Uncertain times and anxiety. Something for the toolkit.
Hey there Flow State fam!
Are we really over halfway through September?
Hard to believe the months have flown by so quickly! September means Spring in New Zealand! We're finding ourselves captivated by the budding fig trees and grapevines in the backyard, the bursting greens of neighbourhood gardens, and the families of ducklings and quails wandering the wooded path near our house.
September brings with it the hopeful promise of a fresh start- at least in the Southern Hemisphere. Growing up for me in Canada, September meant Autumn, which meant back to school, which also meant not much longer until the leaves would be falling and winter would set in. Back to school often brought with it a slew of nerves and butterflies in my stomach. A nervous bundle of worry and uncertainty around how things would go.
While fresh starts can be exciting, they can also feel scary and overwhelming.
For anyone who suffers from anxiety, or nowadays a general sense of lockdown stagnancy or lack of motivation, we know the last few months haven't been easy.
One of the most common reported benefits of using Flow State mushrooms by our community is helping to relieve anxiety.
Anxiety is a silent but heavy and oh so common energy that lives in the hearts of bodies of far too many of us. If you know, you know.
We live in a society of constant pressure and stimulation, and are constantly bombarded with information overload through social media and news outlets that can feel overwhelming at best.
The itchy skin.
The heavy heartbeat.
The throbbing sensation in the chest.
The muddied mind.
The lack of clarity.
The feeling of not being quite able to handle it all.
We know, we've been there too.
While Flow State medicinal mushrooms have been fantastic at supporting many of our community members through their own journey with anxiety, we thought we'd share with you a handful of other techniques that we find super helpful when those sticky feelings come to visit.
1. Take a technology break. Unplugging from the incessant updates, notifications, messages, and opinions is a great way to decrease stimulation from the source. We often implement a 'phone-free Sunday' when we feel we've been overly plugged in, and take regular, mindful breaks from the phone and computer. When I do this, I become hyper aware of my addiction to information and stimulation, which I always find surprising. Try creating some boundaries around your phone and social media use, by setting maximum usage limits on certain apps you struggle with. Alternatively, create an evening phone-free time as part of your bedtime routine.
2. Get outside! Honestly, nothing does it better than feet on the earth, fresh air, surrounded by trees and the sounds of birds. Nature is medicine for the soul on so many levels! If you can, try to carve out some outdoor time on the daily, and soak up that vitamin D! If there's a park, nature reserve, beach, or trail by your house, use it! My suggestion to double up on the nature goodness? Leave your phone at home. You may regret not having an Instagram story of that beautiful flower, but I promise you'll get over it.
3. Breathe! Set a time for 5-10 minutes, put one hand on your belly and one on your chest, close your eyes, and breathe. There are endless free resources online to guide you through gentle or activating breathwork practices. Your breath is literally the quickest, most accessible way to get out of your mind and into your body. It only takes 7 deep, full belly breaths to change the state of your nervous system into parasympathetic (rest and digest), which literally changes your whole body's state.
4. Writing. Next time you feel that anxiety creeping in, when you feel overwhelmed with your thoughts, emotions, or the state of the world, pull out an old fashioned pen and paper, and let the words pour out. If there are no words, even repeatedly writing 'no words no words no words' until something else comes through. You may find it helpful to write our your anxieties and fears, and get them out of the confines of your mind (this always seems to help me).
5. Move your body! Dance, walk, work out, run, sweat, yoga, shake- whatever movement practice feels good in the moment. There's nothing like movement to shake up stagnant energy and get it moving through and out of the body. Whether its chucking on your favourite playlist and having a boogie in the living room, or going for a run around the block, movement releases powerful hormones from the brain that naturally make you feel calm and delicious.
To all our community members who are going through it, we see you, and you are so not alone!
We hope you find these ideas supportive as you meet the next wave of anxiety that comes to visit.
Rach & Dave