Let me tell you, following through on this Daily Blogging Challenge today, on a day where all I want to do is focus on Christmas activities and being on break for the holidays, is proving to be a struggle.
But I said I would do it, and I’ve already talked to you about the importance of keeping commitments to yourself, so here we are…
Today’s post will be short and simple, but I wanted to share some helpful things I do when I’m feeling anxious.
You’ll know if you read my post about fainting on a plane, this past year and last, my anxiety has increased. I find myself psyching myself out about things that normally wouldn’t bother me, and it feels like I can always convince myself that I’m about to faint.
In the past couple months or so, I’ve gotten way better about handling this, so I wanted to share some things I do that helps.
Just know, if you’re really struggling, these are just simple things I do that help me. You have to figure out what will help you, and sometimes, that might mean talking to a professional. Just a friendly reminder that there’s always help available, if you need it 🙂
But, for now, here are 9 things I do that have helped me tremendously with anxiety:
1. Take big breaths (like actually BIG breaths)
I’m not a good breather. I know that’s a super weird thing to say, but once I started to pay attention to my breath, I started to realize how often I actually hold my breath. Very rarely do I take big, deep breaths.
I know you’ve heard it about a billion times, and I’m not going to tell you that you need to go do yoga, or that you should sit and mediate with your breath, all I’m going to say is that if you start to feel anxious, simply focusing on actually BREATHING can really help get some oxygen to your brain, which is always a good thing for anxiety.
If my space feels cluttered or disorganized, I don’t feel great. Plain and simple.
Even right now, I know there are some dishes that I haven’t put away from yesterday’s dinner, and it’s bothering me.
When you notice these things, fix them ASAP. I know it’s easy to put it off, or tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow, but when you take the time to take care of your space, you instantly start to feel better.
Not to mention, cleaning takes your mind off of whatever is making you anxious, and gives you a major sense of accomplishment.
It’s a win anyway that you look at it.
3. Get off the couch//Stay busy
When I feel anxious, it’s easy enough to tell myself I need “self care”, and while that might be true, it’s also easy enough to tell myself that “self care” consists of me sitting on the couch, eating cookies, and watching Netflix.
Well guess what? Unless I’ve had a super productive/busy week, almost always, sitting around doesn’t make me feel good.
It makes me feel lazy and it just gives me more opportunities to get stuck in my own head.
Of course take those Netflix nights whenever you want, but in my experience, when you’re really feeling anxious, actually moving and doing something is a lot more effective at getting your mind off of things.
Speaking of moving…
It probably doesn’t surprise you that exercise made this list since everyone always sings the praises of exercise for anxiety, but it is absolutely true: regular exercise definitely helps with my anxiety.
It takes my mind off of things, it makes me feel better about myself physically, and I just feel like a better version of myself when I exercise.
5. Go for a walk//Open up the windows
Fresh air, fresh air, fresh air… For me, there is almost nothing better for anxiety than fresh air. If it’s a nice day, I highly recommend going for a quick walk (or long one, if you have the time). Even if it’s not the nicest day or it’s cold, just opening up the window for a mere 5 minutes can make me feel better.
6. Write//Commit to something
I know journaling/writing is not for everyone, and to be honest, I haven’t been so great about regular journaling this year, but what I have noticed is that doing this Daily Blogging Challenge has seemed to help with my anxiety.
Whether it’s because I’m finding the writing therapeutic, or it’s simply about following through on my commitment to myself, or some combination of both, I’m not sure, but I wanted to mention both of these things.
If you’re someone who does enjoy writing, or finds it helpful, take the time to do it. It really helps with getting your thoughts out of your head.
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy writing, I’ve also found that committing to this Daily Blogging Challenge has helped me. It gives me something that I know I have to do, and there’s sense of focus and expectation that I’ve developed because of it. There’s just something about doing it everyday that has eased my anxiety. Pick a challenge that works for you, and then stay committed to it, no exceptions.
7. Start a bullet journal
If you don’t like writing a lot, but you want some quick ways to write that might make you feel better, I highly recommend starting a bullet journal.
Most days, I’ll write a small reminder to myself in my bullet journal, or I’ll set some intention for the week that really keeps me anchored.
You can really do this in any journal that you wish, but I really love the bullet journal because it gives me the opportunity to write as little or as much as I want.
I have a full post on all the ways that my bullet journal has helped me with personal development, if you’re interested.
8. Try CBD
I’ll be honest, CBD has not been the miracle product that I hoped it would be.
Perhaps it was the specific brand I used, or I wasn’t using the correct dosage, but I didn’t experience as large of an effect as I was expecting.
I’ll perhaps write a full blog post further explaining my experience with CBD, but regardless, I would still try experimenting with it if you’re dealing with anxiety.
There are no psychoactive effects, and you will find yourself start to relax after you take some.
9. Be with friends who “get” you
Almost every time I hang out with my closest friends, I always have this renewed sense of positive energy after the night is over. As we’ve gotten older, we don’t all get to see each other as much, but there’s something about being around people who really understand you that’s helpful when you’re feeling anxious.
If you’re feeling anxious, make plans with your friends. Trust me, it will help.
What do you do when you’re feeling anxious? I still find myself getting unnecessarily anxious at times, so I would love to hear all your tips and tricks. Drop them down below in the comments.