By Brandi Jordan
Every single person in the world, even the most successful, feels overwhelmed and creatively depleted at times. You are not alone in this.
Here are a few tips and tricks that I use when I am feeling off and need to get back to myself.
1. Bring awareness to your body and if possible, do a guided meditation.
Without judgment, close your eyes and take note of how you are feeling. Is your body stiff, shoulders raised, mind whirling? That’s okay, just take notice of it. Bringing your attention to your body is important. Now try and relax your physical body; sink into it and find a comfortable space to be. If you are able to listen to and follow along with a guided meditation, do it! Here are a few free apps that may help:
If you aren’t able to listen to a guided meditation right away, that’s okay! Just try and focus on your breathing for 60 seconds. Take long deep breaths in and out. On each inhale, mentally say, “breathe in” and on each exhale, say, “breathe out.” It may seem silly, but it keeps you focused on what you are doing.
If you are still feeling anxious after your meditation or breathing exercise, try opening your eyes and actively noticing the physical things around you and describing it to yourself. For example, if you are in a coffee shop, you may notice a steaming cup of coffee, two young people at the next table, a brown table top, 16 lights, and three baristas. If you have never done this before, it may feel weird! The whole purpose is to focus your mind on the current moment because in reality, all we have control over is this current moment in time.
2. Get your blues and greens
If you’re feeling down, make sure to regularly get outside. Put your bare feet on the green grass and soak up the blue skies. You can go for a walk, have a picnic, study, call a friend, read a book, or just rest but do it outside. Regular time in nature does wonders for your mental state and creativity.
3. Gratitude list
It’s as simple as that – make a list of three things you are currently grateful for and one thing you are very excited about. Even better: start a daily gratitude journal so that you can look back on what you’ve been through and appreciate the little unexpected joyful moments that happened each day.
4. Make a realistic to-do list and prioritize them
Hopefully, your anxiety has lessened at this point. If so, your head may be clear enough to start tackling some of the things that may have triggered you, to begin with. Let’s start by creating a realistic to-do list of three things that must be accomplished today. Then prioritize them in order from most important to least. When you feel ready, tackle the most important task. Make sure that when you are working on this task that it is the only thing you are doing. It is proven that multitasking is inefficient and leads to stress and distraction, so zone out and give yourself permission to do this one thing. When it’s complete, stand up, stretch, and move on to the next!
Did you find any of these simple mindfulness strategies helpful? Do you think you will try to add them to your normal routine?