I have an immense amount to speak to on this topic, but I thought I would start with sharing with you a Letter I wrote to a student of mine today, after a phone call about her anxiety. She’s in high school and under immense pressure, and this was exactly when my anxiety started surfacing myself. I am just going to share it in full and hope there’s something useful for you here also!!
To recap we want to get you Grounded, Nourished and Centred. This will be a two-pronged approach of mind and body. Sometimes anxiety is our body tripping out, sometimes it’s our mind and thoughts. Remember nothing is permanent and everything shifts. This phase won’t last, BUT you have to be the one empowered and in charge of it.
Let’s create the following:
- Energy calibration a few minutes; lying in bed hands on heart, eyes closed. Feel into the energy in your body and create a grounded stable energy and imagine it filling every cell.
- Integrated Meditation Session; 10 minutes minimum
- Breakfast – grounding calming something that can be prepared in 5 minutes/thermos e.g. soaking oats overnight then you can even pop in a thermos to eat on the way to school.
- Power Down Hour – no digital technology in the morning!! At all. Carve out this time for yourself. OWN IT.
- Don’t skip meals and reduce all caffeine and sugar intake. I would highly recommend not drinking any coffee. If you want to reduce it by half immediately, just drink half your cup. You’ll be amazed at how easy this is!
- Avoid dry airy foods; pretzels, toast (with avocado and olive oil is excellent though for example) and chips. Anything light and airy will make you feel the same way. Go for grounding nourishing foods; stews, soups, curries, tasty slow cooked foods.
- Exercise when you can, you need those happy hormones rocking!
- Also, every single day take a Joyride. A Joyride is something that brings you happiness and joy that is small. Mine include taking our dog for a swim, sitting drinking tea overlooking our garden, reading a particular style of book, looking at Seinfeld bloopers etc. They seem a little innocuous but bring so much happiness and lightness to it all. Joy brings happy hormones. Happy hormones combat stress-related hormones!
- Mute or unfollow anyone that isn’t serving you creatively, inspiring you, or uplifting you in any way.
- Integrated Meditation Session. Ideally, you would have done a second meditation, but with all your assignments and study I can see how this could get tricky. Do NOT beat yourself up on this. Just do whenever you can fit it in.
- Protein – you need a nourishing dinner that has had time to digest.
- Power Down Hour – nothing an hour before bed, you dramatically reduce your quality of sleep by looking at a screen before bed.
- Get your circadian rhythms in order, go to bed roughly the same.
- Soak whole oats (not the kind that are quick oats) overnight in water, simmer gently in the morning with cinnamon and a touch of cardamom and add honey, milk and if you have on hand poached fruits is delicious.
- Whenever you feel panicky or overwhelmed, check in with your senses; what are you seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling. It will bring you back to the present moment.
Big love, be brave I am proud of you!