1. Try a 3-part breath: inhale, filling your belly, then rib cage, up to the collarbone; then starting from the top of the lungs, slowly exhale all the way down to your belly. Repeat 5 times.
2. Gratitude. Focus on at least 1 thing to be grateful for. (Here’s a good one: your life-giving breath!)
3. Release stress. Inhale, raising your shoulders as high as you can; exhale, allowing your shoulders to drop as you let it all go. Imagine telling a dog to “drop it!”
4. Laugh. Find something that tickles your funny bone. To quote none other than Lord Byron, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” You’ll lighten your mood…and spread good vibes to others.
5. Get out of your head. We spend a lot of time ruminating. Get grounded by moving your feet, wiggling your tootsies, or giving yourself a 2-minute foot massage…sheer bliss!
6. Take a break with the “5-4-3-2-1 method,” which focuses the mind and engages all 5 senses. Wherever you are name 5 things you can see; then 4 things you can touch; now focus on 3 things you can hear; then identify 2 things you can smell; finally, notice 1 thing you can taste. If you’re alone, try saying these things out loud; if you’re with others, say them silently…either way, this is a great way to get grounded if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
7. If you’re feeling a bit done in, strike a pose. Increase your energy and confidence with Victory Pose.
8. Be positive. I love this quote by writer Robert Brault: “The average pencil is 7 inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.”
9. Practice compassion. You never know where you’ll find inspiration. I saw this on a billboard and it reminded me to not be “judgy”: “Be kind. Everyone struggles with something.”
10. Practice self-compassion. We can only do the best we can with the tools we have. As Maya Angelou famously said, “I did the best I could…and when I knew better, I did better.”