Happy Easter!
During what is supposed to be a joyful day, it is easy to feel the stress of the quarantine situation, but it’s important to not panic and take all to heart. As someone once told me, the best thing to do when you’re feeling anxious is to check yourself, then check in with others. So I wanted to check in with you. How are you feeling?

Here are 10 things that I do that help me when I’m feeling anxious:

I. Starting my day by reading encouraging words from Daily Bread, I-Ching, Scriptures, Mark Nepo, and Astrology Zone. Growing up, through our 7am prayers and 7pm scripture readings, my parents aimed to ground our family and guide us to the importance of leaning on God’s words and I am extremely grateful for their efforts to this day. Susan B. Miller’s Astrology Zone was a gift from my friend @rebelrae during a critical time 3 years ago and I’m so thankful for her guidance and foresight. I-Ching was shared by @naomielise and Mark Nepo’s “Book of Awakening” book was an intro gift to my friendship with @leowithcancer.

II. Guided Meditation with friends, led by spirit always soothes the soul. At the beginning of the month, until international day of prayer, @leowithcancer and I spend a moment of each day meditating on a specific theme. From Forgiveness to Acceptance to Abundance, practicing deep breathing through each experience and meditation was incredibly healing. @nombe also introduced me to the apps headspace and calm, which I have found very helpful for daily mediation. A few years back I tried a 30 day Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra meditation session and found it very helpful, as well as her Super Soul Conversations. I’ve also found that scent is highly important to your environment. Surrounding yourself with strong, memorable smells can help alleviate internal pressures. My favorite scents right now are @st._rose desert nomad, nag champa, and my mixture of @Baccarat, tea tree oil and lavender.

III. Driving to my secret spots in LA and just sitting, being with nature with not a soul in sight is always a stress soother for me. There are 5 locations I’ve discovered throughout my time in LA that I find comforting, stretching from Calabasas to Alhambra. As we aren’t able to drive to most places at this time, I’ve been perusing the neighborhood instead and giving each living creature it’s own unique name and story of creation. Staying indoors all day and not moving makes me really aggy, so going outside (while maintaining social distance) is necessary for the mind. However, if this isn’t possible getting up and moving (even if it’s just indoors) is still better than nothing. Having an indoor private jam session for one is a must! I owe a few friends a playlist so please let me know if you’d like a link to new music.

IV. Practicing mindfulness – I’ve found that starting a bullet journal is a good way to organize my thoughts/feelings. Also, connecting with friends/family on FaceTime. Spending time with friends and family can strengthen a sense of belonging and release oxytocin. Surrounding yourself with gifts from family & friends is also an effective, more passive, and easy way to be mindful.

V. Avoid obsessing over news: I allot a certain amount of time per day to get updated on what’s going on, but constantly checking the news can lead to overthinking and more negative thoughts. I do my best to avoid reading news from misinformed sources and I try to be extremely discerning about propaganda.

VI. Maintaining a schedule and structure for the day: keep up an eating and sleep schedule and be sure to take breaks if you are working from home. I’ve found that having structure in my day helps reduce stress by giving me fewer decisions to make. Dedicate time to self care: staying home all day can mean we neglect parts of our daily routine that are related to getting ready; put on a face mask, take a hot bath, etc. to maintain your body. Also, don’t forget to drink water!

VII. Be realistic with accomplishments: especially when I’m at home, the idea of having as much time as I want to complete everything on my to do list isn’t realistic; I’ve learned to accept that I can’t do everything in a day and instead organize my time to get things done.

VIII. Help others out when possible: helping people can bring a burst of happiness to both you and the person you helped; it could be as simple as leaving a bigger tip when you get something delivered, helping pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, or giving your homeless neighbors clothing, food and/or funds.

IX. Doing yoga can help alleviate stress-induced headaches. My go to yogi is @dhaujee. However, yoga doesn’t work well when my spine isn’t curving properly and it can make it worse. When I do yoga and it hurts more than it should or I’m on day #284636 of a migraine, I head to my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Hatfield in Korea Town who does PNF therapy, or I visit the most convenient @jointchiropractor which has multiple locations and a fair monthly plan.

X. Reducing my caffeine intake changed my life. I was getting sick weekly and my anxiety was through the roof until I realized that coffee actually makes me fell ill. So I started drinking chamomile tea in the morning and the shivers ceases….Taking daily vitamin supplements like glucosamine, acidophilus, and magnesium  also help keeps my body more stable.

Whoo! Long List. Hope that was helpful! What are your some of your coping strategies?

Photos: Jason Chua
Copyedit: Kelly Vines
Suit: Vintage/Thrifted from Morocco from my friend Ivy Coco
Accessories: Louis Vuitton, Ashley Williams London, Valet Studio
Skin: Leo Oil, Primark Highlighter, Glossier Foundation

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