It's very easy nowadays to get overwhelmed. I know very well how paralysing anxiety, stress, depression can be. But I have learned many techniques through therapy, friends, meditation etc which have helped me to cope and I'm happy to share these with you now and hope they work just as well!
Just breathe - It seems a very silly and simple thing to say but taking deep breaths calms your body and mind and gives you something to focus on. Count your breathes in and out, making your outbreath a little longer and this will signal to your body to relax.
Meditate - Like breathing, meditation is a great way to practise calming your mind and taking yourself elsewhere. Yes, it's tough at first to empty your mind but try using a guided meditation app like Headspace or Calm to start out.
Do your times tables - Not talking an easy 2 times table, try 8 or 9 timetables. This will get you concentrating on something else, distracting you from negative thoughts. And maybe even improve your math skills .
Puzzles! - Similar to step 2. Puzzles in particular are good as they work on your cognitive mind so all your attention goes to the activity and away from negative thoughts. Some of my favourites are Sudoku or Picross.
Exercise - It increases serotonin levels making you feel better and will make you a healthier person in mind and body. You don't have to slog it out at the gym, just a walk outside is good. Plus getting in more sunlight will help your mood.
Write it down - Like most people my mind seems to go a mile a minute when I'm trying to sleep. One great tip I highly recommend; have a notebook by your bed to write down any worries. That way you can put them somewhere and forget about them until the morning. Also writing down positive things that have happened to refer to in the future when you're feeling down or even doodling can give you a creative way to work out your stress.
Talk to someone - So very hard to do but so very rewarding. I believe everyone can benefit from at least one session with a therapist or counsellor. Even talking to a friend or member of the family will help unburden you.
Pamper yourself - Whether it's soaking in a lushly scented bath with a bowl of ice cream, painting your nails, soaking your feet or just spending time by yourself however you enjoy it, it's important to have me-time to relax. Down time is very important for health and you should never feel guilty about taking some time off for yourself.
I hope these come in useful and prove that there are many ways that you can take care of yourself, even when it feels impossible. Do you have any other methods? Tried any of the above? Please do share and take care of yourselves.
A Moodscope member.
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