Courtney uses mindfulness meditation and essential oils to keep her mental health in check, in a regular and ongoing way, as well as taking a few moments out of her busy schedule to calm her body down. When you're go, go, go all the time, anxiety and stress can build in your body and it's important to take regular moments to let this go - a hot bath, a few moments laying in the sun without your phone or anything to read, sitting on the beach and watching a sunset just because you can. These moments can help manage rising stress and anxiety. But when she can feel her anxiety rising and she's unable to take time out to do something for her, she uses the Box Breathing Method.
This is a tool that she uses to take time out, focus on her breath and calm the physical signs of anxiety down in her body so it doesn't escalate. When you are stressed or anxious your breathing can get short and shallow. This exercise helps you slow that breathing back down and breathe from the diaphragm where we are designed to breathe from, instead of the chest which is where we tend to breathe from when we're stressed, anxious or feeling panic.
To use the technique, breathe in slowly through the nose for a count of 4, making sure you breathe deep into your diaphragm and feel the stomach rise, not the chest. Hold the breath for 4 seconds, release slowly out of the mouth for 4 seconds and then wait another 4 seconds. Do 4 cycles of this. Easy to remember! 4, 4, 4, 4 x 4! When you are very stressed or anxious, slowing down your breathing can feel like you are not getting enough breath but as your body calms down and stops using so much energy to get you anxious(!!) the breath will feel more natural so push through those first few moments of discomfort to reach a more calm, balanced feeling.
Image source: Mindful Wellness Rochester