mind+body

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Anxiety

The last few weeks have seen a lot of busy events for most of us. From going back to school, to the official start to Fall, Mercury going retrograde and a Supermoon Lunar eclipse (not to mention the normal day to day busy-ness we all experience) it only makes sense that our energy would feel more chaotic, distracted, and anxious than usual. If this sounds familiar, but you just can’t imagine how you are going to squeeze in the necessary time for yourself, we are here to help. Instead of getting lost down a social media rabbit hole for twenty minutes (be honest now, everyone’s guilty of it) you can spend that time consciously engaged in an activity that is both productive and restful. Here are 5 simple things you can do to help tame the anxiety within. You can even consider it a moving meditation if you’d like. Set a timer so you can immerse yourself in the present moment. 

 

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1. SPEED CLEAN // Pick one room or one task (the dreaded dishes or the never ending laundry are good choices) and dive in. Don’t stop until the timer goes off. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done if you just stay on track. You may not complete the task but you’ll be way better off for the time spent and you’ll lighten the load (pun intended) considerably. This is a fun way to get the kids involved, too. Build teamwork by having kids pick a task and work on it together for the full 20 minutes. They’ll be spending time with each other and cutting the work in half. 

2. READ // Maybe it’s a book you’re already involved in (if you could just keep your eyes open long enough before bed to get through more than a few sentences), or you haven’t even had the chance to crack open the most recent issue of your favorite magazine, now is the time. Let yourself be truly immersed in whatever you’re reading and let the clock keep track of the time. Reading allows us to check out of our reality and mentally send ourselves somewhere else. Allowing yourself the time “away” will refresh your mental energy and help you better deal with the stress of your present situation. 

3. WATER THE PLANTS // We’ve mentioned before we are proud plant indoor plant owners but even we put them at the bottom of the list of things to do. Spending quality time focused on taking care of the living things in your home increases the feeling of productivity and overall well being.  Talking to your plants may help them grow so let it all out, its far cheaper than therapy and your plants can’t talk back or judge you. Your plants will perform better (like removing harmful toxins and increasing oxygen) and they’ll look better, which will make you smile and the cycle of love goes on and on.. 

4. POWER NAPS // The idea of a mid-day nap is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Naps can be a downer if they last too long but studies show 20 minutes hits the sweet spot. If you can’t lay down just place one hand on the other and gently rest your forehead on top. Close and curtains and cut the lights as much as possible. Give yourself this time to completely tune out and relax. When the timer goes off slowly increase the light and gently transition back into the space. 

5. STRETCH // You don’t need to be an advanced yogi to stretch your body. Simple stretches like side bends, forward folds and quad stretches are all you need to liven up the muscles and get the blood flowing. Be mindful to start gentle and work your way up to a deeper, more powerful stretch. Also, try to set aside a few minutes at the end to just lay flat and rest. This quiet time lets your muscles digest the movement and your mind relax and recharge.

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