How I Slow Down My Mind When It’s Racing

Aka how I ground myself when I'm feeling super duper stressed out
In these uncertain times, I needed to slow down my mind. So I turned to rituals and behaviors that have helped me a lot in the past — I hope they help you! Wellness and self-care tips during the time of COVID-19 and coronavirus such as going for a walk, journaling, taking CBD, and more. #wellness #selfcare #slowdown #racingmind

Over the weekend, I posted to Instagram about a rough day I was having. Truth be told, I’m starting to emotionally shut as a coping mechanism to deal with sheltering in place. My anxiety is so high and it’s causing my mind to race… and over the weekend it got really bad. So I took a step back. I knew that I needed to slow down my mind, so I turned to rituals and behaviors that have helped me a lot in the past. I hope they help you in these scary times, too.

6 Things I Do To Slow Down My Mind When It’s Racing & Anxious

Write things down

Whether it’s making a list or just free journaling, the act of writing things down feels like I am physically removing anxious thoughts from my head and putting them somewhere else. I am a huge fan of making lists, so if I need to slow down my mind I try that first. It can be anything: what I need from the grocery, tasks for work, what chores need to be done.

I’ve never been much of a consistent journal writer, except for my gratitude journal. But lately, I have been randomly grabbing a notebook more and more to write out a few pages in an effort to get the anxious thoughts out of my head.


I believe in the therapeutic properties of CBD when it comes to helping ease my mind. This post is a great place to start if you have questions about CBD. There are tons of benefits, but for me the biggest one has been how my daily CBD oil drops calm my mind and make me feel more relaxed.

Getting my hands dirty

For me, this means gardening and working on our yard. I’ve always found joy in getting my hands dirty in the veggie garden, but these days I’ve expanded it to all kinds of yard work. For example this weekend, I took inventory of all of our outdoor garden pots and my seeds so I knew what I had to buy.

Go for a walk or a drive

Now that going for a walk is one of the few sanctioned activities we can do during COVID-19, it seems like everyone is doing it. Here in Seattle, I’ve seen so many people out. It actually really worries me, but I get it. Going for a walk helps to clear your mind and move your body — two things that are essential for slowing down your racing thoughts. To be totally safe, I have been trying to talk a walk during non-peak hours, so either really early in the AM or later at night.

I’ve also been finding peace and joy in going for a drive. Truthfully, it feels awesome to have the wind in my hair and music loud on the stereo. Even just half an hour really helps.

Take a shower & meditate

We all know that bath time is my personal fave, but I also really love to take a hot, steamy shower. Ever the Pisces, being in water brings me so much relaxation. To maximize those good vibes, I also love to play a meditation app (my faves are in this post). I try to take this time to be conscious of my breath and practice good breathing exercises. Get some good Epsom salts, an aromatherapy bath oil, and just melted on in!

Get creative

This can mean anything… painting, drawing, sewing… anything! For me, creativity has come in the form of cooking. It’s felt so gratifying to plan meals and make everything from scratch. While I do miss eating out a restaurants, it’s been so good for my soul and mind to cook. I’ve found that my mind slows down and I’m able to let go of some anxiety. Just this past weekend, I made banana bread, these chocolate chip cookies, and focaccia!

What other things have helped you to quiet your mind now and before this scary time? I’d love to know. Leave a comment and let me know!

Looking for more tips to help you cope with social distancing and self-quarantining? Check out these posts:

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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