How to rest your mind during a crisis
You might be feeling stressed. Anxious. Powerless. Helpless. Are these words triggering? Are you nodding your head? Sometimes we need a break from our thoughts. You might be feeling all these things because you’re experiencing a crisis. Here are a few things to try to help you through that so you can rest your mind during a crisis.
Meditate and Breathe.
Meditating doesn’t have to be for more than five minutes. Start slow and small, you don’t need to be a pro (no one is). Allow yourself to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and continue breathing. Noticing your breath. Sometimes while breathing, I like to touch each finger with my thumb—pointer, middle, ring, pinky. Rinse and repeat. Another breathing exercise that helps reduce anxiety is the in for four, hold for four, out for four, hold for four, cycle of breath. There are tons of breathing exercises out there. I just mentioned two that might help. Try them.
Read a book outside.
Getting some sun and resting your eyes from looking at a screen can help rest your stress. You don’t have to make it to the park but if you can, lay out a blanket and relax for a bit. Your porch is fine too. Try your best not to look at your phone. The point of this is to remind your mind what being in the moment feels like. Plus, you help it paint a new picture by reading.
Do some art.
Creativity is healing. It gives your mind a break by having it focus on creating something outside of itself, instead of creating the strain of anxious thoughts you’ve been absorbed in. Whether it’s drawing, painting, coloring, clay—there are millions of art-related tutorials on YouTube. If you feel anxiety just staring at a blank canvas, watch one, and follow along. It’s okay to let someone guide you.
Take a dance class.
Dancing relieves stress and gets you moving. Learning a new dance will also help your mind solve a different problem. If you don’t want to learn a dance, simply turn on some music and grab your headphones. Turn your place into a silent dance party of one. You can even dance in your underwear. Let loose and let music help relieve your mind from worry.
Take a nap.
Sometimes the best rest we need is sleep. A twenty-minute nap can go a long way. When I’m tired (obviously) and my mind won’t stop worrying (typically), I try a nap. I close my eyes, set an alarm (with my eyes open), count my sheep, and try to sleep. Usually, when I wake up, I feel better and often forget about what I was worried about.
Do some yoga.
Whether you do this at the beginning of the day, as a break in the middle, or to unwind as the last thing before getting ready for bed, yoga helps. It puts you in the moment and combines meditation and breathing with movement. A yoga practice can reduce your stress and stretch your muscles to relieve some built-up tension. There are so many yoga videos on YouTube to try. If you’ve never done yoga before, I recommend trying Yoga with Adrienne.