How stressed are you feeling right now? Do you have this feeling of anxiety about switching to online classes and family members affected by COVID-19? Maybe you’ve lost a job and you’re a little freaked out, or trying to live with mom and dad again and, well, AHHHHHHH!
Well sit down, take a breath, and read these quick tips that can help you when everything is just TOO MUCH. Here are 6 Tips to help with anxiety or stressful situations:
We often forget the most basic thing we do to, ya know, live. When we are not mindful of our breathing, our breaths become short and fast. This can activate our fight or flight mode, which leads to us having heightened heart rates.
There are many different types of breathing techniques, but one that is fast and easy to remember is breathing deeply through the nose for 4 seconds and exhaling through the nose for 8 seconds. Just focusing on your breathing and counting can lower your heart rate and calm it down.
2. Physical activity
Believe it or not, but exercising lowers the stress hormones in your body, while also improving your sleep patterns.
You do not need to rush to the gym tomorrow, but walking, dancing, yoga, or going for a hike is a great way to have fun and exercise!
Sometimes we have these overwhelming thoughts when we are by ourselves and need to word vomit.
You don’t need to have an outline, just vent! What are you upset about? How is it making you feel? If you feel up to it, maybe jot down a few things that make you happy or what you are grateful for.
4. Chew gum
Yes it sounds silly, but chomping down on some gum can help you relax! You can take your frustration out on that piece of gum
Okay, this sounds like I’m saying “Hey are you sad? Just be happy!” Yeah, no thanks. What I am saying is that watching a comedy show, vine compilation on YouTube, or video chat with your friends who have a great sense of humor.
Your muscles relax, stress hormones decrease, and it is better than just distracting yourself.
You may have heard about this in social media, but grounding is focusing on the things around you when you are having anxiety. Here it goes:
Start by catching your breath and then list (in your head or out loud)
FIVE thing you can SEE
FOUR things you can TOUCH
THREE things you can HEAR
TWO things you can SMELL
ONE thing you can TASTE
Try one or try all of these. You are strong, capable, and able to overcome anything!
While all of these tips are helpful in satiating anxiety and nerves, if you are feeling these emotions often, it might be helpful to talk to a counselor to give you a professional opinion.
And, if you’d like to meet with a UCAN Health Coach to get help implementing any of these stress-reducing behaviors, sign-up. We’re offering virtual sessions all semester long, so make an appointment and your health coach will reach out with video chat details.Ashley Wilson, Health Coach