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Giving yourself the best chance

When anxiety levels are high, the body is more tense and its resources are used up more quickly. The body is working extra hard to survive at these times. Eating healthily and exercising are obviously going to help, but when moods are low and anxiety is high, we tend to be doing more running from ourselves. It can feel like an uphill climb to be focusing on caring for ourselves at these times. If this is the case, it can be beneficial to consider easier options which feel more achievable.

Taking supplements during moments of stress can help to get you through and don't require expensive shopping, lots of time or cooking skills to achieve. These obviously won't substitute food, but can help to give you a boost of what your body might be needing. For example, high levels of stress and anxiety can use up a lot of magnesium. Low magnesium levels can result in further stress and tiredness. Zinc, calcium and iron are also affected by high stress levels. Taking a good quality multivitamin or specific supplements could be one way of giving your body some of the additional resources it might need during tough times.

Some of our simplest and basic needs such as breathing deeply and drinking water can get easily overlooked during stressful times. Breathing can speed up with anxiety, resulting in less oxygen coming into the body. Making a conscious effort to take deep breaths will increase oxygen entering the body and can help to bring anxiety levels down in the moment. Hydrating your body can seem so simple, but when we are tired, we tend to reach for coffee more frequently and a glass of water might seem less appealing. If cofffee is showing up more regularly, think of having a glass of water afterwards. Hydration can also help with tiredness.

If exercise seems impossible, perhaps try reframing what exercise is. If picturing going to a gym or for a run seems too much to achieve, dipping into short videos available online might feel more possible. Ok, so it's not doing the weekly class that you might have had in mind, but during tough times, leaving the house to go to a class might not feel achievable. Being easier on yourself and setting more surmountable tasks can help you to feel better. Perhaps a 10 minute video in the living room is all you can do right now and that's better than nothing. There is a wide selection of free videos available, covering many types of exercise and with a variation of durations.

A journey in therapy will provide you with a space to explore what's been going on and what's behind your obstacles. Providing yourself with the best possible conditions can support you both on your therapeutic journey and beyond.

Written by Hannah Downing. If you would like to contact me, please email or call 01883 779276.


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