For most of us, the weather is cold and grey, our workloads are out of control, and sometimes, getting out of bed in the morning is a difficult task. Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are real troubles that happen to everyday people, even when you think you’ve got a good handle on your busy lifestyle.
Needing a quick fix to quell your stressful days? Try some of these calming tips.
1. Deep breathing.
As someone who has dealt with anxiety before, I always thought that practicing deep breathing was a silly gimmick. But believe me – it’s not. If you’re feeling an extra weight on your shoulders that you just can’t seem to shake, take just a few minutes to really inhale and exhale, in through your nose and out through your mouth. It’s amazing what brand new oxygen can do to help clear your mind.
2. Support system.
While not all of us are near our families and friends on a daily basis, having a support system of these people as well as trusted peers, colleagues, or professionals does wonders for the stresses we find in our lives. Don’t be afraid to confide in someone you feel comfortable with – the wisest advice comes from those we love! And don’t forget about digital connection: technologies such as Skype and Google Hangout can bring you closer to the ones you miss most.
3. Staying nourished and hydrated.
It’s a piece of advice we seem to hear constantly: eat right and drink lots of water. But especially when the weather is cold and your spirits may be down, your body is begging for the extra vitamins and increased blood-flow. Hydration is key to having a sharp edge over your stress. Keep a bottle of water on you whenever possible!
4. Candles and/or incense.
There’s something very powerful about aromatherapy and its inherent ability to calm the senses. While completing some work or just unwinding, light a candle or two to take in the relaxing scent and the familiar glow of a flame. Nothing relaxes me more than burning some incense from my favorite tea room at home in Michigan.
Simple and straightforward: make lists. Whether they be written by hand or managed electronically (check out smartphone-friendly apps such as Clear, a personal favorite, or Tasks), having a visual representation of what you need to tackle on any given day – or week, or month – will allow you to organize your life, always reducing stress levels. Plus, you get the added joy of ticking a task off when completed!
If you feel that any depression or anxiety you may be experiencing cannot be helped with tips like these, please reach out to a close family member or friend, counselor, or health care professional. Sometimes we need the help of others to help ourselves.
Wishing you peace, tranquility, and confidence. You got this!