The world has been turned upside down as a result of this global pandemic. No one is immune from its impact. Fear and worry are consuming waking hours but that very feeling of panic can contribute to making you ill. Unrelenting stress compromises your immune system so now more than ever it is important to learn ways to handle the stress, reduce anxiety and feel safe. Personal Development Coach Peggy Sealfon, and author of the book Escape From Anxiety, offers these suggestions:
- Change your focus. Stop watching or listening to news reports all day. Doing so will keep your attention on fear and panic. Energy follows attention. Instead, take a break and focus on something positive: how cool it is that your kids are learning at home; that you have time to do projects around the house. You might create an at-home spa hour with a warm bath or take an online yoga class or go for a walk outdoors. Redirect your attention to something pleasureable.
- Breathe slowly. Take notice of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Pause and take a deep sigh which will signal your nervous system to calm down. Take these “time-outs” throughout the day, especially at moments when you’re feeling tensions. Try the 3-Minutes-to-Destress recording.
- Use mindfulness and meditation. We exist in our minds and our egos are always figuring out worst case scenarios which is for our protection and survival. However when you live in your mind envisioning a calamitous future, you are sabotaging your immediate ability to tap into resilence and wellbeing. So being aware of what you’re feeling and using meditation can help restore an important biological connection of mind and body and create a sense of peace. Use the free meditation Peggy just created for this time of crisis. Start your day with it.
A Gratitude Meditation to Stop Anxiety.
- Be present. As you’re reading this, are you okay? Notice your surroundings. Are you in danger in this moment? It’s easy to imagine what MIGHT happen but notice what IS happening right now. Notice what you’re feeling in your body. How do your feet feel? Legs? Arms? What are you smelling? Activate your five senses to notice what is apparent in this moment. Wash your hands...and notice how the bubbles of soap look, how the water feels, how you’re taking care of yourself!
- Play. Really! Actively playing can stimulate brain function, reduce stress, improve creativity and uplift your mood. George Bernard Shaw said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Try board games, online games, play charades online with friends, sing, dance, draw, build with building blocks (or use toilet paper rolls...lol!). Do something that is fun...just for the joy of it!
- Eat healthy and get enough sleep. Be sure to keep your immune system boosted by making good choices right now. If you need some extra help, check out two Supercharge Your Life programs: Eat Healthy or Get Better Sleep
If you need to talk to a professional, contact Peggy Sealfon-Stonewater Studio. She’ll help you get focused on tools you can use to start feeling better right away. Email her or connect and message her on Facebook. Or check out her website for lots of free relaxation tools.