Are you feeling uneasy about the future? You’re not alone. Rates of depression and anxiety grew more than 25% starting in 2020, according to one global study. It’s a natural reaction when grocery prices are climbing, and retirement savings are dwindling.
Add to that the headlines talking about climate change, pandemics, and war.
You probably have limited influence over these kinds of events, but you can control the way you respond to them. Try this foolproof formula for finding peace during challenging times.
Self-Care for Turbulent and Uncertain Times
Give your body the energy it needs. Choose delicious whole foods rich in essential nutrients and fiber. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Limit your consumption of added sugar, salt, and saturated fats.
Research shows that working out can be as effective as antidepressants for some patients. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy and will want to stick with. Go outdoors for an extra boost.
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If disturbing thoughts keep you awake, try writing them down as a way to put them aside until later. Avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day. Adopt soothing bedtime rituals, like soaking in a warm bath.
Learn to accept what is (reality)
Denying unpleasant facts can reinforce anxiety. Focus on solutions, rather than wishing things were different.
Look on the bright side and cultivate gratitude. Search for uplifting news and citizens taking constructive action in their communities.
Train your breath
You have a simple and free tool you can use anytime to help manage your emotions. Practice taking deep breaths and lengthening your exhalations. Attend a class or watch a video to learn more about connecting your breath and body movements.
Stretch your muscles
Scan your body for tight spots where you may be holding onto tension. Stretching helps you to loosen up and relax. Make it a regular part of your workouts and take breaks to move around when you’ve been sitting for a long time.
Clear away clutter
Your environment affects your mood. Keeping your home and office organized and neat helps you to focus and feel content. Give away items you rarely use or store them out of sight.
Social Support for Turbulent and Uncertain Times
Connect with loved ones
Hang out with family and friends. Dedicate time for movie nights and coffee dates. When your schedule is hectic, combine socializing with running errands and doing chores.
Express your feelings
Let others know when you’re struggling and ask for help when you need it. Engage in deep conversations. Keeping a journal may increase your awareness and make it easier for you to talk about your emotions.
Encourage each other to lighten up. Tell jokes and describe amusing things that happened to you recently. Do impressions or poke fun at yourself. Play charades and send gag gifts.
Family meals are one of the most important rituals you can observe. Enjoy stimulating conversation and healthy food. Work as a team to plan menus and prepare dishes. Turn off your TV and phones.
Being generous makes you feel happier and more confident. Do volunteer work in your community and practice random acts of kindness.
Advocate for yourself
Healthy relationships depend on give-and-take. Set reasonable boundaries. Share practical support and emotional validation.