I find that this time of year, I can often oscillate between feeling calm appreciation of the beautiful aspects of spring, from nice weather to fun with friends, to feeling sudden, consuming anxiety about some part of my life. In those moments, my mind feels like it’s going so fast that I am overwhelmed by trying to stop my thoughts from popping up, making it harder to relax or do anything. Here’s a list of some tips that worked for me to return to a more balanced state — your results may vary, but see if any of these help you out, too:
- Write it all out. Whether on a Word document, a scrap of paper, or a journal, putting cycling thoughts on paper helps me break the rapid chain and catch a few mental (and physical!) breaths.
- Go outside. I’m partial to walks in Riverside park in the afternoon, whether with a friend or alone. There are lots of cute animals and blooming flowers this time of year, so getting some perspective by sitting or walking in nature (even just Lehman Lawn) helps me remember that these are thoughts that will pass.
- Do something really enjoyable, with full attention. When I have racing thoughts, I try to pick a fun activity that works with my frantic state of mind rather than trying to fight it — for me, that’s often dancing all out for three of my favorite songs. Getting rid of some excess energy or distracting myself with a quick break helps get me to a mental state where I can either relax more calmly or return to what I was trying to do before the thoughts came up.
These tips may not fit with your style, and that’s totally fine. Feel free to stop by the office if you want to check out our resources, enjoy our comfortable space, or chat with someone who is there to listen about whatever is on your mind!