Some of us might be feeling some extra anxiety lately due to the coronavirus. Whether you're feeling unsettled about at-risk family members, work-related stress, not finishing school, or anything else, I wanted to write a post on how to soothe anxiety at home. The news and social media have been covering the coronavirus nonstop which may feel overwhelming to some.. anyway, we always need some good things to focus on! Am I right? So here's my top tips to relieve anxiety and stress. Comment down below and let me know what you think!
17 Ways to Self-Soothe Anxiety at Home
1. practice yoga or stretch
Follow along to a beginner's yoga video to redirect your thoughts and focus on your breathing. Yoga promotes slow, deep breathing and being in tune with your body which can help to make you feel more relaxed. If yoga isn't your thing, just do some traditional stretching and pay attention to your breathing.
2. try a guided meditation or apps like calm
If you haven't tried to meditate before, using a guided video or app on your phone can help you ease into it. Calm has a free trial and is a good choice if you are looking for simple exercises to practice.
3. take a bath
Make sure your tub is clean and fill it up with warm water for a relaxing bath. I don't take the time to have a bath often so this could be a nice treat to yourself! Add some epsom salts or a few drops of lavender essential oil and close our eyes.
4. try the 5,4,3,2,1 technique:
Here's how it works:
Write down 5 things you can see (look out a window or study your surroundings) Write down 4 things you can feel (a soft blanket, smooth pillow, textured jacket)
Write down 3 things you can hear (traffic, rain, birds) Write down 2 things you can smell (candle, freshly cut grass) Write down 1 good thing about yourself (there's way more than just one by the way!!)
5. read your favorite book and get lost in a story
Growing up I loved to read fiction books and let myself get lost in the story. It's so fun to get wrapped up in some other world and connect with the characters and storyline. Find a book lying around in your house that you haven't read yet and go for it!
6. facetime family and friends to feel connected
Sometimes talking to the right person can just put you at ease. Think about who you'd love to talk to right now and give them a call! Talk about what you're anxious about, ask them about their day, plan something to do together once the chaos is over. Just because you're staying at home, doesn't mean you can't be connected with the people you love!
7. diffuse essential oils or breathe in some lavender
I used to inhale essential oils before a big exam in college or before going to a doctor appointment to help myself relax and stay grounded. I even keep a bottle of lavender essential oil in my desk at work. You can also get diluted oils in roll-on bottles that you can rub onto your wrists or the bottoms of your feet. I use this one by Rocky Mountain Oils before bed.
8. dim your lighting
There's nothing worse than blinding, florescent lighting. Turn off overhead lighting and switch on a lamp or a salt rock lamp instead. I love to relax or do yoga in dim lighting because the overall mood is just more relaxing. You can also switch out your lightbulbs for more warmer toned ones too.
9. listen to relaxing music
Turn on your favorite band or background music. I loveee music in general and it always helps me unwind. I recommend listening to Ray LaMontagne and John Mayer for some relaxing tunes.
10. reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine can make some people feel jittery. There's actually something called caffeine-induced anxiety disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association. Try to reduce how much caffeine you're drinking, especially if you're sensitive to it, so your body feels more at rest.
11. journal and get your feelings out
Don't ignore your emotions and push them aside. Instead, grab a journal or notebook and let it outttt. Getting your thoughts down on paper can help you feel more calm and collected. You can also revisit these notes later to see how you're coping with anxious thoughts or what is on your mind the most over time. Check out this post to learn how to reduce stress by journaling and other benefits.
12. cuddle with your pet, pal, or partner
Cuddling has been found to help reduce stress. I freakin' love cuddling and I've always been a hugger. Curl up on the couch next to your pup, watch a chic flick with your sister, or cling onto your significant other until they can't take the cuddles anymore haha.
13. drink a cup of green tea
Green tea does have some caffeine, however it increases serotonin levels which are those happy signals our body sends to our brain. This mood booster can help relieve feelings of depression and anxiety. Serotonin is mostly found in our digestive systems which is also why you should value good gut health!
14. watch funny videos and let yourself laugh
If all else fails, find those silly and ridiculous videos online that just crack you up! Follow a funny Instagram account or have your friends send you their favorite clips to watch. When I see a video that is weird or hilarious I always DM it to my brother and sometimes we exchange a thread of funny videos.
15. play with your pets
Go outside and play with your dog or chill with your cat and other pets inside. Playing with your pets can help reduce stress and anxiety. Think about when you see therapy dogs visit your school or your grandparent's assisted living home! Everyone just has a smile on their face.
16. drink chamomile tea at night
Herbal teas do not naturally contain caffeine and chamomile can help you feel more relaxed. If you feel anxious in the evening, drink some chamomile tea to promote good sleep and reduce insomnia. My favorite tea is Traditional Medicinals.
17. consider a melatonin supplement to help you sleep
If you're still having trouble managing anxiety and it is affecting your sleep, consider taking melatonin before bed. Start with the lowest recommended dose and use only when needed. Melatonin improves your quality of sleep and manages cortisol levels (your stress hormone).
Thanks for reading through these 17 ways to self-soothe anxiety at home! I hope at least one of these tips stuck with you and will help you feel more relaxed during this time. Keep going down the list and trying out each of these tips until you find one that helps to relieve your anxiety. If you need an extra friend to lean on right now, don't hesitate to send me a message or email.
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