First and foremost, wherever you are in the world, I hope you and your loved ones are safe.
If you're struggling with anxiety — know that I am here with you.
I see you, my friend.
When the world feels out of control, the best place to start reducing anxiety is within.
This 21 Day Anti-Anxiety Challenge is meant as an uplifting resource to help you, or someone you know, during these uncertain times. Stress lowers our immune response, which is exactly the opposite of what you want right now.
If some of the practices in the guide don't resonate with you, that’s 100% okay. Take what works for you and leave the rest.
Please know, you don't have to solve your whole life overnight. And you don't have to feel ashamed for being where you are. All you have to focus on is one small thing you can do today to get closer to where you want to be. Slowly and lightly, one step at a time. You can get there.
21 Day Anti-Anxiety Challenge
Here are twenty-one simple things you can do to help you cultivate a calmer, stronger, healthier mental state.
- Designate a reward — perhaps order a new book, open a bottle of wine, or even rent a new movie release online — as an incentive for completing this twenty-one-day challenge. You decide what's right for you.
- Practice a 1-minute meditation today. (New to meditation? Watch this first.)
- Listen to the song Weightless on headphones. Neurologists say it reduces anxiety by up to 65% and calms the nervous system by helping slow listeners' heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Pop on over to the Good News Movement Instagram feed and spend 5-minutes reading about kind acts and everyday heroes.
- Write down three things you're grateful for today.
- Light a candle; studies show that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.
- Schedule a 7-minute workout for yourself; with this free app Workout for Women, no equipment is needed.
- Pick a messy hot spot in your house and declutter for 8-minutes or if you're feeling more daring, challenge yourself and your family to Get Rid of 100 Things.
- Download the free Headspace app and do a 5-minute meditation.
- Watch a stand-up comedian performance on Netflix, Amazon or YouTube. Research shows laughing is proven to reduce stress and improve your immune system.
- Call a friend. Don't text; call. Connecting with friends helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.
- Pop on to Instagram or Facebook and give yourself permission to unfollow anyone who makes you feel anxious or less-than.
- Watch this video on diaphragmatic breathing and take three deep breaths.
- When the pain around you feels overwhelming, practice turning negative vibes into positive fuel with this practice.
- Skip social media for a full day.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who has made a difference in your life.
- Get a dose of inspiration; read about people doing Good Good Good.
- Let go of the tension with twenty minutes of beginner yoga for anxiety and stress.
- Explore the Enneagram — after you find your primary type, read through the different anxiety triggers, and go here to learn more about your potential Enneagram type.
- Send a "remember when" or "thinking of you" text to someone you care about but haven't seen in a while.
- Celebrate with the reward you designated for yourself at the start of this challenge.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope these simple anxiety-reducers will introduce you to websites, apps, and practices to help you take the edge off your anxiety during this turbulent time.
May you have the courage...
Focusing on mental and emotional self-care over the next three weeks will allow you to remain a strong resource for your families, friends, and community. A calm and collected YOU will have a remarkable ripple effect on those you love most in this world.
You might also like: 25 Helpful Things to Say to a Someone Whose Anxiety Is Skyrocketing (and 5 to Avoid)
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