Originally I was going to write an article about COVID-19, which changed to geo political issues, then inflation and finally I realized the last 3 years have been crazy!
What could I possibly write that might provide some value for those of you struggling with stress and anxiety.
Mine has been off the charts lately mainly focused around my business and the cost of living but with everything going on around me, it seems to be a common trend.
After discussing said topics with some friends, I’ve decided to put forth a list of things we can all do to help combat these feelings.
1. Stay off social media. As if things weren’t already bad enough, you’d think by browsing your social media feeds, the world was literally already over. I’m a huge culprit of this, but WE MUST DISCONNECT. I’d suggest either setting aside an hour or two per day with no media at all OR you can use your smart phone to actually set time limits on app usage. I have mine set at 1 hour per day which is spent on business purposes 90% of the time.
2. Exercise. Get outside, get some sun and move around. Not only does exercise and movement naturally boost your immune system and reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety, but doing so outside gets you the added benefit of Vitamin D. Don’t make things complicated. Move around for 20-30 minutes everyday. Hell 10,000 steps per day is amazing starting point. If you have the resources, hire a coach.
3. Commit yourself to a social activity. I’m not suggesting you do anything high risk or that makes you uncomfortable, I’m simply stating that some form of socialization whether with close friends or family will certainly cheer you up. The past 2 years of isolation have led to increases in depression, substance abuse, domestic violence just to name a few. It’s ok to not be ok, but just know that you’re not alone. Go spend some time with your loved ones.
4. Look for the positive. I know for some of you this is hard. It took me a while to realize this, but there is always someone out there that has it much worse than you. That shouldn’t necessarily make you feel good, but understanding this should help you find solace and gratitude in the beauty of life. Even if it just means being thankful for your health. You can try starting a gratitude journal every morning, listing a few reasons why you are grateful
5. Mental Exercises. I start every morning with Silence. This includes mediation, prayer and breathing work. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve been doing this routine for 1499 days and counting. Those close to me know I’m a different person than I was 3.5 years ago. I’m not perfect. Nowhere near it. But I spend the first 15-20 minutes of every morning working to make myself better by practicing silence.
Try and start somewhere. Don’t get overwhelmed and just remember that worrying about things that you cannot control will simply add more to your plate. Stay healthy and be well.