The holidays always have some elements of stress but with an ongoing pandemic, I’m personally feeling rather overwhelmed and in search of ways I can find further calm this season. This year has been so stressful. Lost jobs, lost income, death, shuttered businesses, inability to see family or friends, cancelled plans, Zoom schooling, quarantining, an enormous amount of uncertainty. I could go on and on and feel as though this year will leave emotional scars on us for a long time. The American Psychological Association found that nearly 8 in 10 adults (78%) say the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives, while 3 in 5 (60%) say the number of issues America faces is overwhelming to them.
And I also want to recognize that I know this time of year can be stressful even when a pandemic isn’t going on. So I hope even beyond 2020 you find the below helpful. Whatever your holidays plans are this year, I hope you have a safe and peaceful season.
How to Find Calm During the Holidays:
Today’s post is in partnership with Equilibria – a premium CBD company making products for women to help find calm and balance. This year my mental health has relied on CBD daily to combat my anxiety and stress that were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve now been taking CBD for almost a year and I am not sure how I might have fared this year without it to be honest. I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder but don’t take any prescriptions for it so I’m very happy to have a CBD routine that has made me more calm, more balanced and less overwhelmed.
You guys know I only recommend products and work with brands I love and I very much have come to trust Equilibria as a way to provide my life with more wellness. CBD is the #1 way I’ve been staying calm in 2020.
I take Equilibria daily softgels every single day to remain less anxious overall. I also take their Daily Drops as needed on particularly stressful days or weeks or in 2020 – a stressful year! (The Election, and Shelter in Place have been major stressors for myself and I know so many of you as well!)
As background, Equilibria offers a suite of premium CBD products alongside personalized dosage support so that each customer can get a custom routine best suited to their needs. The brand aims to help women who are dealing with inflammation, pain relief, everyday anxiety; among other pesky issues that can disrupt one’s day to day. If you’re not familiar, CBD is a natural compound (“phytocannabinoid”) found within industrial hemp flowers. Published clinical trials have shown that CBD benefits mental and physical well-being when taken properly and consistently.
You place your order (I recommend starting with the Brilliance Box as it features all 3 of my favorite products. If you subscribe you’ll get the most savings and you can cancel without penalty or change up the products at any time!) and then speak with your dosage consultant to set up your regimen. The dosage specialist is also there whenever you need to check in or make changes in your regimen. With the right regimen, you can find a new sense of balance and lessened anxiety that make it so, so worth trying.
For this holiday season, Equilibria also makes a great gift for a close friend or family member who you think might appreciate finding some more calm moving forward.
They’ve released some limited edition holiday sets perfect for gifting but I also love the Relief Cream as a gift idea (this stuff is amazing!! Use it for cramps, jaw pain, back pain, headaches…), the Bath Salts that smell amazing and their Roller Duo that makes a great stocking stuffer. You can use code witwhimsy for 15% off your first Equilibria order.
As per FDA guidelines, CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Be sure to speak with your doctor before you begin a CBD regimen.
Do a home clean out.
Clutter can affect your mental state so take an hour (set a timer and don’t stop till the hour buzzes!) and clean up your house as much as possible in that 60 minutes. Prioritize where you spend most of your time.
One of the best things I do to calm myself down is to get busy and this can mean many things! But creating – whatever that means to you – is one of the best things to do to find some calm. Maybe try needlepointing? Work on a puzzle! Create handwritten notes for loved ones (I’ve personally been sending pen pal notes to some of my friends’ kids all of this year!). Paint. There’s so much you can do to give your mind a break and also a new stimulation.
Try a bath with some relaxing bath oil or bath salts. Or try a diffuser! I really believe in the power of scent to help calm and soothe.
Do deep breathing.
One of the best breathing exercises I learned this year is the one that releases the pressure on my chest I’ve felt so much of 2020. It goes like this: Breathe in as though you’re drinking through a straw – do it until you can no longer take in any air. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following the 7 seconds, breathe out through your nose until you’ve exhaled all your air. Do this for several minutes until your mind and body both feel more calm.
Burning a calming candle.
I recommend this one.
Get into meditation.
I’ve spoken a lot about how meditation has helped me with my anxiety but nowadays it is also one of the best daily practices for my mental health. The 10-13 minutes of daily meditation I try to work in ends up giving me a sense of peace and some much needed time not looking at a screen. I swear by the Inscape app. When the season starts to stress you out – mediate and reboot.
Organizing my space is one of the best things I can do to distract myself from screen time. Pick a project in your home and spend time away from the hustle and bustle by tidying and organizing. I find it is one of the best ways to stay calm through productivity. Looking for some tips on organizing your closet? Look no further.
This doesn’t need to mean spending money on yourself (but it can! Little gifts can be a great mood boost!) Treating yourself to a long walk outside. An hour with your phone on airplane mode. A window of time away from your kiddos. Delegating a task. Make yourself a priority to find some calm this season.
Put your phone on Airplane or Silent Mode.
News and the state of the world stressing you out? I’ve been putting my phone on silent mode at times to help give myself some breaks from the constant news alerts and other notifications. Also, you can treat your cell phone like a landline. Plug it in away from where you’re spending your time and if you need it, you’ll have to go to it.
Identify 3 things you’re grateful for.
Write them down. This very small act can bring down your anxiety.
It’s amazing to me how much better I feel when I get some greens in my body. I buy green juices at Whole Foods and aim to have 1/2 of one each day. I put it on my to do list so I don’t forget! Another great tip is to sauté Spinach till its wilted and just sneak it into whatever you’re making. If you need a reset, check out this post.
Sleep can escape us during the busy holiday season. Try and prioritize your sleep and make it as regular as possible (go to bed and wake up at the same time every day whenever possible – it actually improves the quality of your sleep). Here are even more ideas of how to get better sleep.
Many professionals that work in the self care space say that journaling first thing in the morning and doing a “brain dump” on the page so to speak is a great way to clear and calm your mind. It settles you to move on with the day and achieve your priorities so that you’re worrying less about the things you shared in your journal. I personally just bought this one so I can begin journaling again.
What’s a happy distraction you can do for yourself that doesn’t involve a screen? Start a new book. Buy a puzzle. Read magazines. Play boardgames. Find some good distractions to do solo or with family and friends and put away all your screens as you do.
Move your body.
2020 made me hyper aware of how lucky I am to have an able body that can move and work out. Despite the colder weather arriving be sure to move your body a bit every day!
Mother Nature is one of the best ways to seek calm. Bundle up and head outdoors. Walks in my neighborhood were one of the best things I prioritized this year during shelter in place.
Call a friend.
I’m glad long phone catch up with friends made a return to my life this year. I feel as though they fell by the wayside as Instagram DMing and texting became the norm but this year I keep calling friends – those I talk to often and those I don’t talk to often enough. I always feel immediately better after doing this.
Make a daily to do list.
Daily to do lists are pretty much the only way I manage to stay productive these days. I jot down everything under “Monday To Dos” on the Notes app of my phone and put everything there. (Ideally in order of preference but not always necessary.) Whatever doesn’t get done, moves to “Tuesday To Dos” and so forth. But trust me when I saw that this list brings a lot of calm to my life by taking away the “What else did I want to get done today?” question.
Know that you have certain triggers that set off your anxiety or make you feel unbalanced? Whatever you can do to avoid those, do it. Protect yourself. Tune out the noise on social media and turn off the news when you have to. Avoid toxic people and resist arguments. Protect your mental health more than ever this holiday season.
Listen to a calming playlist.
I recently discovered this Soothing Relaxation Playlist on Spotify and oh man- it instantly gives me calm! I’ve been playing it while reading in bed or in the bath and it truly is the loveliest. Highly recommend it when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Accept the present.
When life doesn’t feel calm it’s easy to worry too much about the future. But one of the best ways we can find calm is to accept the present. This year been a large exercise in this because we’ve been confronted with so much uncertainty. But there’s power in accepting the present and what you can’t control. Breath in and breathe out and then say aloud “I accept that which I can’t control. I accept the present.” You’ll likely see you feel better right away.
. . .
I hope this helps you find calm this holiday season and beyond. Sending you each a virtual hug!
This post is in collaboration with Equilibria. Thank you so much for supporting the brands I love to work with! All opinions are my own. As per FDA guidelines, Equilibria is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any ailments or disease. As always, consult with your physician before starting any new program that may interact with your current health plan.