6 Mind-Sparkling Ideas To Combat Anxiety During Stressful Times

Updated: May 3

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The only thing that's certain these days is that nothing is certain. It's no wonder many of us are having trouble focusing, staying calm, and motivating ourselves.


I know that many of you are stressed by having to take care of children and work at home at the same time. I hear you. I've made an entire career out of it and I know how difficult it is to pull that off gracefully.


Although I'm constantly thinking preventatively, I know the reality of being stuck at home with kids all day, especially when the weather is bad. We all need some simple things that we can do today, right now that can make us feel way better than checking our social media feeds one more time!


Here's my shortlist for feeling good in the moment, even when life keeps throwing us a curveball!


1. Breathe

Even though I've known about the importance of mindful breathing for a long time, I never really got the hang of doing it consistently. Finally, I got an app to help me. It's a super simple and free one called breathwrk. It works for me, I'm on breath 1,786. There are many other apps out there to choose from or maybe you have the self-discipline to do it without one but it's been a real help to me. I'm not being paid by breathwrk to say this, by the way.


2. Learn

Pick something that you really want to learn about, and get started. You'll amaze yourself with your ability to focus when you get to choose the subject. You'll also feel less tension, more motivation, and more energy! Since learning is my

thing, I wrote an article about how we all learn through our senses that you can read here.




3. Dance

Have a dance party for one! We don't always have a partner but we can still have a good time!. Put on your favorite music and dance like no one's watching, even if they are. Here's an idea to get you started.


4. Sleep

It's so hard to fall asleep at night when you've got so much to worry about. I do mindful breathing in bed without looking at a screen, then I count down from 500 in order to squeeze out any anxious thoughts. It works more often than not. Here are some other sleep-inducing tricks to try.



5. Play

Never feel guilty about indulging in play. It's the way our minds and bodies are designed to learn. It's always a great thing for sleep, mood, and energy when we can get outside in the morning for some fresh air and exercise.


Since that's not always possible I created a fun playlist to help you do your own family dance party indoors. It's specially designed for 0-8-year-olds and their families but any age can have fun with it. Check it out here.


Community members can access the members-only section of my site and get the entire playlist here for free.


6. Eat

Prepare a delicious, aesthetically pleasing, and balanced meal for yourself. Eat it in a beautiful environment and take your sweet time. You deserve it. Then if you want dessert or a plan, for tea and cookies later you can get my healthy cookie recipe here along with some suggestions for enjoying them.


Got some issues to sort out? Read my blog here for more fun and simple ideas on Sleep, Eating, Learning and Fun or SELF!




Nanci J Bradley, 60, is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI