It’s no doubt that our tolerance for uncertainty has been tested a lot over this last year. It’s been full of starts, stops, changed plans and last minute decisions. And for most of us, this increased uncertainty and lack of control has taken a toll on our overall wellness. In this blog, I share my top tips for managing your wellness through uncertain times and the practical tools you can use right now to increase your wellness today.
The biggest factor that may have impacted your wellness recently is increased anxiety. It is more important now than ever that when we feel that anxiety swelling in our chest that we have tools in place to manage it and calm those feelings as quickly as possible.
As a place to start, it’s important to understand that anxiety and fear are natural states for our minds to be in. And in regular situations they actually have some benefits to us. However, in these unprecedented times it can be increasingly difficult to minimise anxiety and fear when the world seems to be telling us to do the opposite.
First of all we need to have some empathy for ourselves and our emotions and understand that this is simply how our minds work. If we try and force ourselves not to be anxious, it’s simply going to push back more. But if we can sit back and realise this is just how our brain works, we have a much better chance of remaining calm.
When we are feeling affected by uncertainty, it’s important that we find ways to pause. Taking a moment to bring your rational mind back online can be as simple as taking a couple deep conscious breaths to instantly calm down our nervous system and hit pause straight away.
Try it now – breathe in for 6, exhale for 6. As slowly as and deeply as you possibly can. Doesn’t that feel better already?
However, not all of us will enjoy breathing exercises. If breathing evokes more anxiety for you, here are some options that may be a better method for you. If you have access to the outdoors or windows, it can be really beneficial to simply look outside a window. Take a few seconds and look at a tree or nature to calm your nervous system instantly. Or if you can, get outside and sit in nature for a few moments, and try to turn your phone off (or better yet, don’t take it with you).
Simple practices can work very well for managing your wellness and they don’t have to be complicated.
There is a lot of energy in the body so getting in to our bodies works wonders. Try to go for a walk or use any kind of movement that feels good. There are plenty of online resources and many teachers have taken their programs and classes online. I’ve recently taken my yoga retreat program completely online where you learn all the tools, breathing exercises, yoga and mindset practices to unwind and balance your body & mind during uncertain times. There are so many incredible resources online that you could start with, and just remember every bit counts. It’s the small changes that lead to big results over time.
There’s a saying that’s been going around the yoga community recently: “When you can’t go outside – go inside.”
It is referring to taking your attention inwards and focusing on all the positive aspects of your life that you CAN control and are certain in your life.
I always recommend journalling to my clients as an incredibly simple yet powerful tool to start to put your thoughts into perspective and start to logically sift through them. Something magical happens when you put pen to paper and physically write your thoughts down.
Here are my top 10 quick and easy journalling prompts that you can try at home right now. Just grab a pen and paper or a lovely journal and simply answer these questions and see what comes up for you:
- What feels uncertain in my life right now? Take your time to write out absolutely everything you’re feeling uncertain about before doing the other prompts.
- What does my uncertainty feellike? Naming your emotions helps you to understand them.
- What are my natural coping strategies for dealing with uncertainty? This may not be something you are necessarily aware of and could come from an unconscious level. Try to think back to the last time you felt uncertainty and how you naturally managed it.
- How could I consciously deal with uncertainty in healthier ways?
- In this uncertain situation, what feels out of my control?
- In this uncertain situation, what can I control?
- How can I focus my energy on what I can control?
- How can I positively affect my future right now?
- What can I do to get out of my head and connect with the real world right now?
- What can I be grateful for even during this uncertain time?
Remember to be kind to yourself while you’re dealing with uncertainty. We are all human and it takes mindful attention to our thoughts and emotions to work through the emotions that we are going through.
Take care & enjoy the practices!
Courtney is an internationally accredited 500 hour yoga teacher with a background in nutrition, health and wellness. Her passion is to help people slow down, reconnect, go within to experience life to their fullest potential. She is our resident yoga teacher at Kandooma and travel/wellness blogger. Contact or follow her journey on Instagram @theholistic_yogi or check out her holistic health and wellness retreats at www.holisticescapes.com.au.