It makes sense if you haven’t been doing much at all except googling ‘5-min soup recipes’ and checking the availability of floor cleaners on Nykaa. However, like much of the world, we spend a great deal of time with an anxious cloud over our heads, walking aimlessly between the hall and the bedroom (because there is nowhere else to go). The days feel longer and the nights contribute to episodes of unhealthy thinking patterns. Your chest feels heavy at times, you skip that ‘chirpy’ zoom catch up, your favorite meal tastes like chalk —each day asking yourself the same question. Was that anxiety? Nah, just a bad day. Or was it? The loop of this impending doom decides to stick around, like a broken record.
If you resonate with any of the above mentioned, we want you to pat yourself at the back for getting here. We’re here to help pull you out of this constant state of limbo and take you straight to the mambo jambo (shimmy, shimmy).
Ahead, a whole list of tools to help your mental health during the new normal. You’re not alone my friend. We got you.
Here are some effective ways to deal with anxiety:
1. BREATHE WOMAN
We’re going to ask you to do something you already do, everyday. Breaaathe. But during an exhausting time like, something as familiar as recalibrating our breath can feel like a task. Science shows that dedicating 15 minutes of your day to just breathing exercise can help interrupt your anxiety, reduce stress and keep your cortisol levels in check. Find a quiet spot in your house, play ‘calming waterfall music’ on YouTube, light some fresh candles and try belly breathing in the morning. After you're done, reach out for a healthy snack for a healthy start.
2. STARING COMPETITION WITH MONA LISA
Gone are the days we planned a family trip packed with (cucumber sandwiches for the road) to take a glimpse of the Taj Mahal. Well, you can now digitally travel the world from the National Gallery Of Modern Art, New Delhi to the Vatican museum. Hell, you can even visit The Louvre in Paris. Websites like Fab Hotels.com and Indian Virtual Reality Tours actually make this possible. If you wish to do so, grab some pakoras and slap on some lipstick as you stroll through the most iconic ancient structures, all at the comfort of your home. Can we take a moment to thank virtual reality? I mean, c’mon.
3. I ‘WANT’ TO INSTEAD OF I ‘HAVE’ TO
Routines help maintain a healthy body clock, nutrition intake and energy levels. Start your day with something you ‘want’ to do, rather than ‘have’ to do, like playing a Jane fonda workout video before diving into your DMs or mails. Then, once you work your responsibilities in, frame the rest of your routine around things you ‘like’ to do, like jumping into your pyjamas and playing antakshari with family, Sudoku or solving the Rubik's cube. Just something as simple as making tiny tweaks to your daily tasks with a dash of positivity and curiosity can actually have a huge impact on how you execute them. It’s all in the energies, ladies.
4. USE YOUR HANDS
Put an end to your codependent relationship with your phone. Easier said than done but try? Constantly typing, browsing, calling or mindlessly stalking can lead to severe muscle spasms. Plus, decreasing your proximity to other people’s dilemmas will help maintain YOUR own mental health. Thus, use your hands wisely (ahem) by picking up a new hobby. We’re talking piano, baking, doodling or even helping mom at the kitchen making roti dough counts. The action of touch and movement helps ground your mind. Science!
5. WATER BABY
Have you ever wondered why some of the best ideas come to you while taking a shower? That’s because warm bath dips and showers contribute to increased dopamine flow. A relaxed state of mind helps turn attention inwards thus being able to make our subconscious work on a problem more creatively. Pop in a couple of bath bombs while singing some of Adele’s toughest ballads in the shower (ooh, which one’s your favorite?). You might just come up with something genius overnight. Wink.
I conclude by breaking a misconception that sadly still exists. Anxiety is an important conversation to have. No, we don’t talk about it enough. Often perceived as a shortcoming, the first step to stabilizing this discomfort is admitting this emotion to yourself. Talking about it is a sign of strength not weakness. Read that again. Lastly, when you feel like your head's about to explode, lean to these tips and remember that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Always remember that we are all in this together and we WILL get through this together! One day at a time. Preach.