YOUR GUIDE TO CALM
High amounts of stress can have harmful effects on your mind and body. Not only can it drain you mentally, but it can lead to physical sickness.
I am a high stress person. Very intense. Hyper. Always moving. Always thinking. Always worrying. It has caused me to to suffer from migraines, fainting, sleep deprivation, panic attacks, and even night terrors.
It’s unhealthy, and frankly, some of this stress can be avoided. After a lot of research, speaking to a handful of doctors and trying different calming techniques, I have finally found the hacks I had searched for literally my entire life. It took a lot of patience ( which as you can imagine, I have very little ), many rough nights, but in the end I discovered…
MY MASTER LIST OF CALMING TECHNIQUES
…and you get access to all of them
While I am not a doctor, these are techniques that have worked for me. Not all of them work for every stressful occasion, but this is the list that I turn to when I am in absolute panic mode AND when I want to prevent my “Syd crazy” panic mode.
…because you know I am all about preventative measures, and nothing that I do is “basic.”
TECHNIQUE NO. ONE
A UNIQUE TWIST TO PEACEFUL SOUNDS
This is a common technique, but one that can be very effective. But, what I’m about to share isn’t simple.
Listening to calming sounds such the rain, the ocean or birds chirping personally reminds me of the spa, you know? What better place to relax than the spa?
Bring the spa into your home! Get ready for this one.
I have the app, PeacefulSounds. I use it quite frequently. Every morning ( and evening ), I take a warm shower, I play the PeacefulSounds app ( I like the sound of the rain ), I turn all of the lights off in the bathroom and put on my himalayan salt lamp.
So, imagine you are taking a warm shower ( which is calming in itself ), you have very soft light with the himalayan salt lamp. Sounds nice already, right?
BUT THEN, you finish showering, and the first thing you hear when you turn the shower off is the rain, the ocean, birds chirping or whatever sound it is that you enjoy. It almost feels as if you just walked into a spa.
The himalayan salt lamp lighting is absolutely soothing. I strongly dislike harsh, bright lights, especially when I am trying to relax. So NOT spa like.
Now, let’s turn it up a notch ;) You have the warm shower, the peaceful sounds, the himalayan salt lamp with little to no lights, and you almost have the entire spa moment.
Let’s throw in some essential oils. Pedro ( my boyfriend ) introduced me to these essential oils that you can hook up to your shower, so that when you get in you feel as if you are at the spa.
First of all, essential oils have many benefits and can really help with stress and anxiety. The essential oils really brings this entire experience together, and indulging in this twice per day OR in your most stressful moments is beyond fabulous. I like eucalyptus, lavender or ylang ylang.
( again, you can order these on Amazon )
TECHNIQUE NO. TWO
Meditation isn’t for everyone, but there are many forms of meditation. Because I am such a high stressed person with a LOT of anxiety, I will not say no to any!
Recently, I started doing 10 minutes of meditation per day using the app, Headspace. I had heard about Headspace for so long, but as many of us do, I said “I’ll do it later.” My anxiety got to a point though, where I was desperate. Absolutely desperate. My stress and anxiety was debilitating.
Everything that I do is with a twist, so I don’t just rely on that 10 minutes. I will tell you that I do meditate every morning ( and sometimes at night ) for PREVENTATIVE measures. Sometimes, my stress and anxiety is out of control and trying to clear my mind isn’t enough. Ever felt that way? It’s like you are in complete panic mode, your mind is going a thousand miles per hour and you just need the chill out.
The first thing that I do to begin my meditation process is grab my journal.
My journal is my best friend. I WRITE 3 PAGES. Even if I don’t feel like writing. I write whatever comes to mind. I get it all out. Everything on paper. What I’ve noticed is that writing clears my mind and helps to relax me. Definitely a natural anxiety reliever.
A few questions that I ask myself when writing are:
What is bothering me?
What happened during the day that might have sparked this?
Is there a solution?
After I have written, what I like to do next in those moments is turn all of the lights off ( I am a huge fan of the dark when I am stressed ), put on comfy clothes, get under the covers, get a cold wash cloth to put over my head ( or around my neck ), and begin my meditation through Headspace.
You can even do as little as 3 minutes. Let your mind wander. Try to follow the meditation, do what comes natural.
After my meditation which consists of writing and actual meditation, I begin to day dream. Day dreaming ( for me ) is a great tool when it comes to stress.
It allows you to go off into another world and think about all that you have to look forward to. The writing and meditation prepares you to be able to drift off, and when you do, it’s a great feeling. It excites you. It’s time to get excited!
So now, imagine, you are all cozy in your favorite pajamas, you are in bed, you have a cold wash cloth to calm your body heat, you’ve written out all of your worries, you meditated to clear your mind and now you get to doze off and day dream about all that you have to look forward to and want in the future.
Sounds pretty nice, right?
Another thing that I like to do is add essential oils to the wash cloth, that way I am inhaling the scents as I try to relax.
OH! …and to make it even more soothing, I light some candles.
To top it off, I might even grab a good book after with a warm cup of green tea.
ALTERNATIVE MINDFUL MEDITATION
You really have to be home for this technique, you know?
But, don’t worry, I have a backup plan!
If I am out and I begin to panic, I take a step outside, I put in my headphones, I put on the PeacefulSounds app, write in my notes app or my journal, do a 3 minute meditation with headspace and then I feel refreshed. I even carry around mini essential oils to smell. Scents have power.
This is an alternative to calm your mind, body and soul.
TECHNIQUE NO. THREE
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD
Have you ever noticed what a good laugh can do for the mind and body? Have you ever noticed how you feel when you are laughing?
Something that I like to do when I am in panic mode is put on a YouTube video.
A movie or TV show doesn’t cut it for some reason. I need to grab my phone, iPad or computer and literally zone in. Close to my face.
The thing about YouTube videos is that they are short, they capture your interest and they are entertaining.
TV shows and movies are long and can take time to get into. While that might work for a lot of people, I need that immediate sense of calm, distraction and laughter. I need it up close and I need it in the moment.
When I panic, I panic and cannot waste time, and I stay far away from social media.
What good does scrolling through our newsfeed do for our mental health? Usually nothing good!
YouTube is the only social media platform that I allow during moments of panic.
You know that I’ve gotta have a twist, I can’t just have a simple technique because when you have anxiety ( and stress ) as severe as mine, you usually need more.
My favorite go-to brand is Olly Nutrition. I take their sleep gummies and stress gummies. If you read my blog, you know that I talk about them a lot, and no, they do not pay me to write about this.
I have genuinely found them helpful. So, before I watch my YouTube videos, I’ll take my Olly stress gummies. You can get these at Walgreens, CVS or even Target ( or Amazon of course and Olly’s website )
Find a YouTuber you like, try anti-stress gummies, and get out of your own head. I personally watch makeup tutorials, but that’s not for everyone!
TECHNIQUE NO. FOUR
TAKE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES WITH MORNING & NIGHTTIME ROUTINES
I almost talk about this too much on the blog. Having a nighttime and morning time routine in place just sets you up for success. It’s self-care. It’s you time. It’s time to make sure that you are mentally and physically ready to take on the day. When you take care of yourself, you can take care of others and feel good. That’s what it is all about.
If you want to avoid panic mode, reduce anxiety and remain calm through difficult times, you’ll want to prepare. That is why I’m obsessed with these routines. I go to sleep feeling like a princess and I wake up feeling like a queen.
QUICK CALMING SOLUTIONS
Take a walk and get some fresh air. When the fresh air hits your face it shifts your mood.
Change up your environment. Move into another room, switch around your furniture ( if possible ), and get that fresh feeling.
Workout! Exercise releases endorphins, and improves your overall mental state.
What are some of your favorite calming techniques? Share it with me!