Today we are looking at how to reduce your stress levels.
Stress is a big one my friend.
With the current global circumstances being what they are, it’s important that we practice a little stress management.
This is not to say don’t feel stressed, it’s totally valid to be stressed out. There’s a whole lot of shit going down with a bunch of uncertainty happening with it.
That’s why taking some moments to help manage your stress levels when you can is going to be beneficial to you long term, once things return to some semblance of normal.
I’ve spent a big part of my life managing anxiety, specifically anxiety around getting sick. It’s been a challenge that has at times consumed my life.
What I share in this episode are four of the best self care practices that I use to help manage my anxiety.
Which I’m gonna be honest, has been pretty high lately considering the global pandemic.
I know I’m not alone in my fear, which is why I thought now would be an excellent time to share some tools that help me.
The four tools I use to help reduce stress are:
- Grounding practices.
- Watching funny/uplifting videos that help me smile.
- Talking to someone and sharing my concerns.
- Moving my body.
1. Grounding Practice
My grounding practice of choice is to take the pointing finger of my left hand and slowly trace around each finger of my right hand, as I do this I count to ten.
As I do this I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth.
- I start at the outside base of my right thumb. I slowly trace up towards my finger tip, breathe in deeply and count ‘one’.
- As I come down the inside edge, I breathe out and count ‘two’.
- Then, as I pass up the side of my pointing finger, I breathe in and count ‘three’.
- As I come over the tip and down the other side I breathe out and count ‘four’.
- This continues around all my fingers until I reach 10 at the outside base of my little finger. From there I reverse the process counting down from 10 until I reach one at the base of my thumb.
I’ve found when I can take a moment to focus on something like this, that is helps calm me and helps me be present instead of getting caught up in the anxieties in my head.
2. Watching funny/uplifting videos
When it comes to funny videos, I like to watch animals doing funny things.
This is one of my favourite ways to reduce stress.
3. Talking to someone
Talking to someone can be super amazing and helpful, even if it’s a little scary a first. If you don’t have a close friends or partner/s that you can share with, there are a bunch of crisis support lines out there that can help you. In Australia we’re lucky to have some LGBTQIA+ specific support lines.
- If you’re in Victoria, Australia there is Switchboard or any other region of Aussie there’s Qlife – 1800 184 527. Here you can call of follow the links to web chat with someone.
- If you’re looking for a general help line there is Headspace for young people aged 12-25 – 1800 650 890
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline – 13 43 57
- If you’re outside Australia this list may have the number for the crisis line in your country.
If talking isn’t your bag, starting a journal may be the next best thing for you. Begin by just writing down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be perfect sentences. It could just be words of feelings that you’re having.
This is YOUR outlet so feel good about being creative in writing in the ways that feels good for YOU.
Remember friends, you’re not alone. Please reach out to someone if you need help. It may be scary, it may seem hopeless, but it’s not always going to be this way.
4. Moving my body
If you are someone that wants to try moving as an outlet to help reduce stress, this is our warm up. It’s designed for all experience levels.
If you can’t get your movements to look like the ones in the video, that’s totally ok.
It can take time to develop the strength to get the full range in movements.
Remember, wherever you’re starting at is perfect.