Let me tell you a story of a day when I was feeling anxious.

As I was driving in my car, I was thinking about all of the things I had to do. I had to get groceries, remember to buy milk, feed the baby quickly, arrive home by nap time, pay the hydro bill, and call back my supervisor. The list didn’t stop there, and it went on and on.

All of a sudden, when I got to my destination, I realized I hardly even remembered my drive. My head was spinning with thoughts, my hands were sweaty, and my heart was racing. Finally, after taking a few moments to breathe, my thoughts landed abruptly on a strategy that I have used with so many of my clients.

The 5-4-3-2-1 strategy

This strategy helps to bring you back to a place of calm when anxious or racing thoughts take over. It’s used to ground you, and make you aware of your present surroundings rather than your thoughts.

How to do the 5-4-3-2-1 calming strategy:

5: Look for 5 things that you can see.

4: Feel 4 things that you can touch.

3: Smell 3 things that are in your environment.

2: Listen for 2 things that you can hear.

1: Find 1 thing that you can taste.

This technique can be so helpful for stressed out new moms. So often, we get stuck in a cycle of “what if” that our mind is constantly racing. Instead of letting stressful thoughts take over, try to bring yourself back to the present by taking notice of your 5 senses. This is a simple, but very effective way of getting your mind out of anxiety and back into the present!

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