Starting your day from the Center: Mindfulness for daily anxiety management

TDB Fitness Newsletter 12/5/2021

Every human being is capable of experiencing anxiety. However, does daily anxiety ever get difficult to cope with? As seasonal depression sets in, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily anxieties. See this week’s trainer’s tips for a daily routine you can use to help you cope!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Tip of the week:

Start Your Day the Mindful Way

Every human being is capable of experiencing anxiety. At its most basic, anxiety is just fear. And fear is a human nervous system response mechanism designed to help us survive. However, when our anxiety no longer serves us, but we still can’t let it go, it can make living our daily lives almost unbearable.

Both Vinnie and I have coped with anxiety disorders our entire lives. Even if you’ve never been diagnosed, you likely know what it feels like to suffer from a period of hard-to-control anxiety. Have you ever had a big exam to study for? What about an upcoming job interview, performance, or game? Have you ever had a loved one suffer from a terminal illness? Regardless of your mental health profile, no one is exempt from the challenges life brings. Anxiety coping skills are something everyone can benefit from building.

We are entering our third year of an international pandemic. If you find yourself coping with a higher level of stress than you’re used to, you’re not alone. Anxiety is everywhere this holiday season. In light of the present context, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite anxiety coping tools with you this week. I’m referring to the practice of mindfully centering myself every morning so I can start my day with more control over my anxiety.

Each morning over my coffee I ask myself the following series of questions. I take each question one at a time, and refuse to move on until the need being expressed by the question is fulfilled:

Question 1: Are all my physical needs (and those of any of my dependents) fulfilled?

Are you hungry? Have you gotten enough sleep? Do you need to stretch? I start my process with a physical scan of my body. As we get wrapped up in our daily grind, it’s easy to neglect our physical needs. I’ve been known to skip meals, deprive myself of sleep, and refuse to take sick days so I never lose any productivity. However, every human has a hierarchy of needs; with physical needs being the very foundation of our ability to do almost anything else effectively. It makes sense to start your day by satisfying them!

Question 2: What am I feeling and are there any emotional needs I can fulfill right now?

How do you feel today? Where are those feelings coming from? Could you use a good cry? Is there anything on your mind a call with your best friend could help you work out? Do you really just need a day off to spend some time alone? The simple act of defining and acknowledging what you’re feeling helps you build the self awareness you need to cope with your anxiety.

Question 3: Are all my bills paid? Is there anything I need to do today to make sure my bills continue to get paid?

It may initially seem silly to ask yourself this question, because you’re essentially asking yourself if you need to go to work that day. And I’m sure most of you would argue we don’t really have a choice in that all the time. That’s true, but the purpose of putting this on the list is the order in which it appears on the list. Even if we don’t like to admit it, money is important. We all need money to survive. However, when we make money a higher priority than our physical and emotional needs, it’s easy to let our anxiety run our lives. Also, asking myself this honestly has helped me keep myself from overworking. Just because we can work harder than we need to some days doesn’t mean we should.

Question 4: Does anyone I care about need me for anything?

The order in which this one appears on the list is also important. Many of us care deeply about our loved ones and would do anything for them. As important as it is to be a supportive friend, it never needs to come at the expense of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Putting your needs first also empowers you to start your day on the strongest footing possible – which ultimately makes you better able to function as a friend and support system in the long run. On the flip side, when I get wrapped up in the symptoms of my mental illness I sometimes withdraw from my loved ones. I can go weeks or months without contacting people important to me. Asking myself this question every day helps keep me accountable and stops me from ghosting!

Once I’ve fulfilled the needs expressed by this list for the day I get to consciously release myself from my anxiety. We often suffer from chronic anxiety when we’re dwelling on things we can’t control. Running through this list every morning helps center me by reconnecting myself with the parts of my life I can control. And once I’ve done everything within my control – I get to put the anxiety down because I know it no longer serves me.

Team Announcements

Saturday Holiday Challenges

For many, it’s the holiday season. Here at Team Di Bella Fitness, we’ve decided to celebrate by bringing you some extra challenges! We will post a new challenge for you every Saturday this month. Don’t forget to post your stats in the private Facebook group!

Got Tea?

Need someone to talk to this winter? Feel free to reach out to us whenever! We are here to support you in your journey to living your holistically healthiest life. Ever since Renea’s own recent mental health journey, she’s committed to passing on the healing. So please reach out for support when you need it.

We’re in the process of designing an official members only space of our website to facilitate processes like these. Until then, DM her on Facebook if you ever want to chat!

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