A woman popped up in my Direct Messages on Instagram, asking: “Can I ask you a question?”

Of course, I replied, but added that it depends what the question is… I was secretly thinking that this conversation could go anywhere!

She asked me, “are you even anxious right now?”

I felt so much empathy and my heart felt heavy. I replied: Yes, of course honey. We are all anxious right now. And it’s okay to feel this way. It’s completely normal.

I post on social media regularly about how I’m keeping active: walking, running, working out, and doing things like practicing handstands (‘cause the world is upside down anyway, right!)

I’m purposefully sharing uplifting content on social media. I guess it was so positive that this woman wondered if I somehow had a secret formula to skip the “low” over being in lockdown. But in reality I do things like getting upside down so I feel “the right way up” – if you get my drift. Being in lockdown is the most important thing everyone can do right now for the collective nation’s wellbeing. Staying home equals saving lives. But it’s also okay to feel all those feelings you genuinely feel like grief, anxiety, frustration, feeling a bit low etc. I just want you to know this is hard for pretty much everyone right now. It’s normal to feel this situation sucks!  

6 tips to calm anxiety.

1.   Walk daily. An expert, Sarah Wilson, explains in my book Balance about how the part of the brain that modulates the walking motion is the same part of the brain that controls flight or fight. It’s essentially a mono-tasker. ie while you walk, you can’t feel as anxious.  

2.   Don’t read the news all day. It can get overwhelming. I’m reading it in the morning only. It’s helping me to stay informed but not too triggered.

3.   Accept that “it is what it is, right now”. Then try and let go. Accept you don’t have control of certain things. Life is a rollercoaster and we are in a dip right now. But that rollercoaster ride will come to a higher point in time. There will be “the after”.

4.   Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. ie I’m missing CrossFit. But that doesn’t mean I can’t exercise. I’ve just got creative and doing body-weight exercises in my backyard, yoga, and a little bit of running in my ‘hood (following Government guidelines with social distancing, of course). If you’ve ever wanted to get fit, then now is the time to start!

5.   Get good sleep, eat great nutrition, use mindfulness and avoid drinking too much alcohol to help you to feel more in “balance”.

6.   Talk via phone or skype etc with uplifting friends.

Rachel is a wellness expert and author of the science-backed wellness book Balance: Food, Health and Happiness. Buy the book HERE

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