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Mental Health Mondays: 5 Ways I Manage Anxiety in Uncertain Times

by Meredith Youngson |

I’m proud and excited to launch a new series on The Journal: Mental Health Mondays, where myself, the L&O team and other inspiring women will get real and share their resources, tips and insights on mental health. 

Stress around our health, the unknown, and ever-changing government restrictions has impacted us all in different ways over the past year. Some days we’re flying high, appreciating the little moments of calm. Other days we’re wondering how to get through another period of “WTF”. 

This month, as many of us continue to do our best to manage our anxiety around uncertainty, I wanted to share a few things that have helped to keep my mindset in a healthy place. Like many of you, anxiety is something I live with work on every day (pandemic or not). Mental health and wellness is not perfect, it’s not linear, but it’s worth it. 

If you have any ideas or inspiration for what you’d like to see us tackle on our next Mental Health Monday, I’d love to hear from you. Say hey at shoplakeandoak@gmail.com or DM me on IG :) 

 

5 Ways I Manage Anxiety in Uncertain Times

1) Start a new challenge or initiative.

Sometimes, distraction is the best medicine. When you’re eyeballs deep in a project or goal, you don’t have a lot of time to focus on the daily stressors. For me this month, it’s a simple thing: To cook more nourishing foods and document it.

On my list for April: hummus and falafel bowls, harissa-rubbed roast chicken and Thai-inspired rice bowls with peanut sauce.

That being said, your body and mind might be telling you to slow down and “accomplish” nothing this month. Lean into this and don’t let social media/your mind tell you you’re any less worthy. 


2) Give yourself something to look forward to.

Admittedly, sometimes this can be difficult during COVID. 

It can be as simple as a Sunday hike with a friend or a trip to the “fancy” grocery store (hand is raised) For me right now I have my eye on summertime: iced teas in the backyard, and some exciting L&O related news I’ll be sharing soon. Lockdown, what lockdown?

 

3) Capture the small moments

The last year can feel like a blur, especially when the days were often filled with a lot of the same, and travel and celebrations were minimal. 

Despite ups and downs, if you look closely, there is always something beautiful and memorable about each day. In order to hold onto these I make an effort to take at least one photo each day on my phone.

It may be as simple as my partner putting together an IKEA shelf, or the hint of a sunset view from my office, but these little moments are worth remembering and building gratitude for. The more that we appreciate these everyday moments of joy, the more we are able to notice and appreciate all of the good in our lives.


4) Journal it out

The more turbulence I happen to be going through mentally, the more work my journal gets! I journal sad/mad/anxious thoughts to help release them, but I also journal gratitude and plans for happier times. I find it useful to speak in the present tense “I am grateful to be happy, healthy and abundant” especially if I am not feeling that way. 


5) Visualize the good

Yes, I am a sucker for all things manifestation and setting goals! 

Setting goals to attain your dream job, vacation, mindset, partner, etc is even more fun when it’s planned out in a visually appealing way.

Pinterest or Instagram is the simplest way to collect images that bring you joy and inspire you. From there, you can either print it out and make a visualization board the old fashioned way, or make one with Canva and save it as an image on your phone. 

When things get stagnant, plotting out things that excite and inspire you is a great way to get out of a rut and move forward. 

XO

Meredith

photo credit - ashton.creates

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