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Tools to Calm the Anxious Mind


Worrying comes with the territory of being human in these trying times. We are all too familiar with those anxious, questioning internal voices.


“What if the worst were to happen?”

“Could I be doing more?”

“Am I enough?!”


Most of the time, our Anxious Minds are manageable, controllable, and even helpful.  Anxiety is a natural occurrence and motivates us to take care of business. That anxiety might have kicked you into high gear during this pandemic.  Maybe you made homemade masks, stocked your fridge, or gave up on your lovely dining room to create an instant homeschool. Globally, anxiety is more prevalent than ever. These unique circumstances make a perfect storm for the Anxious Mind to be more vulnerable, activate more intensely, and create more misleading negative thoughts. Heightened anxiety brought on by stress or constant worry can lead to feelings of sadness, self-loathing, and even anger. 


Here are a few mindfulness exercises to tame and calm your “Anxious Mind” when the world gets too heavy and your anxiety peaks. 


Use your Five Senses 

Take a second and look around. Literally, look in the space where you are at this moment. Check out your physical surroundings. What do you see, smell, feel, hear, and taste? Can you hear anything like your kids playing? Is there music? Can you hear the birds outside? Take this moment and go through your 5 senses like a checklist. This simple and quick technique will quiet the Anxious Mind and bring you to the present space and ground you.


Unplug from the News Cycle

It's responsible and appropriate to be updated on the news during this election cycle. Stay informed, but limit your exposure by only checking your news feeds 1-2 times daily. Scrolling obsessively, reading countless heartbreaking stories, and exposing yourself to too much is too much for the Anxious Mind. Continue to be compassionate to others, keep your finger on the pulse of the social climate, and know your limits to protect yourself.


Practice Self Acceptance and Self Compassion

You are not your thoughts. Positive self-talk and self-acceptance can act as a “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser” to the Anxious Mind’s mess. Reminding yourself that you are doing your best in these trying times helps wipe away the unwanted marks and negative words. Accept yourself for who you are; at this moment, fade out the Anxious Mind. Show yourself compassion and understanding. These times are bonkers; there is no denying that, and during this time, you’ve probably managed to stay employed and connected to others despite it all. Accept that you are and have done your best under these circumstances. 


Indulge in your own unique self-care & self-soothing activities. 

What makes YOU feel good? Cooking a great meal? Yoga? Watching reality TV? There is no judgment here. Pick a positive coping mechanism to soothe yourself when the Anxious Mind fogs up your brain. Use that essential oil or take that nap when you need it. Do something each day just for you. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It could be as simple as a few extra minutes in the warm shower or sharing a funny meme with your friends. 


Hug your babies, even if they’re your pets.

Science has proven that hugs can have a measurable impact on mood and stress. A sixty-second hug is the easiest way to improve your and your loved ones' well-being instantly. During these times of social distancing, let’s embrace the loved ones within our arms' reach. Practice mindfulness and pet your pets- you both benefit. Animals can lower blood pressure and give you a felt sense of presence and purpose. 

Remember, lower levels of anxiety are activating and expected. Too much and unmanaged can cause harm. Please reach out to a professional for support and guidance.  Relief is possible. 





      This article was written for the family website Macaroni Kid Carlsbad and was intended to support mothers and their mental health during the Covid crisis and beyond.

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