There are many different things that I do that helps me during times of anxiety… so these are things that I do daily. It has been not so great going from not having anxiety at all, to having anxiety every once in a while, to having it every single day- all day. It is a serious pain in my ass and puts me on an emotional roller coaster at the absolute worst times. Now even though I am on medication, there are times when my anxiety and stress levels are so bad that the medication doesn’t seem as if it is helping at all (I am sure my anxiety would just be worse in these times without it) YIKES!!
When I am feeling extra stressed and need to take a moment to reset, I take some deep breaths where I focus on my breathing for about 1-2 minutes and try to picture the air moving in and out of my body. I try to stick to a slow rhythm and really focus as best as I can- typically, I am able to not think about anything but my breathing for those few minutes and it is a great reset when I am able to do it!
Some things that take more time are exercising and questioning my thoughts. I started working out more (full body, bodyweight workouts) and taking longer fast walks throughout my morning. This seems to help and keep the anxiety at bay, although I am so tired by the afternoon and can’t wait to climb into bed and sleep! Questioning my thoughts is something I am really trying to do more of. When I feel any type of negative emotion, I try to ask myself why I really feel that way and if it is worth it. Now… I truly believe that you should feel whatever you need, whenever you need to feel it. BUT I still question myself, especially if someone else is involved. I want to be fair and reasonable in what I am feeling at all times, so I can be more in control. My goal is to feel happy with myself and my life. I want to be surrounded by love and happiness and enjoy my life. This is so hard to do in “dark times” where I don’t feel like there is anything positive. There always is of course, but my brain likes to convince me otherwise sometimes.
Music is SUCH a huge part of my life. When I am in a great mood, I like to listen to music with great instrumentation- I don’t necessarily need good lyrics. This is the opposite when I am feeling any type of negative emotion. I like to listen to songs that I can relate to and that have some type of meaning to me. The latest song I have been listening to a lot is Worth It by Danielle Bradberry. It is a fantastic song to remind yourself of who you are and what you are worth.
Some other things that I like to do: stay organized, clean my house/car (messes give me anxiety- bad anxiety!), my puppy (such a big help), tell myself that even if it takes some time- things will get better, telling myself that “I am safe” when I feel on edge because it helps to put things into perspective, sudoku, coloring, writing this blog and knowing that I am not alone in my anxiety, and guided meditation. Candles, venting to friends, knitting, crafts, traveling (LOVE traveling and really helps to me to reduce my anxiety), avoiding caffeine (worst anxiety ever when I consume caffeine), journaling, and cuddling (puppy or person) also really help me. These are things that I like to do a few of on a daily basis.
When I feel like I need to take some time to myself- which is so important by the way… I think that everyone should do something for themselves at least once per day, no matter how little it is- I do. I like to do face masks (love how fresh and clean my face feels after) usually 2-3 times per week. In the summer and for special events, I like to get my nails and toes done. I also love to do my makeup… now I am not saying that I am good at it… I just think it is relaxing to throw some music on and spend time making yourself feel good and beautiful. It is also fun to experiment with eye shadows! I do not wear makeup often, so when I have plans to go out, I set aside some time to get my makeup and hair done to feel my best. At night, or even on the weekends, I like to take hot showers while listening to calming music as a way of winding down before I go to sleep.
These are just things that help me, but I am sure that everyone has their own lists of different activities and things that help them out through a rough time. Stick to them if they help you, and ditch them if they don’t. Do some research and try different things!