1. Don’t Forget to Breathe…Deeply
This might sound simple, but it works! “When people feel stressed, one of the best things we can ask people to do is breathe into their belly,” Farnan says. “It resets your autonomic nervous system, which helps calm you down.” Here’s how it works: Take three deep breaths deep into your diaphragm by counting to three with each breath. Once you’ve filled your lungs, hold the air in for another few seconds before breathing out. This gets the maximum oxygen to your entire body. “You can actually train your breathing to calm your system,” Farnan says. “You can either ramp your system up or calm it down. Breathing is a really powerful tool.”
2. Check in on Your Mental Health Several Times a Day
This is something we can all do easily any time of the day, and Farnan says it’s something people often forget to do. When stress or grief become overwhelming, the common reaction is to power through, but if we stop and take a moment to ask ourselves how we’re feeling, Farnan says that can give our bodies and minds a chance to hit pause and evaluate what is needed. “It’s about taking notice of physical signs of stress or anxiety,” she says. “Do this throughout the day and ask yourself: are you feeling tired, sad, stressed… and then ask yourself what will help relieve your symptoms.” If you’re feeling stressed, maybe you just need to take a 15 minute break and go for a quick walk. If you’re feeling sad, maybe you need to call up a friend and schedule a coffee date. Whatever’s going on, give yourself a moment to acknowledge how you feel and share it with those you trust.