I’ve been dealing with some level of anxiety for a while now. It comes and goes. Some days it’s so bad that just getting out of bed is a battle. Other days, I don’t even think about it or I wonder why I ever feel anxious. I think my anxiety sort of developed from the depression I’ve been battling for the past few years. Because of these mental health issues, though, I’ve learned a lot about self-care and about ways to seek help.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, whether it’s pretty minor or much more crippling, I’d like to share some tips with you that have helped me out.
- Starting off the day with some stretching exercises can help you start off calmly and slowly. Make sure to think about your breathing while you do this and to focus on that. I haven’t been too good about this one recently, but it’s one that’s helped me out a lot.
- Create a morning routine. Beyond just stretching in the morning, it can be helpful to have something every single morning that helps you ease into the day. Make sure to give yourself enough time between when you wake up and when you need to be out of the house (or dorm or apartment or whatever). If you wake up already running late, this will likely increase your anxiety. Another benefit of having that morning routine is that it’s something familiar to go back to no matter what your location is. Even when you’re traveling, try to keep up with it to form a sense of comfort at the beginning of your day.
- Exercise regularly. I find that the more I exercise the less anxious I feel. It helps me to release a lot of that nervous energy when I spend some time at the gym at least a few times a week.
- Try out something creative. Getting creative in some way can be really helpful. There are a lot of different activities to try out such as writing, painting, drawing, or decorating your living space. I paint sometimes, and it helps me clear my mind while also making something new in the end. I also love carrying a small coloring book around with me, and I tend to pull it out when I’m feeling anxious or uncomfortable or just need to slow down my train of thought.
- Fit in some alone time. If your anxiety gets worse with a busy schedule, make sure to give yourself some time to unwind and just watch a TV show, read a book, or take a bath. Especially if you’re an introvert, this will help you reenergize and feel in control of your life and schedule.
- Keep a journal. Sometimes, our minds race, and it can be difficult to make them stop. Spending some time writing things out can be really helpful. That way, you can get your thoughts out. On paper they’ll feel a little more concrete, and hopefully they’ll stop haunting you for a while.
- Consider seeing a counselor. I’ve done the whole therapy thing a couple times now. Honestly, it’s been a weird experience for me because I have a tendency to ask for help once I’m coming out of a dark place. Talking to someone can be really helpful, for more than just anxiety. And counselors aren’t supposed to tell anyone else what you two talk about unless you pose a threat to yourself or others, basically. Although I haven’t actually gone when I’ve been at my worse, going to therapy has taught me to cope with some of the worst times.
Hopefully you’ll find some of these tips helpful as you continue to battle the anxiety. Remember that dealing with what’s going on inside of you isn’t always easy and that it’s okay to ask for help or try a new coping method.