Between the imminent province-wide lockdown and headlines about a new virus strain, our anxiety is spiking.
When it comes to quieting our mind and calming our body, we move in small chunks, often taking things hour by hour, or even minute by minute. Here’s what’s been helping us lately…
When you have nervous energy inside of you, that feels like it needs to get out, a breath of fresh air and physical exercise is a good place to start. Take a long walk across the city, to explore streets you’ve never walked, or find a nearby nature path. Étienne Brûlé Park, The Brickworks, and High Park are our time-tested favourites.
We discovered this free app a few years ago, and it has been an instrumental source of support during the pandemic. From a variety of sleep meditations to “Coping with Anxiety” or “Finding Peace In This Moment”, there are 70,000 free guided meditations to choose from, which means you’re guaranteed to find a soothing voice that works for you.
When your thoughts start to swirl, and you begin going down a road of self-loathing or panic, picking up the phone to connect with a trusted friend is a good first step. Not a phone person? Message someone on Facebook. Don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know? The AA 24/7 hotline, She Recovers, or the Wellness Together free immediate crisis line are all available and there to support you.
Do you have a daily ritual that brings you a sense of calm? Something you look forward to? When we asked a bunch of women in our recovery group what small thing they do each day to feel at ease, many spoke about a herbal tea ritual that gives them great comfort. Turning on a kettle and pouring something with a calming scent into a mug you love to hold, and the warmth that it brings, can be just the thing to take the edge off. We’re big fans of local company Pluck Teas, and they’ll deliver tea to your home.
It can be as simple as one line a day or making a gratitude list, or a journal you use in the morning or night to purge thoughts from your head. Hard Feelings and Crying Out Loud are both Toronto shops dedicated to mental health (and they have some pretty awesome journals).
Sometimes the best way to get a negative voice out of your head is to drown it out with a new voice. A couple weeks ago we shared some of our favourite podcasts that have been giving us great relief from our worries. Pick a subject or story that interests you.
Break from Social Media
We get it—doomscrolling has become our norm too, and it only ever worsens our anxiety. Be intentional about taking breaks from your phone, whether that means putting in another room for an hour at a time, or deleting the social media apps off your phone for a couple weeks. Try it and see how life changes.