Helping you manage stress, reduce anxiety and feel more balanced
As you navigate through these uncertain times you may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. We're all experiencing this together, you are not alone, whatever you're going through. Whether you're on your own and feeling lonely, have fallen ill, an employee continuing to work and feeling stressed, a front-line champion, or perhaps you have lost your job and you're worrying about your finances or stuck at home in harsh surroundings, struggling in your relationships and trying to manage with kids out of school, we all need support through this. Here are a few tips to help you to reduce stress and anxiety levels and re-balance and re-connect your mind and body.
Reflect with compassionate curiosity
As we're experiencing an emotionally turbulent time let's learn to self-soothe and self-regulate as best we can with the resources we have. By listening to our body and paying attention to our thoughts and feelings whilst always maintaining compassion for ourselves, we can learn to respond to stressful triggers more mindfully. I find the APPLE technique helpful:
- Acknowledge, accept and be open to what you're experiencing in the now.
- Pause and take a deep breath.
- Pull back into a compassionate and observing place.
- Let go and imagine the 'space' between the stimulus and response where a choice lies.
- Explore the present moment.
We can extend the act of building a compassionate attitude to a compassionate self-care routine such as taking time out to read or meditate or watch a funny, 'feel-good' film; whatever feels nourishing for your mind, your body and your soul.
Reconnect to your authenticity
The pause button has been collectively pressed for us all and we're in a situation where we may have a little more time and freedom to look inwards and understand our true selves, how we relate to ourselves and others and what our authentic meaning is in this world; moving from a place of unconscious disconnection to conscious connection. Now is an opportunity to reconnect to who we really are and understand how we can best move forward and become consciously engaged with our lives, from a place of empowerment and authenticity. By reconnecting to ourselves and others through truth and with love, we can move towards a place of healing and happiness.
Restore your mind and body by focusing on the breath
As Eckhart Tolle said: "Be aware of your breathing. Notice how this takes attention away from your thinking and creates space", this can help us to sit in that blissful space of awareness where we can observe our thoughts with curiosity and compassion. The simple act of breathing in for five seconds and out for five seconds can activate the vagus nerve which acts as a brake on the stress response and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system relaxing the body so that we can return to that place of calm and peace within.
Rejuvenate through movement
Through the simple yet powerful art of movement, whether it's in the form of yoga, a deep stretch, or a walk in nature, whatever is possible and safe for you in that moment, can act as a cathartic release of stress and tension in both mind and body. By moving the body we allow the free flow of vital energy force and 'feel good' hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, to flood our system, boosting our mood, creating a sense of balance and calm within and reducing stress levels. By moving, we also improve our sleep patterns and the more time we spend in restorative sleep the better our immune functionality and our mental health.
Rediscover and reinvigorate your creativity
This can be seen as a time to reconnect to our playful and creative selves. What creative pursuit have you put aside due to your busy life or perhaps due to a faulty belief you've held from years ago that you're not quite good enough? Now is the time to pick up that paintbrush and express your true self on that blank canvas or allow the whirling words within to fill those empty pages; whatever creative outlet feels right for you. By letting our creative juices flow we can start to reconnect to our true and playful selves and develop a playful sense of connection with others.
We're all experiencing this together, you're not alone, now is a time to reach out and connect and ask for the support you need.