If you are feeling full of anxiety while at home, you will not want to miss my conversation with psychotherapist and certified professional organizer, Karen Kruzan of K2 Organizing. In this session she explains what anxiety is, where it comes from and her top techniques for reducing it during this time.
If you have 40 minutes to watch the interview, you can see it here. But I know we’re all busy – especially those of us homeschooling – so I’m sharing a few takeaways here on the blog.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is feelings of worry. Of nervousness and apprehension. But it can also show up physically such as an increased heart rate, increased speed of speaking, maybe sweating, or physically feeling agitated. Karen says anxiety is an intolerance to uncertainty. And this is a perfect way to describe how we may all be feeling right now. With so much uncertainty around Covid, it’s easy to see how everyone can be more anxious.
WHY DO WE FEEL ANXIETY?
Karen answered this in a way we can all grasp…
Our brain is hardwired and protective. Our limbic system helps to protect us and puts us into a state of fight or flight. When we’re full of anxiety it’s tough to think clearly or make rational decisions. Even with something as simple as sorting, organizing or decluttering. We become compromised. And until we can calm that feeling of anxiety, it’s hard to know where to begin with anything.
Karen shared in our interview that most of her clients felt excited and motivated at the beginning of shelter orders. But over time and with the amount of time that it’s continuing, depression is beginning to sink in. This is something I am sensing too within my own community and why I felt it was important to bring in an expert like Karen to speak on this very important topic.
When most of us feel stressed we have ways to cope, but so many of our coping strategies have been taken away from us. The gym, time with friends, going to a sporting event – they aren’t available to tap into right now.
SIMPLE TECHNIQUES FOR MANAGING ANXIETY
Water, exercise and sleep
Some of her very basic techniques are things you already know, but are you really paying attention to how much you’re doing? Things like getting enough sleep, exercise or drinking enough water. I’ve noticed my water intake has gone down and it’s something I’m working on improving. And I think the lack of water has been causing my interrupted sleep.
Breathing techniques – deep breathing – can help tremendously. Breathing takes you out of your limbic system and into your parasympathetic system where you can feel calm, relaxed and intentional.
The simple act of smiling can help remind your brain you are in fact happy and everything is good. Smiling is a calming mechanism that you can use anytime even if you’re faking that smile.
Being mindful is another great way to combat anxiety. From awareness comes compassion. The antidote to anxiety is self-compassion. The more you can say to yourself these are normal feelings and I’m ok…it’s ok, it’s just a thought, it’s just a feeling. It will be calming. Think of speaking to yourself the way you would speak compassionately to a friend. Be kind to yourself.
I love when Karen said the more we resist, the more it persists. I’ve heard of this before and this session was a great reminder. The more we push something away and don’t recognize it, the more it can manifest. It’s ok to sit with these feelings and recognize them. Notice them.
Visualization works well too. If you can imagine taking your thoughts and worries and setting them on beautiful leaves … then watch them float down a stream. You visualize seeing them, noticing them and watching them float away. This can bring a sense of calm.
She shared some funny and unusual techniques as well that you can hear in our conversation but she really wanted YOU to have a range of ideas to tap into during this time. Because as we know, this time at home may go on for quite a while.
Karen answered a few questions from the community as well you won’t want to miss like dealing with financial uncertainty and we spoke how putting together a routine and schedule when you have children at home can be a helpful trick for combating anxiety for the entire household.
I sincerely hope you have a chance to view our interview, especially if you’re struggling with feelings of anxiety. Karen really did bring a sense of calm today and I love her practical, gentle methods and energy.
And again a big thank you to Karen for offering her time to join us and share her expertise for FREE!
If you’d like to connect with Karen, you can find her here. She is more than happy to answer questions or connect you with a local professional who can help with tele-health calls.
Are you guys enjoying this series? I’d love to know! I am lining up a great group of experts for next week as well so be sure to let me know if there’s a topic you’d love me to find an expert to speak about.
Have a great day guys!