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As a morning reporter and anchor, my alarm goes off early. As early as 2:30AM. EEEEK!!!

No matter how tired I am, often before I even open my eyes, my mind starts racing with all that needs to be done that day. At work, what stories need to be written? What deadlines need to be met? What interviews need to be set up? At home, did I pack my kids’ lunch? What time is that doctor’s appointment for my teenager?

Life is busy and can be stressful. Add a pandemic and psychologists say Americans are feeling more anxious than ever before.

That’s what sparked our new series Mindful Mondays. We are exploring ways to improve and protect your mental health. These ideas aren’t expensive, time-consuming or difficult. Most of us just don’t have the extra time or money for that. These are simple solutions.

The first you are already doing right now. Breathing.

Take a slow deep breath. Feel better? One expert shares a few breathing practices that you can try anywhere at any time that will help calm you in stressful moments or even help you go back to sleep when your brain just won’t shut off.

Over the coming Mondays, we will also tell you why you may want to lay down and put your legs up on the wall for a few moments every day and show you the best foods for your mental health.

I look forward to sharing and trying these tips with you.

– Shannon Smith, anchor and reporter

You can catch Mindful Mondays with Shannon Smith at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting on Monday, Jan. 24 only on FOX8.