We are living through some pretty stressful, anxiety-provoking times at the moment, and today, I thought I’d share some ideas for how to get through tough times. We can all use a bag of tricks to turn to when the going gets tough, and these are a few things that have helped me survive rough times.
- Get outside. Take a walk, turn your face to sun, put your feet on the earth, breathe the fresh air. Just stepping outside and looking up at the sky can change your mood or outlook. Nature is good for us.
- Look away from your phone or TV. The constant barrage of negativity and divisiveness we’re being fed isn’t healthy, and I don’t think it’s an accurate portrayal of how the majority of people are actually feeling – call me an optimist. Turn off the noise. It helps.
- Get in the water. Go for a swim, take a shower, or luxuriate in a hot bath. Water’s calming effect can quiet the mind and center us. If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach, go! Put your toes in the sand, take a dip in the water and restore yourself. (And text me a picture.)
- Stay hydrated. Just like being in the water is restorative, so too is being sure your insides have plenty of water. Slice some lemon or cucumbers for flavor, or grab your favorite sparkling water. Add some EmergenC or Airborne for an extra immunity boost.
- Nap. If you can, lie down and close your eyes. Even 20 minutes of rest can refresh you and give you the energy to continue your day with a brighter outlook.
- Call that friend who always makes you laugh. And yes, it’s the person you immediately thought of when reading that! Laughing is one of the best stress relievers there is, and we can all use some humor and light in our lives right now.
- Have sex. With yourself or someone else! It helps, and you know it.
- Engage in your spiritual practice. Pray, meditate, go to your place of worship, dance in the woods. Whatever it is, turn to your spiritual practice for comfort and hope.
- Eat nourishing foods. We have a tendency to turn to junk when we’re stressed, and that really doesn’t help. Fresh, whole foods are the better choice always but most especially when we’re feeling down and anxious. Make a giant salad, grill some fish or chicken, grab some whole grain crackers. Your gut and mind will thank you.
- Play. Grab your kids for a game of tag or hide & seek. Drag out the Jenga or cards. Alone? Get a puzzle or crossword. Play gets your mind of the “junk.”
- Crank up the tunes. Turn on your favorite music – you know, the stuff that always makes you feel good. Get up and dance if you want to. Invite your family members to join in. This is one of our favorite ways to spend weekend nights at our house and always puts everyone in a great mood!
- Maintain perspective. Remember that nothing, nothing lasts forever. Eventually, everything changes. Sometimes those changes come from something being thrust upon us, and sometimes they come because we have taken action. This, too, shall pass.
In the end, it’s up to each of us to keep ourselves sane and balanced. I know there are countless other ways to do this besides the things I’ve listed here. What are you doing to stay calm, healthy, and grounded today?