A blog about Traveling, Aviation, Social Media and life as a Digital Nomad.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

5 Anxiety Butt-kicking Tips For Grounded Birds (and Flight Attendants too!)



If you read my previous post, then you know my anxiety-filled struggle after leaving a certain red hat airline. In the past few weeks, many people I know have lost their jobs, and the others who haven’t are worried about the possibility of losing theirs, too. 

This brings other worries: what am I going to do next? How am I going to support my loved ones or my lifestyle? Do I have to go back to my old life? And a bunch of other doubts that will keep you up at night or staring at your favorite Netflix show without really watching it. 


But, guess what? IT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL. This is a normal reaction, especially during Covid times: when you either lost your job or are afraid you will lose it. It means that you are not alone! There are many other people going through similar situations across the world, and especially, close to you.


So, being a mindfulness junkie and  having gone through “OMG I just lost my job” realizations that freaked me out for about a zillion times since it happened, I’ve put together some tips that are helpful to me when dealing with stress.
It is normal (I can’t stress this word enough) to go through anxiety episodes, or feeling like you are on the verge of one. It’s all about identifying these moments when you are about to lose it, and doing something about it or doing things in advance to alleviate stress. 


Here’s 5 tips to get rid of stress or avoid it:

1.   Breathe, but be aware of it. Like, really aware. 


It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It is and it’s not. Why? Because you need to do it mindfully. We are talking about diaphragmatic or belly breathing. Not only is breathing the basis of meditation or relaxation techniques (so if you want to become a meditation guru, you have to master these), but it also has tons of benefits, such as lowering your heart rate and blood pressure on top of reducing stress.  


There are many exercises such as laying flat on the floor and putting a hand on your chest and another one on your belly and concentrating on the air going in and out, or even “alternate nostril breathing” When I have to change my post-flying life plan to a new one (because everything constantly changes with this pandemic), I make sure I give myself a little breathing time, 5 minutes can make a huge difference!


2.   Snap a rubber band. 


A wrist band or hair tie will also do the trick. This is a form of aversion therapy. 

You basically place the band on your wrist and snap it any time you feel anxiety taking over you. As you do that, you need to say a positive affirmation that you can come up with. It can be anything that will help: “This is anxiety trying to control me, but I am the one in control here” or simply tell yourself that your anxious thoughts are not real. 


I use this technique whenever I get irritated over things I cannot control, but I do remind myself that I can control my reactions: “you are a loved and important person, you control your life”  Personally, that has been an important thing to remind myself of, whenever this situation has made me feel like a number. Sound ridiculous? Yes. Does it work? Yes! 


3. Meditate while visualizing, visualize while meditating.


I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t concentrate enough to meditate” 


I love meditating, and trust me, I sometimes find it difficult, too. But practice makes perfect!

A good start are guided meditations, visualization. These are meditations that will help you if you get easily distracted. And remember, if you get distracted from the visualization, always go back to picturing the air going through your nose and into your lungs, and out of your lungs through your mouth. I find these boho meditations quite soothing, check them out! 

Oh, and light some incense or a candle, lavender is my favorite soothing scent. 


4. Run Forrest, RUN!


Okay, I’m not a running fanatic (my feet are not designed for it, so I get lower back pain after running a mile or two). 

I do, however, love love LOVE cycling! It was one of my favorite activities to do as a kid. So, whenever I feel too stressed, sad or anxious: I cycle. I’m not saying you should bike away your sorrows, just pick any activity that will allow you to release endorphins. Endorphins or “runner’s high” are a chemical released by your brain whenever you exercise. 

Even going for a walk will help, after I had a little crying sesh because I would be worried about my post-flying life, I would go for a walk or a spin class, and life automatically felt good again. So get off your butt and do a little (or a lot!) of exercise.


5. Get rid of anything that feels TOXIC…at least for a while.


Do you notice that, whenever talking to a specific person during stressful times, you feel more anxious than you already were? Or that instagram account with someone with the perfect life makes you feel a little blue? It may be because it’s triggering something in your mind that makes you think about situations that make you anxious, or because you are setting unrealistic standards for yourself when, in reality, nobody’s perfect.


 So…give yourself a rest!

When I lost my job, I didn’t look at my phone for a day or two. I even didn’t reply to company e-mails right away, it honestly felt toxic to me, and there was no need to rush. Human Resources is not going anywhere, they will wait for your reply. So give yourself time and be patient, and get rid of whatever gives you that tingling feeling in your arms, there is no need for that during rough times, or EVER. 


Final thought.
I hope you find these useful. I practice them everyday, it’s how I keep my sanity. Do you already practice any of these? Which one is most efficient to you? 


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