Here are five simple habits that help me regulate in uncertain times. They’re easy to do, you don’t need extra time and can just do them as you go about your day.
1. Check in with yourself throughout the day
How are you feeling? What do you need? What would help you get that need met? Is what you’re doing now and what you planned to do next serving those needs?
2. Mindful breathing
Focus on your breathing. Take a long, deep breath in and breathe out slowly. Breathe out for longer than you breathe in. Do this three times.
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, counting your breaths in and out whilst you do this helps activate your thinking brain, get grounded and move from reacting to responding.
3. Drink water
In emotionally challenging times, staying hydrated helps you regulate. Drink more water than usual.
Keep a tally in a notebook or use an app to remind you to drink regularly throughout the day.
Both breathing and drinking water raises your oxygen levels, which helps bring the stress hormones down.
4. Think about what you’re grateful for
Our thoughts determine our feelings, which determine our actions. Proactively thinking about what you’re grateful for helps you feel joy, gives you a reason to keep going, and creates positive energy that boosts the immune system.
Think of one small thing you’re grateful for at certain moments throughout the day, e.g. when you put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. Thinking of one thing you’re grateful for before you go to bed can help you sleep better too.
5. Micro-meditation in bed
I’ve found that a micro-meditation in bed before going to sleep, just for a minute, can help calm your thoughts and sets you up for a restful night.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. When your thoughts start to drift off to other things (mine always do!), repeat a mantra to yourself and bring your attention back to your breathing.
The mantra can be something simple that comforts you, e.g. one thing that you’re grateful for or “Everything’s going to be ok”
Read more about self-care and finding a new normal in a global pandemic here.
What helps you centre yourself? What are you doing to take care of yourself? Let me know down in the comments!
Blog image by loriklaszlo