Feelings of anxiety can become part of everyday life when you have a big responsibility in tending to another person’s well-being. When your spouse is ill or your parents are declining in their ability to manage their home life, you might feel worried about their safety for most of your waking hours.
When your nerves are frazzled and you can’t imagine feeling relaxed ever again, it helps to have a few calming tools in your back pocket. I suggest picking one or two ideas and trying them to see what fits with your personality and daily routines.
Stay open. Try an idea from the list several times before deciding if it’s helpful. New habits take practice!
Be patient with your progress. It may take a few times to start feeling more calm, or even a tiny bit less tense.
Mark your successes. Notice and be proud of the small moments of peacefulness you experience in your mind and body.
Sit upright in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes. Make note of your feet being secure on the ground.
Put one hand gently on your heart, and the other hand on your tummy. Sit and breathe easily, breathing in for 3 seconds, and out for 5. Keep your hands in place.
Lay down on the couch and set your timer for 2 minutes. Breathe without much concentration. Picture yourself on a boat in calm waters, being gently rocked by the soothing waves. You are safe in the boat. Send your anxiety far out to sea, the strained thoughts getting further away with each breath.
Create a worry box. It can be a shoe box or something simple. You might want to decorate it with your own style. Take small pieces of blank paper and have them nearby.
For 2 minutes a day, write down what is worrying you. Write without stopping.
Put those worries in the box and close the lid. Don’t open the worry box until tomorrow, when it’s your planned “worry time”. Notice how you feel after doing the writing- is there a difference in your body? Your mind?
I hope some of these exercises will help you to regain a sense of inner balance and strength when life feels especially trying. Here is an excellent source for 1-minute meditations by Robin Rice- www.robinrice.com . You may also have a cell phone relaxation app that you like to use.
Be well today.