With everything from our daily lives to big plans and dreams being placed on hold it’s important we remember to look after our mental health. These are testing times and it is only natural our minds and bodies are filled with stress, doubt, fear, and anxiety. When these feelings take over it can be hard to control them so I would like to share the tips I found helped.

 

1. Grounding 5-4-3-2-1.

Let’s start with one of the most common technique for dealing with anxiety that helps us to feel grounded when we are overwhelmed.

  • 5 – LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud.
  • 4 – FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud.
  • 3 – LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds.
  • 2 – SMELL: Say two things you can smell.
  • 1 – TASTE: Say one thing you can taste.
  • Take another deep belly breath to end.

 

2. Mind Dump

It’s time to dump all of these scrambling thoughts onto paper. Just as it helps to talk about our feelings with someone it’s also a great way to regain control over what’s running through our minds. Once they are on paper you may not feel there is so much traffic in your mind. It’s also nice to write 3 positive things you are thankful for so it’s not just all negative thoughts.

 

3. Breakup with your social media.

We all know spending time scrolling through social media can be a major trigger for anxiety. Be kind to your mind and take breaks. Try to focus your attention on tasks that will distract you. This is the perfect time to learn a new at-home hobby or skill. If you are not feeling creative then practicing mindfulness via guided apps or YouTube are a great way to control thoughts. Putting time limits on certain apps can help with this goal as it’s easy to lose track.  

 

4. Setting goals – Keeping busy

Some days if feels impossible to do anything. We want to cancel the day and hide away until it’s over. This can often make us feel defeated. On days like this try to set ”5 minute” goals. If something will only take 5 minutes, try it. Picking up any laundry, making the bed, practicing mindfulness or even just drinking some water. Eventually many positive little tasks have been achieved through the day that make you feel more accomplished and keep you busy.

5. Set boundaries

We want to be able to support each other but it’s also ok to say no and set personal boundaries. Let people know if you are not emotionally available while still showing respect and support. Taking on other people’s problems can sometimes add to your own. Allowing the people in your personal and work life to know you may be suffering can help as they may be more understanding.

 

Most importantly it’s important to never feel alone in your feelings. All feelings are valid and with the right support and techniques can becomes very manageable. No feeling is final.