Hi. My name is Jeniffer…and I have issues.
Just kidding. But not really.
Welcome to my cheat sheet. The mental “survival guide” thats tattooed on my brain of things I’ve found that help me feel in control and in charge. Considering we are on what feels like day 98235284 of “shelter in place,” I’m venturing to guess a few more people than average are starting to feel it too.
Stress and Anxiety Management Cheat Sheet
Focus on your breathing.
Close your eyes. Put your hand on your chest. Slowly fill your lungs for 5 counts. Hold for 5 counts. Exhale slowly for 5 counts. If 5 second intervals feels impossible, try it for 2 counts a few times. Feel the air enter in through your nose and fill your lungs. Repeat as many times as necessary until you feel your body start to calm.
If you’re coming off a massive anxiety attack and have gotten your breathing under control using the technique listed above, you’ve done the the prep work for grounding. Continue to focus on your breathing, and picture roots growing from your feet down into the earth. Think about how the dirt smells, how it feels, how your roots feel moving through the different layers of soil until they’re rooted so deep they’re all the way to the center of the earth. Visualize a warm golden light coming up the roots towards you with each inhale. Visualize that warm golden light filling your roots, coming up through your feet, filling your body and absorbing all that nasty black anxiety thats filled your chest and head. Keep breathing and feel a warm white light shining down from your Crown chakra and feel that light push all that anxiety and fear out of your body and down through your roots. Leaving you free of that negative energy. From here, I would suggest meditating a little more if you have the time. But sometimes, just grounding myself for 5 minutes takes the edge off and makes me feel so much better. Another way to ground is to spend time out in the grass, sand, or dirt without shoes on. Contact with the earth. It also feels amazing.- Yoga. 10 to 15 minutes of gentle, restorative yoga can really do wonders. Not only is it a good stretch, it also forces you to focus on your breathing. ‘Do Yoga with Adrienne’ on YouTube is one of my favorites. There are also apps like ‘DownDog’ (which is free until May 1 because of the COVID-19 quarantine) and websites like doyougawithme.com that are amazing. You don’t have to be perfect at it. You just need to do it.
While taking deep breaths, run your mental checklist. Everyone has limbs? No missing organs? Everyone is accounted for and not in mortal peril or intense ambulance worthy pain? Yeah. I know it sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I literally need my brain to focus on the fact that everyone is accounted for. Focus on the facts. Not “what ifs.” Facts. Doing this usually reminds my brain that anxiety is a lying whore.
Could also fall under yoga, however sometimes, my anxiety presents as anger. Which is super fun for everyone around me too. Have you noticed yourself being snappy and just angrier than normal during all this? Did know anxiety could present as anger? Sometimes rage cardio needs to happen. Work up a good sweat and burn off some of that angry energy. Exercise is also another form of grounding out- and if you haven’t tried yoga after grounding out via exercise, you’re missing out. Its ammmmazing.
Focus on the things you can control in the situation.
Make a list if you need to- separating out what you can and cannot control. Once you’ve made a clear and definite list, its easier to make a conscious effort to only give energy and attention to the things you can control. You’ll be surprised at how much lighter you feel when you stop carrying around the unnecessary stress. It may take time to train yourself not to worry about certain things- but you’ll undoubtedly feel better once you set that burden down and let it worry about itself.
My house is full of crystals. They’re everywhere. In my bed, on my kitchen counter, all over my table, in and on my desk, in my purse, in my car. Everywhere. Lepidolite has been my “go to” whenever I’m feeling stressed/anxious. I had necklaces made for my girls because this whole time has been stressful for them too. I recommend it to everyone. I mail it to my friends. Rose quartz is also an excellent one because it helps stimulate feelings of self-love. Aquamarine (supports emotional healing), labradorite (helps to purify and calm your energy), moonstone (helps you connect to your intuition), amethyst (brings calmness and clarity), green fluorite (helps with mental clarity), selenite (clears energy), tourmaline (protective- helps keep negative energy out), and quartz (amplifies benefits of other crystals) are all excellent crystals to surround yourself with. There are so many others that have amazing anti-anxiety properties- my advice is to live your best life and have as many as you feel necessary.
Your prescribed medication.
There is no shame in needing prescription medication to make your neurotransmitters do what they’re supposed to do. Depression, anxiety, and all other daily meds. Make sure you’re keeping up on them. Because even when you feel better- you still need to continue them. Because going cold turkey can lead to some really nasty side effects.
Yep. The ganja. Herb. Kush. Whatever you want to call it. A small dose is usually enough to make anxiety go TF away. Most times all I need is a micro dose and that has me feeling like a whole new person. You don’t HAVE to get out of your head high when you use it. I know some people have had great benefit with straight CBD oil- I, however, am not one of them. I ended up with a migraine that was so bad I had to go to the ER when I tried it to curb my already daily migraine. Most states now have a medical marijuana option if you’re in a state that doesn’t offer it for public purchase.
Make sure you’re getting outside when you can. Get some vitamin D the natural way. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your mental health.
Meditation & Prayer.
For me, a prayer usually turns into a meditation. I know when I meditate more frequently (at least 2-3 times a week) I feel better emotionally and mentally. It helps me work through reasons my brain thinks it has to be anxious, and sometimes solves the problems I’m having for me.
Sometimes just putting your fears and worries down onto paper helps. Think of it like setting it all down- you’re getting it out of your brain, and you no longer have to carry it around. You can always refer back to it if you need to, but you’ll at least have it written down somewhere so your brain doesn’t have to keep playing it over and over and over..to remember it…because heaven forbid our brain forget what we are anxious about.
About The Author
Jeniffer See is a Montana native who lives and works between Tampa, Florida and Sidney, Montana as a boudoir photographer. Jeniffer loves her husband and three children, crystals, reading good books, working on her passion- business. She is obsessed with Garth Brooks, crystals and traveling. She has seen Europe and Australia multiple times, and can't wait to begin traveling again.