Several years ago, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I was stressed out, I was exhausted, I was burnt out. It turns out, it’s not unique to me. More than two thirds of people say that they’ve experienced some level of stress and anxiety, and more than 50% of people, according to research, say they are exhausted all the time.
What can we do to start to take back control and start to feel less stressed out and less anxious? Here are five things that I have been using that really helped me, and I hope they will help you too.
Habits in this context is really about creating rituals and routines that help you feel some level of control and groundedness in your day. It might be creating a routine around when you go to bed and when you get up each day, or it might be a routine around when you eat your meals. You could create a ritual around bedtime, maybe taking a bath and listening to relaxing audio. Whatever it is, it helps you to feel some semblance of control in an otherwise very chaotic world right now.
To those of you who are parents, we need to create routines and habits for our children. They don’t have the ability to express themselves — to express the fact that they too are feeling anxious and stressed out. We need to give them something that allows them to feel control, some predictability, and to be able to feel grounded in their day.
2. Movement & Exercise
This can be any sort of exercise course, or as simple as taking a walk. Find some way to incorporate at least 30 minutes of movement every day.
Something else that I do want to say about exercise is that it can also be a stressor, if you’re over-exercising. Be cautious about being kind to your body and really listening to what it needs.
3. Connect with Nature
If you live in a cold country like I do, when it’s wintertime, you do not want to be going outside. So what can you do other than walking outside in the freezing cold? Well, you can bring nature into your home. That could be having plants around the house, flowers, animals, pets of some sort, or even a simple thing like lighting a candle, which makes you feel connected to the elements.
To be honest, I kept a gratitude journal. But it got to a point where it started to feel route, where at the end of every day, I was just looking for five things to write down. And so I’ve changed what I do with my gratitude — I don’t give myself a ‘number’ in terms of things to be grateful for. I allow myself to write down what I truly felt gratitude for — It might be someone smiling at me in the grocery store, or it might be a delicious piece of fruit that I bit into.
Don’t put the pressure on yourself to find ‘five things’ to be grateful for, but find what truly brings you gratitude every day.
One of the things that I was advised to do when I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue was to start meditation. I am someone who has a super busy mind, so doing meditation is challenging.
I also was unsure if I was doing it right. What was I supposed to be doing?
And so what I’ve learned is to find what works for me. Ultimately, mindfulness is about awareness.
It is really as simple as that — bringing awareness into the moment that you’re in, being aware where your feet are. For me, mindfulness has really become connecting with my breath, connecting with being present in this moment at this time.
One of the things that I have recently done is that I recently became certified as a meditation teacher because I really have appreciated the benefits that cultivating a meditation practice has helped me achieve. I want to share that with you.
I have created three meditation audios that you can download for free by clicking this link, and hopefully that they can help you feel some sense of calm, reduce some stress and bring you some relaxation in your day.
I hope that wherever you are, whatever it is that is going on in your life, you realize that you always have a choice in terms of: Do you react? Or do you respond?
Reacting allows you to be out of control and to feel anxious. Responding gives you time to really think about how you want to respond and ultimately knowing that you always have the power to choose how to respond to anything that is going on in your life.
Sandra has a podcast episode on this topic in the WORTHY Podcast:
You can also watch it on YouTube: