Anxiety can be completely debilitating. It can be isolating, overwhelming, disruptive and make us turn to behaviours that don’t serve us long term.
Anxiety can come in waves and swell into panic attacks for some, or just sit heavy like a wet blanket on the chest for others.
Recently my own anxiety has flared and I know I’m not the only one. I did a poll recently on social media and it seems over 80% of you are dealing with some kind of anxious feelings or overwhelm daily.
I thought I’d share some of my own tools and techniques I implement to help manage incase they can help you.
- I practice gratitude journalling. By writing down things i am thankful for, it gets me out of my head and back into the hear and now. Back to what I CAN control.
- I get into nature. These days it’s as simple as a beach walk, with some fresh air, some vit D on my skin and the sound of the waves and birds. Something about staring at the enormity of the ocean, watching the waves lap the shore, helps calm the crazy.
- I do a Social media detox. Put down the phone! Turn off the news. Stop the scroll. Be mindful of what you’re consuming. Assess if you feel uplifted after perusing Facebook or more anxiety ridden. Taking 24-48 hours away from social media and also main stream media is so good for helping break the cycle of anxious feelings. I encourage you to do a ‘social media detox’ of who you are following periodically, ask yourself, does this person bring positivity, education or entertainment, or is their content triggering you towards negative feelings, fear or comparison? UNFOLLOW!
- I use a mindfulness app. Go and download an app like Headspace and Pacifica for guided “mindful moments” to keep you present. throughout the day, as well as mini meditation exercises for a quick mental reset.
- I Dance it out! Music is powerful! Put on your favourite song, for me it’s a classic 90’s ballad and dance! Get the kids involved! I dare you to feel as heavy and burdened afterwards!
- Move your body. When you exercise, neuro-transmitters and chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid, are released by the brain and associated with feeling happy, confident, capable, feeling less anxiety, stress and even less physical pain!
- Focus on eating nourishing whole food. Often when anxiety creaps in, I’ll see a direct correlation between the amount of sugar and processed foods that have also slipped into my diet. I’ll get more proactive at feeling my gut microbiome with fresh foods, lots of fibre and also focusing on hydration (and lowering my caffeine intake).
- I control my environment as I can. This looks like clearing up as much clutter as I can (which the kids inevitably destroy again) as this visual mess often adds to my mental anxiety, and always diffuse some Adaptiv, Frankincense or Balance. These oils have the most wonderful ability to calm and when inhaled, travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain, impact the amygdala, the emotional control center of the brain. There are multiple studies involving the aromatic usage of lavender and the lowering of anxiety levels, specifically the cortisol levels in women (HERE) and you only have to search on PubMed ‘Boswellia Carteri’, the biological name for Frankincense, to get multiple hits on the amazing benefits, including being effective for low mood and anxious feelings (HERE).
- I prioritise sleep. I get really diligent with my bedtime routine and go to bed early (no mindlessly consuming Netflix til all hours). I apply Lavender Peace to my pulse points and temples before getting into bed and diffuse Bergamot, Lavender and Cedarwood 30 minutes before my head hits the pillow to reinforce that calming aromatic trigger to my brain.
- I supplement with bioavailable whole food Life Long Vitality Supplements, Copaiba soft gels and Adaptive soft gels
If you are feeling anxious right now, just know you are not alone. There are heavy feelings and opinions flying right now, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Grab hold of these tools, and opt for natural options where you can. Create self care rituals that can become habits for you. One of my most powerful moments of self care is simply grabbing my favourite calming essential oil, rolling it or dropping a drop in my palms and inhaling.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. Have grace for yourself. Telling yourself you’re stupid for feeling how you do is not helpful. Also talk about it. Find a trusted friend and share your thoughts. Feel free to call the NZ Anxiety helpline 24/7 on 0800 ANXIETY. You are not alone.
A great place to start if you’re looking to incorporate oils for anxiety and stress is the Home Essentials Starter Kit or the Emotional Wellness Starter Kit. They both come with a diffuser and oils perfect for emotional support, plus access to our amazing oil community with endless education and oil support, 25% off the cost of retail prices moving forward, a gorgeous welcome gift from me and a one on one consultation to ensure you are confident using your oils right from the start.