We each have the ability to calm anxiety and stress levels. It’s a matter of having the right tools. Let’s talk about some natural ways to relax and try to enjoy this time of staying inside and keeping ourselves and our loved ones calm and relaxed.
Here are some great ways to alleviate stress and anxiety.
1. Read Fiction
Reading fiction can really take you away to another place and time. It’s also great for your brain! The libraries and brick and mortar book stores are closed but you can always shop online or check out ebooks from the online library.
2. Do Something Kind for Someone Else
Check in on elderly or single neighbors and friends and family. A phone call or text will mean a lot right now. Make handmade cards (or have the kids do it) and mail them to people you appreciate or just want to brighten their day. If you can, donate to charities who are helping others in need. Order from your favorite restaurant for delivery or pickup to help them stay in business.
3. Do Something Kind for Yourself
Treat yourself to a facial at home. Give yourself a break from worry. Order food delivery. Start planning a future vacation. Visit travel blogs or websites or you could watch travel documentaries on PBS or Curiosity Stream. Imagine being there and what that is like. Take a bath. Get dressed up, even with nowhere to go. Fix your favorite dish.
Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for others. Make a point of doing something kind for yourself today.
Exercise is a great stress buster. It also increases endorphins, our happy hormones. And it’s also one of the top things you can do for your brain. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain (and everywhere else) and is thought to be a deterrent for dementia and Alzheimer’s. You might want to read my article on Exercise and Brain Function.
Related Article: Does Exercise Help Brain Function?
Even just dancing will help your mood and get you some great exercise. Put on some music and go for it!
5. Relaxation and Mindfulness – The Here and Now
Being mindful is about turning off your worry and stressful thoughts and paying attention to what’s around you and your body. Focus on how you feel, physically and mentally. Look at the trees, the grass or whatever is outside your window. Take a walk and pay attention to nature along the way.
Pay attention to your breathing, how walking feels, watch a candle, or pay attention to thoughts and feelings. Turn off auto-pilot and pay attention. This is a great way to reel in stress and anxiety and just ‘be’.
You might even try more formal meditation. Meditation helps reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and gives your body a break from stress. It can be as simple as sitting and remembering or visualizing a beautiful place in nature. There are books and online resources to provide some additional methods. You might want to check out my article on The Mindful Habit for more on mindfulness.
6. Practice Gratitude
Being thankful for the good things you have actually changes your chemistry. In fact, feelings of gratitude increase the happy hormone, dopamine. As difficult as it is staying home, you can look for the small things you are thankful for. These days, that could even be having toilet paper. 🙂 I’m grateful my family is well and I am also grateful I have internet and so many products can be ordered online or delivered. Whatever it is that you feel grateful for, be thankful to help relieve stress or anxiety.
There are some great supplements to help with stress and anxiety. Magnesium is a great one and most people are actually low on magnesium. It helps you get to sleep and also keeps you ‘regular’. It definitely has a calming effect.
Related Article: Side Effects of Low Magnesium
CBD Oil is also great for stress and sleeping well. It will help anxiety. CBD Oil can be THC free so you don’t need to worry about getting ‘high’ or failing a drug test. Check out my article on CBD:
Related Article: CBD Oil for Brain Health
Vitamin D is a good prohormone to increase your feelings of well-being. Unless you live near the equator, you probably don’t get enough. Notice how you feel happier in the warm, sunny months and less happy in winter? Some people even get seasonal depression from lack of sun. It could actually be a lack of Vitamin D. I noticed that this past winter I didn’t get that ‘bluesy’ feeling, since I’ve been taking 5,000-10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D per day.
Related Article: Side Effects of Low Vitamin D
Where We Are Now
So there you have it, my suggestions to calm anxiety and stress. Try them out. I think you’ll find they really do help. I hope you’re staying home and staying safe. I’m thinking of all of us as we brave this ‘new world’.
Thanks for reading today! If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment in the Comments section below.