Happy October, beautiful friends!
This photo was taken in the lingering warmth of early September, right on my grandma’s beach property in Balfour BC, outside of Nelson.
Often times i wonder why i am sitting with so much anxiety, discomfort and dis-ease, sometimes from the first moments of waking up. Most commonly when we wake up feeling stressed, worried, unsure about our day ahead, it is most likely thoughts and emotions continuing forward from the night before – meaning that we probably fell asleep without first coming down.
Going to bed at the end of the day is about grounding, when we become too busy to come down from our day before sleeping, we are simply sleeping to carry us to the next day. Rather to feel rested and alive the following day, we need to realize that sleep is self care.
Here are a couple steps I have taken daily that have really helped shift my happiness and self trust in the last few months. Most of these will also help you add more time to your day, as i found cutting out time on my cellphone helps me accomplish so much more every day, not to mention, most of my anxiety vanished from this too 😉
1. To start, take time every night before falling asleep, simply to breathe. Time to close your eyes, put your cellphone down, close your laptop, shut your mind off from work or colleagues or what you wish you had said, what you wish you hadn’t. You are here, now. Feel your body become heavier, sinking down into your bed, into the Earth beneath you. Allow your eyes to feel heavy, your cheeks and jaw; soft. Get as comfortable as you can, and begin to invite deeper inhales, longer exhales. Slowly and gently without force. Invite this breath all the way to the bottom of your lungs. Feel your heart rise, your back-body expand down into the bed/Earth underneath you. Thoughts and emotions will arise, but keep inviting yourself back towards the breath. With practice in this, you will fall asleep quicker, rest easier and much more deeply.
2. Buy yourself a damn alarm clock. If you use your iPhone or android as an alarm, are you one to keep your eyes glued to the screen first thing in the morning until you have checked each and every social media platform you are a part of? I am so guilty of this one. Most of us are the most influenced in the first hours or even minutes of our day. So what this means for our nervous system is that these first moments of our day, spent on instagram, we are seeing whatever was posted from the people we follow. Social media’s biggest stars posting about their perfect lives, bodies, food, everything. For ages this depressed me without me even realizing it. If we are on social media often, we are constantly being bombarded with ideas, wants, needs, of others. This made me look unhealthily at myself for years, because i didn’t look like these people or feel like these perfect people, or have the relationships these people had. When we wake up and do what our own intuition calls us to, we are directly feeding our own soul’s. Whether that means journaling, getting onto your yoga mat, cooking yourself a wholesome breakfast or going for a walk. That 10-30 minutes you once put towards scrolling is now put into something that will help you have a wonderful day, something that fed you. Being on our phones for this half hour or so every morning directly interrupts our emotions and thought process. Not only that, but it removes us from the present moment.
3. After sharing a photo/status/post, turn your phone on silent and put it away. Seriously. Maybe you’re addicted to watching the ‘likes’ pour in, even more reason to try this. STAP, put it away on silent. How often do you return to your phone checking it after posting something? If you’re unaware of whether or not you do this, check in with yourself, watch yourself and your sensations next time you post.
4. Finally, when in a direct moment of dis-ease, panic, discomfort, fear or worry; Observe the breath and fully come into it, feel it around you. If it is safe to do so, close your eyes, this will bring you into the moment you are currently living in. What is happening here, right now within. When dealing with panic or anxiety attacks and practising mindfulness, an amazing mantra is simply, “All Is Well” – and knowing it is true, believing it as you repeat it. There are days where it feels like my mind takes over my body and my life, and i am unable to leave the state of panic until i have used this mantra. This mantra made a huge impact on my life. I really recommend repeating it in your head, over and over again, calmly, if you are feeling these fearful sensations.
In addition, here is another Pranayama (breathing practice) for panic or even to practice in bed before sleep,
Begin to count on your inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, softly, slowly, calmly.
Pause at the top, and continue, exhale: 4, 3, 2, 1.
Pause softly at the bottom of you exhale and begin again.
Unhinge your jaw, soften your brow and begin fresh. Take as many cycles as possible ❤
We have all the tools we need to ‘heal’ ourselves and to start fresh at any time. I hope this finds you with light and love ❤
With all of my gratitude, thank you for being here,
and a reminder that we are all in this together. You’re never alone in your struggles. Sometimes this is all we need to hear when we are living a battle with anxiety. You are whole as you are, you are alive, let your breath remind you.