Anxiety and stress are two negative emotions I have battled for most of my life. The difference now however, is the fact that these emotions used to be constantly present- and now days, they typically only come up during times of extreme pressure.
And these moments of extreme pressure are often disguised in scenarios that are out of my control.
Things that are big, scary, and uncertain.
Things like a world lock down.
AKA, things like COVID-19.
Yep, that’s right- if there was ANYTHING that could cause my anxiety and stress levels to spike, this would be it.
Therefore, in recognizing that, I’ve been doing EVERYTHING I can to help keep myself in a good place mentally.
In fact, investing in my own self-care hasn’t just remained a part of my daily routine- it has become a mandatory and crucial part of my overall sanity.
You see, one of the most important things I’ve learned over the last few years, is that I am in control of my emotions.
I choose how I feel.
I choose how I react.
I choose how I respond.
And learning how to change my frame of mind is one of the greatest skills I’ve built.
But that’s just it- changing your mindset is a skill that anyone can build. A habit that you CAN create. And quite honestly, I believe that it’s one we can’t live without.
Therefore, today I am sharing with you my top tips/tools that I use to shift my mindset and find positivity in times of uncertainty.
These tools are things that I use on a daily basis to calm me down, get me into a good head space, and allow me operate as my highest self.
And hopefully, some of these tips help you too!
TOOLS TO FIND POSITIVITY IN ANY SITUATION:
🏋🏼♀️EXERCISE– It makes you happy! *Insert Legally Blonde Quotes Here*. In all seriousness though, working out really does release endorphins- so not only does it help keep you healthy and fit, it also vastly improves your mood. Below are a few of my FAVOURITE home workout routines you can do anywhere. Pro Tip: No weights? No problem. Use whatever you have lying around at home instead. Pasta sauce jars, books, wine bottles- no judgement! 😉
🤸🏼♀️YOGA– From downward dog to moving onward! Yoga (and/or stretching) is a HUGE stress reliever for me. Each morning I do a minimum of 15 minutes, and honestly, it is one of the best parts of my morning routine. Outside of the obvious benefits of improved physical health and flexibility, yoga has been shown to slash stress, improve overall feelings of positivity AND reduce anxiety. YAY! Therefore, I suggest doing yoga whenever you need to calm your body, mind or soul- and here’s a few of my favourite flows:
🧘🏼♀️MEDITATION– Take a mental break! Last week in my Happiness Tribe group I shared how meditation can have an INCREDIBLE impact on our overall mindset including stress reduction, eliminating anxiety, improving our intention span, enhancing self awareness, improving emotional health and so much more! Meditation is something I have been practicing for a couple of years now, and it has honestly been a huge part of my own healing journey.
Meditation is about finding stillness- an emotional space for us between a ‘stimulus’ and our ‘response’. By developing this practice we become aware of our traits, habits and triggers, and learn how to effectively ‘flip’ our mindset at any given time. I recommend incorporating a minimum of 5 minutes per day- and if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go!
Here are some of my favourite guided meditations:
📝JOURNALING– When in doubt, write it out! There is just something SO therapeutic about journaling. Not only does it help you get your thoughts out of your head, but it also gives you immense clarity. There are many different types of journaling, so I recommend trying different styles until you find something you enjoy that works for you. I personally, love to follow guided prompts or do ‘freehand’ journaling. I find that this style helps me in the most direct way, and sometimes following guided questions can help you get started if you aren’t sure how or where to begin.
Below I have shared some of my favourite guided prompts you can use to help get you started. Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you, and focus on completing 1-2 questions per day! Should you be interested in an actual journal, the Daily Greatness brand is my favourite.
Here are the prompts:
What’s going well and why is it?
What’s most challenging and how can I turn it to my advantage?
Today I am grateful for:
How did I feel in my body today and why?
My intention for today is/was:
What habits do I most want to improve and why?
What I love about my body is:
In what way did I practice conscious eating today?
Today is my opportunity to:
What did I notice about my mindset today?
Today is going to be (or was) great because:
What was today’s lesson?
I am excited to create:
How did I show discipline and move closer towards my wellness goals today?
Today I am going to focus on being:
Today would be amazing if:
What strengths did I use today?
Today I practiced mindfulness when:
What is the biggest thing holding me back and why?
If I could do anything I wanted to do, what would I choose?
Today I am open to the possibility of:
What went well today?
📚READING– One of my favourite self-care activities and regular hobbies! I personally love reading as a way to ‘escape reality’ and calm my mind. It actually is one of my greatest distraction techniques to date, and is a tool that has served me well for most of my life. Now, what you read is up to you, but I recommend finding something that helps to reduce your stress (not make it worse). Therefore, I would suggest avoiding anything that fuels the fire- so if you are currently experiencing high levels of stress with COVID-19, then it is probably best that you avoid reading research articles or news posts.
I personally tend to reach for mystery novels (Mary Higgins Clark is my FAVOURITE), or personal growth and development books. When I am picking up a book it is either to entertain me, distract me, teach me something or to help me become/do better in some area of my life. Speaking specifically to the latter, I have compiled a short list of some of my favourite reads to help you do just that!
You can check them out here:
📱DISTANCE– Get off that dam social media train! In times of uncertainty, we can become overly-obsessed with social media and what the world is up too. However, what we need to realize is that we are the only ones who can determine what our own individual triggers are. Therefore I encourage you need to ask yourself, what makes my anxiety worse?
For me personally, it’s social media, the spreading of misinformation, paranoia of others and everything else in between. For that reason, I’ve chosen to take a pretty big step back from social media lately, and it has had a really positive impact on my mindset. I truly believe that there is a big difference between precaution and paranoia, and I refuse to be ‘sucked down’ into a world of negativity. In order to do the same in your own life, you need to figure out what your triggers are, and make it your goal to find some distance!
🙏🏻GRATITUDE– Say thank you, and mean it! It goes without saying that we should be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives. It’s not just about showing gratitude for other people and being polite- it is also about creating abundance in our own lives! Afterall, as they say, you attract what you put out into this world… and I am a firm believer in that!
I strongly believe that if we focus on all the good, amazing and incredible things we have in our lives (at any given time), we will attract even more of those good things! Writing our a daily gratitude list has been a practice of my own for quite some time, but lately I’ve been making it more of a priority. Therefore, I encourage you to focus on all the amazing things you have in your life- because no matter what is going on, you have SO much to be thank full for! Try committing to a daily gratitude practice of writing out 10 things you are grateful for each day. After a week you might just surprise yourself with how much better you feel!
👩🏼🤝👩🏼BE PRESENT– One of the biggest things that a lot of us have to be grateful for, is having our loved ones home with us during these uncertain times. Therefore, I encourage you to take the time to celebrate that, and show them how much you appreciate them by being truly present with them. Connecting with our loved ones is something special, and this alone can shift our mood significantly.
I personally have made sure that the majority of my time (outside of a couple hours of ‘work’ each day) has been dedicated to spending quality time with my husband, without our phones. And in doing so, I’ve recognized a few things- I’ve never felt happier, and we have grown incredibly close over the last 2+ weeks.
Try playing a board game or doing another activity with your loved one(s) to connect on a deeper level!
📆STRUCTURE– Find organization amongst the chaos. If your life looks anything like mine, you likely have a ‘new normal’ when it comes to your routine that is vastly different from before. As I’ve been working from home for a long time, realistically not much should have changed. But the fact that hubby is now home with me, it has! I don’t enjoy spending 8-10 hours a day working when he is home, because as I said, I prefer to spend my time with him.
Therefore, I’ve made some pretty big changes. Instead of doing that, I’ve been working only 2-3 (or 4 hours max) each day- and I make sure that these few hours are extremely productive. I also try to schedule my ‘working hours’ during the time when hubby goes out in the garage to weld, does home projects or whatever else he gets up to.
Remember the priority list I’ve talked about before? If not, you can check out that post HERE. That is the exact method I’ve been using to keep me on task and keep my days structured- and trust me, IT WORKS! I highly recommend giving it a go, and seeing if it helps you to feel more calm and gives you the clarity you need to kick ass.
Well, there you have it babes! I hope this helps give you some ideas on what you can do to help flip your mindset and find positivity in this uncertainty.
I encourage you to do something today to help you move past any negative emotions or blockages you might be feeling.
Remember that this, like every challenge we face, is temporary.
It too, shall pass.
And if you take anything away from this post, let it be a reminder that you are a strong, capable, intelligent, fierce, resilient, determined, fearless and badass babe.
There is NOTHING that can stop you.
You are destined for greatness.
These challenges WILL make you stronger.
And most importantly:
You can totally do this! 🙏🏻
Now go kick some ass today, and make this world a better, more beautiful place.