By Alison, FFDA Intern

The best way to raise our kids can be to raise ourselves. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder as a teenager. Fear stopped me from many new life experiences and social events, such as traveling on the class trip or participating in afterschool games at the park. As a mom, I had to learn how to manage my own anxiety. My kids needed me to participate in social events and travel to see new places, so they could experience all the facets of life.

I felt lonely and overwhelmed by my anxiety, paired with all the responsibility of being a parent. I had to change my energy and my actions. As a clinical researcher, I slowly uncovered helpful methods for soothing anxiety, facing fears, and coping with stress. Energy medicine has been the most empowering tool in my caregiver toolkit.

I am a Reiki Master and a mother of two kids for 16 years. Exemplifying ways to achieve emotional stability and soothe my anxiety has allowed me to model life skills for my children. I’m excited to share some of these strategies to inspire you to take actions that help you and your loved ones!

Form Connections

Connection with others can motivate positive actions and lead to contentment. There are so many ways we can connect with others— spend time with friends, kids, babies, or animals. The connection is a win for both parties. A sense of belonging protects people from feeling useless or without purpose (and is a protective factor in suicide prevention).

For example, I felt more valuable and more loveable simply by finding ways to bond with my children. Talking, laughing, and experiencing warm thoughts increased my self-confidence. Having my kids waiting to see me or asking to spend time together decreases my negative thoughts and adds meaning to my life.

Be with Nature

Engaging with outdoor elements improves depressed and anxious moods. Research shows that grounding in nature changes our emotional state. Even taking a 15-minute walk re-energizes! Slowing down and noticing trees and animals soothes anxiety. Use an app or online search to find walks and trails near you. Take advantage of whatever outdoor space is available to you.

Recently, I became interested in nature journaling. It is engaging to draw and write about what I’ve seen while out in nature. It grounds me in the present moment and improves my mood.

Create Sound Vibrations

Sound vibrations are healing. You don’t need to know how to read music or compose or play. Playing music lifts and moves your spirits, quite literally. Grab a guitar, flute, piano, cymbals, harmonica, ukulele, or anything else you have in the house, even children’s toys.

The practices of making sound and vibration can help us distract negative thoughts, lighten emotional heaviness, and get clarity about what we enjoy. Vibration interrupts repeating negative thoughts. It directly connects us to our sense perceptions. Feel into the sound.

Plan Ahead for Fun

Our intentions pave the way. Visualizing ways to improve how we want to spend our time can increase our chances of having fun. It’s normal to get overwhelmed by the expectations of others when planning events or day-to-day activities. But executing a plan can also be rewarding and motivating. For instance, what do we intend on our birthday? A special day like a birthday can’t be left to wishes and spontaneity alone.  It’s beneficial to make a plan for what to do on your birthday.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do you want to be doing for your birthday?
  • How long do you want to celebrate?
  • How do I want to feel? Where do I want to go?
  • Who do I want with me?

We can’t control all these factors, but planning it out will improve the likelihood of experiencing a birthday that feels good!

Play games, invite a friend to game night, plan a walk outside, throw a party, invite people who you enjoy spending time with. There’s no right or wrong way— make plans that improve your chances of having fun in the future.

Now, it’s your turn. Pick one or two strategies and add them in your day-to-day activities. I hope it helps you feel more open, lighter, and re-energized!


References

Bartel, L., & Mosabbir, A. (2021). Possible Mechanisms for the Effects of Sound Vibration on Human Health. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)9(5), 597. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9050597

Beri K. (2018). A future perspective for regenerative medicine: understanding the concept of vibrational medicine. Future science OA4(3), FSO274. https://doi.org/10.4155/fsoa-2017-0097

Eklund, R., Bondjers, K., Hensler, I. et al. (2022). Daily uplifts during the COVID-19 pandemic: what is considered helpful in everyday life?. BMC Public Health 2285. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12506-4

Heather, S. (2007). What is sound healing? International Journal of Healing and Caring, 7(3).

Tillmann S., Tobin D., Avison W., et al. (2018). Mental health benefits of interactions with nature in children and teenagers: a systematic review.  J Epidemiol Community Health 72:958-966.