We’re still in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and as the world begins to re-open, you may still be experiencing increased levels of anxiety and are wondering how to handle this stress as you transition back to work and a regular routine. Don’t worry (No pun intended!), you’re definitely NOT ALONE in feeling this way! We’re living in CRAZY times like nothing else the modern world has ever experienced, so it’s completely normal to have increased levels of stress or feelings of general “unease” as we go about our days, veiled in a layer of constant uncertainty.
In this post, I’m going to give you quick tips to implement into your daily routine with wellness tips from a licensed counselor & certified Wellness Coach (that would be me! 😊). I also suffer from generalized anxiety and social anxiety myself, which became much worse after I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, which then turned into the auto-immune disease known as Hashimoto’s disease. Not only have I worked with both children and adults, but I know the struggle first-hand!
These natural anxiety-relief tips can effectively help reduce ALL forms of anxiety, both temporary, situational anxiety and chronic, generalized anxiety. The key is to STICK WITH IT and try these tips more than once!
Coping with anxiety and stress is really a series of lifestyle changes, understanding the source/root causes of your anxiety, and re-framing our thoughts and response to anxiety triggers over time to effectively stop the cycle.
A Bonus for those that aren’t fans of meditation and/or yoga is that since these tips are designed for on the go, there’s only ONE meditation recommendation and it’s different than what you think! I know meditation, yoga, & the usual recommendations aren’t for everyone, or maybe just aren’t for you right now in your current life.
This post is designed to be a quick list-style read to offer helpful suggestions with a little bit of info about how it works or why I’m recommending it. I typically do very long posts, but I wanted to keep this one short and sweet! If you have any questions or would like me to do a full post on any particular topic, leave me a comment below! 💞
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10 EASY & Effective Ways to Reduce Stress on the Go!
✨Aromatherapy on the go via an Aromatherapy locket and/or an essential oil based, non-toxic perfume or aromatherapy roll-on. Aromatherapy via essential oils has been scientifically proven to alter brain patterns to elicit a sense of calm, uplifting feelings, while also giving us something else to focus on via the senses outside of the intrusive feeling of stress/anxiety. I go into a lot more detail in my post on Plant-based Perfume that DOUBLES as Aromatherapy from my favorite non-toxic perfume brand Twinkle Apothecary (You can save $5 off your first order by using my referral link!). This is the BEST way to take your aromatherapy with you ON THE GO! My personal recommendations would be the Be Calm Aromatherapy Blend, Blissed Perfume blend, Nasty Woman for an earthy/gender neutral blend, & Dope Queen is another great option from pain relief to stress relief benefits!
There are also many different styles of Aromatherapy necklaces & bracelets that are gender neutral or very unique to match your style. Some have lava beads that absorb the oil’s scent, other’s have pads that absorb the scent and stay housed in a locket with holes so you can take periodic whiffs of the essential oils and the unique stress-relieving properties they offer. Here are some of my current favorites: Leaf Diffuser Necklace in Rose Gold, Love this Affordable, Gender Neutral Stainless Steel Diffuser Necklace, This GORGEOUS Locket Style Necklace, & This Affordable, Gender Neutral Lava Rock Aromatherapy Necklace.
✨Utilize Deep Breathing in the moment of peak anxiety. Deep, productive breathing helps calm the levels of stress hormone, known as cortisol, that is pumping through your brain and tells your mind that you’re no longer in “fight or flight” mode, which will calm your heart rate, slow your racing thoughts, and keep your blood flowing evenly. Komuso is the ONLY brand that has created a necklace that helps a person learn to effectively breathe deeply on a therapeutic level! 🙌 I’ve heard very positive reviews from other therapists and I love the concept of having a necklace that can help facilitate deep breathing without making noise, so you can easily use it in your car, at your desk, throughout the day, or take a break from your desk at work to do your deep breathing without anyone even noticing. (I reached out to the brand for an exclusive coupon code for my readers! Use CODE CLARITY to save at Komuso!). You can also utilize this technique with or without the help of the Komuso necklace in the car, while walking, and even during meetings. The one bonus of having to wear masks in the era of covid-19 is that no one can see all of your facial expression!
For a different variation on using a necklace to facilitate deep, mindful breathing is this Sound Necklace that creates the ideal frequency that is said to calm the mind, instilling feelings of peace and love. Despite a few negative reviews, the majority of people who reviewed it are happy with it & REALLY love it! It’s a refreshing take on sound healing and breathe work combined.
✨Listening to audio books, motivational podcasts in the car/during your daily commute. If your commute or driving in general is a trigger or source of anxiety for you, audio books, self-help books, fiction books that you love, or podcasts that resonate with you or teach you something new is a LIFESAVER in the car and can make LONG commutes productive rather than an epic chore!
✨Drink herbal tea with calming herbs. Both the actual act of drinking a warm beverage and the power of herbal healing can work wonders in de-stressing throughout the day. My absolute favorite blends that are housed in little teabags for on-the-go: Tulsi Tea blends & Stress Relief Variety Pack of 6 different blends
✨Don’t exceed 200mg of caffeine a day (better yet, cut out caffeine altogether if you suffer from chronic anxiety!). If you can’t get through the day without some form of caffeine, stagger smaller amounts throughout the day and make small changes, like black tea instead of coffee or matcha green tea for a little pick-me up without causing anxiety flare-ups.
✨Always carry some form of pen and paper, small journal, or anything to write down all of your raging thoughts to release tension (You can do this during a break at work, lunch break, when you wake up, before you go to sleep, etc). You can always use an app on your phone, too, but there’s just something so therapeutic about the actual action of bringing pen to paper and writing things down. Anxiety follows a loop of negative thought patterns that go around and around in our minds until we feel so overwhelmed, everything becomes the tipping point. Getting out these thoughts on a daily basis is a very effective way to keep feelings from taking over, while also giving us an opportunity to look at a situation from different perspectives. The situation may still be the same, however, how we perceive the situation is at the heart of whether or not we become anxious about it or learn how to overcome the negative emotions we experience.
✨Listen to music! Melodic music has been scientifically proven to calm an overactive mind. If you find yourself struggling to stay on task and keep your focus while doing a project, playing LOW, soft instrumental music in the background (or with headphones on if you’re not by yourself) can actually ENHANCE productivity & concentration! My current favorite has been The Piano Guys.
However, the opposite occurs if it’s distracting music, played loudly, with lyrics IF you’re trying to focus on a task. If you happen to be in the car or public transportation, by all means play whatever floats your boat because ALL music (if it’s YOUR favorite kind) can do WONDERS to relieve pent up anxiety and serve as an outlet for tension. It also reconnects us to something we love and reminds us that there are still positive experiences to be had in life (which means A LOT when we’re going through tough times laden with anxiety and stress).
✨WALK IT OUT. Sometimes, we just need to MOVE OUR BODIES to clear our heads and get those feel-good neurotransmitters flowing! When I was in grad school full time, working, and interning all at the same time, I made sure I got my 10,000 steps in a day. Partially to stay fit, but also because I needed that movement to decompress from one job to the next, from one role to the next, etc. We wear so many hats throughout the day, it can be incredibly helpful to just get some space to process the days events. Walking, movement, and physical activity will result in a release of serotonin: ie, the brain’s “happy chemical”, which is also largely responsible for minimizing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Some easy ways to get more movement throughout the day: bathroom trips if you work in an office. Going for a short walk during your lunch break. Parking further away than you necessarily have to just to have more space to get from here to there on foot. Take the stairs instead of an elevator (especially nowadays in the Era of Covid-19!). Check out my fitness post for more workout tips and ideas, as well as my guide to losing weight with Hashimoto’s disease!
✨Eat small meals every 2-3 hours and always carry an emergency snack with you so that you maintain stable blood sugar levels and never enter into the dreaded “Hangry” status where your nerves are shot, your hands are shaking, and you’re ready to snap at anyone for simply looking at you 😅. Food is our FUEL, our sustenance that keeps us balanced, focused, and operating at our best. When we do things like skip breakfast, go all day without eating at work, only eat one or two meals a day, etc, our bodies have to adapt to this physical stress on TOP of the emotional stress we handle on a daily basis. You may think you’re fine going 8-10 hours without food during the day, but your body simply thinks you’re starving and a lot of give and take has to happen internally, which causes a lot of issues down the road. On a Holistic level, we need to strive to keep our bodies running optimally in order to keep our minds balanced. The mind/body connection is without a doubt one of the most important things to address in ultimately getting a handle on chronic anxiety.
✨SENSORY TOOLS ie: a Worry stone, stress ball, fidget spinner that you can hold in your hand and feel whenever you need something to help ground you. Another option is Mindfulness in Movement–drawing, doing the dishes, taking a shower, choose a bath instead of a shower, doing laundry, etc. The goal is to focus on the task at hand by utilizing and engaging your five senses of touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight. For example, while doing the dishes, focus on the sound of the water, the bubbles forming on the plates, the smell of the dish soap, the way the sponge feels against your skin, etc. What I love about this is that you can do this ANYWHERE even during the most mundane tasks. The idea is to get your mind to shift AWAY from intrusive thoughts that are cycling through your brain and moving your thoughts consciously to something else, taking back control of your mind. Once this skill is mastered, you can learn how to process your own thoughts in a non-judgmental way over time. Our thoughts only have as much power as we allow them to have.
These stress-relieving tips will help curb stress from a temporary situation to relieving generalized anxiety that occurs on a daily basis due to suffering from chronic anxiety. Establishing a routine and sticking to it is vital in overcoming feelings of being overwhelmed in a world that never stops. We may not be able to control life outside of ourselves, but we CAN control our reaction to the events we face!
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