Anxiety and Stress Management
Our team would like to offer some basic explanations, tips, and resources for managing stress and anxiety
Breathe: The first step we can take when we are feeling our anxiety is to calm our sympathetic nervous system: A simple way to do this is with long, intentional breaths. Take at least 3 deep breaths, counting to five with the inhale, and counting to five on the exhale. Notice your tensions being released.
Be Present: It is easy to go down the path of the “what-ifs” and get lost in our narratives and projections. For example, create a space and time designated for news and media. The rest of the day be where your body is. Ask yourself – what am I getting from constantly thinking about "what-ifs" that concern me.
Senses: Use your five senses (touch, see, hear, taste, smell) to notice what is around you in the moment. What do you see? What do you hear? Can you taste anything? Touch something near you and describe it to yourself. Can you smell anything? By doing this, we can come back to our bodies in the present moment.
Non-attachment: If you are experiencing negative thoughts, notice them and feel them, and then let them go. Think of your thoughts as a cloud in the sky: you can notice that it is there, and you can also watch it pass. You can feel fear, sadness and frustration, but avoid attaching them to your own narrative, this ultimately leads to suffering.
The resources below are ones that our team and I think you will also find useful as we go through this stressful and anxiety producing time.
Director, Across Counseling
Coronavirus Sanity Guide - free resources provided by Ten Percent Happier. Also offering free 6-month subscriptions to the app for health care workers & volunteers. Email for access
Tips for parents on coping with COVID - talking to your children about COVID-19, suggestions for "distant socializing", coping skills, and more