Grow with the flow......
So the world has been a strange place for many of us to live in during the past months. Many people have suffered or are still suffering with anxiety because of the uncertainty around travel, Financial stress, distance from friends and family and isolation.
So what can we do to try and lessen the anxiety and stress?
Try and speak to your friends and family, if not in person, through zoom groups, face time or other social media apps. Luckily, in this day and age many apps provide free calls so there is no excuse for a nice long chat. If you can, try and check on elderly neighbours who may not have access to social media and who can feel more isolated as a result.
Try to get out in the fresh air if you can, either in your own garden, or in nearby parks or rural havens. Nature has a wonderful way of providing calmness and peace and generally making things seem better. Walking on grass or sand in your bare feet, getting up close and personal to a tree or just enjoying the sounds of nature helps to ground and calm you.
Find something to occupy your mind. Crafts, baking or learning something new helps to fill the day and give a focus and sense of achievement. There are online courses on just about every subject you could wish and many of them are free.
Breathe. If you feel particularly stressed or anxious practice the 4, 7, 8 method of breathing. Breathe in for 4, hold it for 7, and breathe out slowly for 8. If you find this difficult just try breathing in for less counts than you breathe out. When we are frightened or startled we take a quick breath in. This puts our bodies into fight or flight mode, ready to react to the cause. Conversely, when some thing stressful or frightening is over we let out a sigh or relief which signals to our bodies that the danger is over. By doing 4 of these breaths regularly or when needed we are telling our body that it can calm down.
Use this strategy to diffuse a panic attack. Name 5 things around you you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Focusing on this takes the focus away from the attack and allows your body to relax.