Turning an uncomfortable situation around doesn’t require superpowers. In fact, it requires even less energy and time than worrying. As soon your worries start bubbling up in your mind, just try those easy fixes to feel better, faster.
- Focus on your breath. Each breath transports oxygen to your organs so they work better – that’s your brain too. If your breath is shallow and happens in your chest, you take in less air. This is what happens when you’re stressed. Your breathing becomes fast and shallow. If you breathe deeper, using your belly, you allow your heart rate to lower, your muscles to relax and oxygen to flow where it’s supposed to flow. You instantly feel less stressed and your head feels clearer. Start by taking 3 deep, slow breaths when you feel worried and once you are used to it, go up to 10 deep breaths. It’s a great way to unwind at night too especially if you have trouble falling asleep.
- Stay clear of junk food, sweets and fizzy drinks. The sugar and the preservatives they contain may trick your mind into thinking that they will make you feel better, but the truth is that after the sugar high, you will crash and feel worse. Instead, drink a glass of water and eat something nutritious like a banana. Stress causes dehydration and dehydration causes more stress, so water is your best choice when feeling overwhelmed. Why a banana? Bananas are full of potassium, which is good for your heart, bones and muscles but also something called tryptophan (funny name, right?!), which regulates your mood and helps your memory. Perfect to calm you down before doing something that may overwhelm you like that dreaded maths test!
- Look at your worry like it’s a mystery to solve. Are you having negative thoughts? Don’t ignore your worry but look at it like you’re a detective solving a mystery. What’s the worry? When did it start? Break it down into small pieces. Is there something you don’t know? How can you know more so you can find a solution? Write down your ideas to solve the problem. Breaking down a worry in small parts will help you to create easy actionable steps to solve your problem. It will also make you feel more in control of the situation.
- Get some fresh air and move – and give your phone a break too. The vitamin D you get from being in natural light has a mood-boosting effect on your mind and the fresh air will give more oxygen to your body so you will feel better instantly. By moving your body, your brain also produces happy hormones (the little messengers your body makes to tell its cells what to do) and let your mind know that there is no real danger to stress about. It’s also the perfect opportunity to form a healthy habit and give your phone a break. It probably needs it! Phones are great but they also bombard you with a lot of information that clutter your mind and eventually overwhelm you. Taking breaks from this information overload allows your brain to process situations with a clearer mind so you can understand them better. It also helps you to reset your focus on what matters to you.
- Look forward to washing your face at night – really. Skincare rituals are the perfect way to relax and take care of your skin. Make yourself a nice, calming playlist to make that time special (or check out our playlist here). Start by rubbing your hands together so they are warm. Then apply a little cleanser to your hands and take time to smell the delicate scent with your eyes closed. Does it remind you of a beautiful memory? What colour do you see when you smell it? Then apply cleanser to your skin, using a gentle, circle movements from your nose out towards the edges. Rinse with warm – but not hot – water. You can use one of our Fancy Cloths to remove the product. Take a moment to appreciate how fresh and clean your skin feels. Follow with moisturiser or any other product you are using, always repeating the pause to smell the scent of your products. Creating a skincare ritual that you look forward during the day when you are feeling overwhelmed is a simple but effective way to take care of both your mind and skin. We choose the natural fragrances of our products carefully, so they are lift your mood and soothe your mind. Choose your top favourites here.
Do you still feel like life is too much? That your mind is racing and that your stomach is full of worry? That’s ok.
Everyone has down, gloomy days and talking to someone to offload those heavy worries can make you feel a lot better - and free up some space in your mind to focus on things you love.
If you don’t feel like talking to someone you know, you can reach out to Youthline. Youthline provides a 24/7 Helpline service that is made for young people who are facing challenges. It’s free and you can contact them by text, email, phone or webchat for counselling support. The team are friendly and know how to help you so it’s a safe place to share your worries. Youthline is a great place to learn more about mental health issues, well-being and personal development. Head to their website www.youthline.co.nz if you want to understand more.