After acknowledging that managing my mental health during a pandemic hasn’t been easy, I noticed some other things as I continued to reflect on this topic. While it’s good to know that we need to make mental wellness a priority during this difficult and strange time, that doesn’t mean much without a few ideas and strategies for how that looks in real life. That’s when I realized that one way to make mental wellness a priority is to figure out what to do with the nervous energy we’ve created this year. How can we get rid of this nervous energy, and how can we do it in a way that makes us feel better?
Understanding Nervous Energy
When we’re talking about nervous energy, it’s important to know that it isn’t any sort of clinical psychological term. Rather, it’s more of a term to use when you’re in an elevated or anxious mood. Sometimes that means you’re more active and don’t know what to do with yourself; other times it might just make you nervous. Either way if you’re mood is elevated, you want to find a way to bring it back to center or level. While there are many ways to do this, there are a few I’ve found to be effective.
Ways to Channel Nervous Energy
Make your space look the way you want. Whether you subscribe to the ‘clear room, clear mind’ mentality or like things in a little more disorganized, making sure your room, apartment or home looks the way you want it to look can be a good way to channel your nervous energy. You can even try something new if it will help you think a little more clearly.
Meditation that requires little movement. If you want to mediate in order to channel that nervous energy, make sure that you’re minimizing how active you are during this time. If you’re goal is to be active you can engage in something a little more strenuous, but the goal with this form of meditation is to bring you back to level.
Get to Inbox Zero. I didn’t realize this was something a ton of people did with their nervous energy until a friend shared it with me, but emptying out your email inbox is a good way to do something productive while de-cluttering your digital space. Some people feel such a sense of accomplishment from this that they do it weekly! However, if your email inbox will give you even more nervous energy, don’t worry if this isn’t the activity for you (like me!).
Engage in physical activity. It’s easy to toss ‘exercise’ out there as a solution to anxiety or nervous energy, but that’s also because it can’t be said enough! Whether it’s a brisk walk, an intense workout or doing jumping jacks until you’re exhausted, physical activity has a number of positive benefits that can act as channels of our nervous energy. Find what works for you and go for it!
Create a list of action items. This is what I do when all other activities fail because the thing is, a list of action items doesn’t have to be the most creative list you’ve ever made. Your list can taking out the trash, calling a loved one, making some coffee – it’s up to you! By focusing on one task or action item at a time not only are you being productive (even if you don’t think so), but you’re keeping your brain a little more occupied and dispelling some of that nervous energy.
We all have our own ways to calm our moods and find a level of balance. Our nervous energy is higher than ever these days, and we need to figure out how to combat that. What do you do to channel your nervous energy? Let me know in the comments below!