5 things you can do to feel calm right now

It is a stressful time. No matter what it is that is causing that stress, whether it’s being in the same house as your family for an extended period of time, or worrying about the uncertainty around essays and exams, we understand that there are a lot of factors at play. Here are five things you can do which will leave you feeling calmer.

1. Do some mindful cooking

There’s a lot of chat around mindfulness when it comes to looking after your mental health, but knowing where to start with this can be a bit daunting. One way which is really easy to practise mindfulness is to do this while cooking. All this means is cooking without any distractions (so don’t put music on or a TV show in the background) and simply focus on the present moment. Observe the way the food looks when you are chopping, listen to the searing of the pan and only focus on each step you are taking. This can help to slow down a racing mind and help you feel more grounded.

2. Engage your spine

Your spine is directly connected to your brain, so it makes sense that if your back feels tense or painful, it impacts how your mind feels and vice versa. Engaging your spine by doing things like yoga can help you feel instantly better. There are plenty of online yoga classes for all levels, and if yoga isn’t your thing you can also just stretch your body using videos like this one below:

3. Listen to a podcast

Sometimes, the thing that is causing us the most stress is being too in our own heads or overthinking. One of the best ways to escape our overthinking is to be transported into another universe and podcasts are a great way of doing just that! Whether it’s listening to something funny like My Dad Wrote a Porno or a great interview like Clara Amfo’s This City podcast, it’ll allow you to immerse yourself into something else, and free your mind from the cycle of stress.

4. Write it down

When there are lots of thoughts swimming around in your head, it can make you feel stressed. Writing down exactly what is on your mind can be a powerful activity. Sometimes it might come out as a to-do list, where you can make sense of all the things you have to complete. Other times, it might just be random words about how you are feeling. Whatever it is, seeing your thoughts transcribed in front of you can help them feel less messy and tangled, which should leave you feeling more zen.

5. Breathe

Literally, take time to actually breathe. Deep breaths in and out. Studies show that by changing your breathing pattern you can physically change the chemicals and reactions in your body so you can feel less stressed. Breathwork is particularly great for relieving an agitated mind, tackling symptoms of anxiety or PTSD. So why not download an app to help you dedicate time to this or use online resources like the one below.

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