Monthly Archives: June 2020

Tips and Tools to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Tips and Tools to Reduce Stress and Anxiety


In this unprecedented period of global uncertainty, we felt it was necessary to put together some ideas and ways to reduce stress and anxiety to provide our community with much-needed support.


The first thing to note right now is that it’s completely normal to be experiencing a wide range of

emotions. Accepting your feelings is an important first step to building resilience. The simple act of naming your emotions has been found to benefit well being. Below is a list of emotions you may be feeling.


  • Anxious
  • Stressed
  • Worried
  • Fearful
  • Low
  • Lonely
  • Overwhelmed
  • Helpless
  • Frustrated
  • Guilty
  • Angry


Remember: It’s okay to feel discomfort. Accepting distress is often the quickest way to feel

immediately calmer.



Reducing Stress and Anxiety With Thought Challenging


Thought challenging is a simple yet powerful cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique for

reducing anxiety. As mentioned, anxiety is best described as the unhelpful thinking patterns you experience when your mind fixates on a threat, uncertainty, and negativity. Thought challenging helps by broadening your focus to include the bigger picture.


Below are two thought challenging techniques you can experiment with. Keep practicing and

discover what works best for you.


The ABCDE Technique

Attention – When you feel distressed, stop what you’re doing and pay attention to your inner

dialogue. What is your mind telling you?

Believe? – Do not automatically believe your thoughts!

Challenge – Defuse anxiety by broadening your focus. What’s the bigger picture? Is the thought

fact or opinion? What might you think if you were feeling calmer?

Discount – Acknowledge that anxiety has been is dominating your thinking and let the unhelpful

thoughts go.

Explore options – What would be helpful to focus on right now? What options do I have available?


The THINK Technique

True? – Is this thought 100% true? If not, what are the facts, and what is opinion?

Helpful? – Is paying attention to the thought useful to me or others?

Inspiring? – Does the thought inspire me or does it have the opposite effect?

Necessary? – Is it important for me to focus on the thought? Is it necessary to act on it?

Kind? – Is the thought kind? If not, what would be a kinder thought?



Reducing Anxiety Through Distraction Activities


Here’s a checklist of ideas for healthy distraction activities.


  1. Browse mindfulness and meditation resources
  2. Work on personal development through journaling
  3. Browse new healthy recipes
  4. Plan your meals
  5. Play on a trivia or games app
  6. Learn some basic yoga poses
  7. Learn calligraphy or hand-lettering
  8. Learn how to play a musical instrument
  9. Read a biography about someone who inspires you
  10. Rediscover old music you liked when you were a teenager
  11. Watch a live stream theater show from The National Theater
  12. Make a list of things to save up for
  13. Have a relaxing DIY foot soak
  14. Start a blog
  15. Reorganize or redecorate your living space
  16. Do a jigsaw puzzle
  17. Make a list of goals for the year
  18. Find a new podcast to listen to
  19. Declutter
  20. Update your CV
  21. Make a list of books you want to read this year
  22. Search Pinterest for craft or DIY project ideas
  23. Arrange to catch up with someone over video chat
  24. Make a life experiences bucket list
  25. Get a 30 day free trial of Audible and listen to an audiobook
  26. Join an online book club
  27. Start learning a new language
  28. Plan some thoughtful birthday or Christmas gifts
  29. Research activities for your elderly relatives
  30. Start a side project to earn extra money
  31. Write a poem or short story
  32. Make a cookbook of your favorite recipes
  33. Make a list of things you’re looking forward to when the pandemic is over
  34. Watch TED Talks
  35. Use the Netflix Party extension to watch Netflix with your friends online
  36. Do a home improvement project
  37. Do some gardening
  38. Make a list of topics you’re curious about and research them online
  39. Search Pinterest for family bonding ideas
  40. Search Pinterest for indoor kids activities
  41. Learn knitting, cross-stitch or embroidery
  42. Find a new board game to play
  43. Do exercise song videos with your kids
  44. Start a dream journal
  45. Watch a live opera stream from The Metropolitan Opera
  46. Do some baking
  47. Feel more connected by finding a pen pal
  48. Explore ideas for camping in your backyard




Starting a Daily Breathing Practice




A few minutes a day of mindfulness practice can help ease anxiety and stress


The Benefits Of Meditation


Meditation can help one sit with and understand difficult emotions. Mindfulness can also bring about more awareness to emotional areas in your life that need more attention.


Mindfulness can help foster connections by practicing presence. Being present with yourself will also allow you to be present with others.









A daily practice can help focus your mind and divert attention away from constant brain chatter.

Meditation is a great way to increase your resilience to stress calm your nervous system.


Steps to Beginning a Meditation Practice


When Preparing for a Meditation


-Think about what you want to achieve with your meditation.

-Find a distraction-free area.

-Use a comfortable cushion if needed.

-Wear comfortable clothes.

-Choose a time when you’re not distracted.

-It can help when starting to have a timer at hand.


During Meditation


-Sit on the floor, cushion, or chair with a straight back.

-Don’t fret about what to do with your hands.

-Set your timer. You can try starting with a shorter time and gradually extending.

-Keep your mouth closed as you breathe.

-Focus on your breathing.

-Observe your breath, but don’t analyze it.

-Bring your attention back to your breath if it wanders.

-Don’t be too hard on yourself.