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This month, we passed the one year mark of when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world. We’ve all experienced loss, anxiety, stress, and isolation as a result of social distancing, changes in our activities, routines, and patterns. Kids stayed home, the people (who were able) started working from home and for women, the burden of home and work responsibilities got notably harder with many women sacrificing career advancements and their precious little time for self-care for the good of the family.
In the last year we’ve shared countless ways to bring balance back to an unbalanced day, to find peace in mindfulness, and to boost both mind and spirit. We’ve not only shared them, but we use them ourselves, because we want self-care to be both fun and realistic.
But what if today is not just an unbalance day, but a day where anxiety sets the tone for the day — where the morning brings a knot to the pit of your stomach after a night of tossing and turning?
We’re a small business that started during the pandemic, and, honestly, we’ve had these nights/mornings too. This prompted us to try the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety, to calm the anxious mind.
What is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique and how does it work?
Take a deep breath and exhale slowly as you read on...
5 — LOOK. Take note of 5 things around you. It can be the ceiling tiles, the wallpaper in your dining room, or the way the light reflects off your glass. In your head, slowly say what these items are as you note them. “Tiles. Rug. Window. Dog. Light.”
4 — TOUCH. Feel 4 things. This can be picking up an object on your desk, your coffee cup, the way the sun hits your face or the way a tiny breeze moves your hair. Just take a moment to really notice how the object physically feels or how it makes you feel inside.
3 — LISTEN. Close your eyes. What are 3 sounds you hear? Is there a car horn, the sound of wind chimes, the air conditioner in your office? Take a moment to hear sounds your mind usually filters out
2 — SMELL. Take in 2 scents around you. What does the air smell like? How about your coffee or a candle you just bought? If you can’t smell, consider 2 smells that you associate with happy times, and try to conjure up those smells.
1 — TASTE. Turn your attention to your mouth and note 1 taste. Often we can’t really identify a taste in our mouth unless we’ve just eaten or brushed our teeth. It can be helpful to have a snack or piece of candy. Focus on flavor. Are there any hints of flavors that you didn’t notice before
Take another deep breath and slowly exhale. 5-4-3-2-1-done.
While no single technique or practice works for every situation, having multiple go-to breathing and mindfulness exercises, and being familiar with how and when to use them, can go a long way to finding calm in an emotional storm.
b.minton is redefining realistic self-care for busy women. Shop for beautifully curated and ethically sourced self-care gift boxes at bminton.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @shopbminton.
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