your friends and family members are there for you. Being vulnerable, when you're ready, allows you to discuss with others what is going on in your life. Friends and family members can be there to listen and may give you some really great advice to help you solve any issues or give you their own tips on how they handle stressful situations and powerful feelings. During the pandemic, there are many people who are still unable to physically see their family and friends due to travel bans or even possessing the fear of coming into contact/spreading COVID-19. Technology has been a blessing in the year of 2020; utilize FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, or other video chat resources to call your friends and family members so that you can keep in touch and update each other on what's going on in your life. Another resource available to some, if you're comfortable, is to talk to a therapist os psychiatrist. BetterHelp is a great resource for those seeking professional behavioral health specialists where you can virtually talk to a counselor.
3. Invest in Products Made for Relaxation and/or Anxiety
There are many products that can be helpful when trying to reduce anxiety. For one, essential oils have been proven to enhance strong emotions. Lavender, ylang ylang, and orange are three oils that can be used to reduce those feelings. Lavender is great to use when trying to relax, ylang ylang is great to destress, and orange is an essential oil to calm the room. You can put these in an essential oil diffuser or even put the oils, after diluting them some, behind your ears, on your chest, or even in a hot tea. Another product that can ease anxiety is a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are used as a pressure therapy where it puts your nervous system in a more calm state. They are a great way for individuals to calm down in various situations.
4. Try Focusing on the Good and/or What Makes You Happy
Through anxious feelings, it can be comforting to focus on what you are grateful for or what makes you less anxious and happy. One way to do this is to write down what you are thankful for each day on a piece of paper and store it in a box or jar; later or whenever you may feel anxious, pull this box/jar out and read your happy thoughts and comments. This may put you in a better mental state. Also, journaling or bullet journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out and even track your mental health progress. By doing this, you are able to track when you have good days and when you have bad ones; these visual representations of your mental health can help track down what may trigger your anxiety and even panic attacks. Find an activity or activities that you can partake in during your free time. This enables your mind to focus on something rather than your overwhelming feelings and emotions. Knitting, hammocking outside, painting, or coloring are all just a few ideas that came to my mind.
As a reminder, everyone copes with stress and anxiety differently. It is important that you explore and find what works best for you and how to handle your personal challenges and emotions. Talking about hard subjects can be difficult at times, but the more we discuss mental challenges, the more we are all able to see individuals for their truly authentic selves and help one another.
Written by: Kelso Brown
Graphics by: Kelso Brown