All the changes and curveballs life throws our way can create overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety, but you can reduce the impact of unpredictable changes by creating “foundations” that set yourself up for success. Foundations are built by finding ways to keep as much of your life as consistent as possible and limit the stress of outside forces!
Start with the basics, things like eating regularly, waking up at your usual time, and keeping your daily routines as consistent as possible. It might seem a bit boring, but creating a routine can help maintain emotional and physical stability when the waves of life get rough.
Create space and time in your life to enjoy the things you like. This not only allows you emotional rest from focusing on the events happening around you, but also gives you a hit of healthy chemicals in the brain!
So what can you do? Anything that you enjoy, feels familiar, and gives you a sense of comfort. Think of it like the activity version of a weighted blanket. Pick something (or a few things) you have enjoyed, and dive into them. For example:
- Put your favorite playlist on repeat
- Read one of your favorite books again – or try out the audio version and listen while you go for a walk!
- Make a favorite snack to enjoy while you rewatch a show you love.
Keeping a sense of familiarity and comfort in your life is a great way to manage stress when life’s turmoil sets in – building and reaffirming these healthy and positive foundations will help you feel grounded. When you are grounded, you are more likely to feel safe in starting to explore the feelings that life’s curveball has brought with it. It’s important to start to explore these feelings, because that is the starting point of learning how to cope and asking for help if you need it.