Anxiety can be a temporary obstacle or a long term disorder.
Many people in our fast-paced society struggle with anxiety, especially during the busy holiday season. I too have struggled with anxiety in the past- it can be scary and overwhelming, and it’s often difficult to talk about with others. I highly recommend talking to a healthcare professional if you are experiencing anxiety, especially if it is a regular occurrence- I am not a doctor, and these tips should not be taken as a replacement for a doctor’s visit. Medication was a temporary but huge help to me when I first experienced anxiety attacks, although it is not right for everyone. Whether or not you choose to take medicine, speaking to a psychiatrist and/or therapist is important and can help the issue from worsening or from overwhelming you. Lifestyle change, as a supplement to or replacement for medication, is also an important part of dealing with anxiety.
I hope the tips below resonate with you.
- Write– Whether you journal regularly or not, writing can be a helpful way to process feelings. I like to write down exactly what I am feeling at the time- tightness in my throat, sadness, emptiness, fear that something bad is going to happen. It allows me to acknowledge my feelings as well as reduce anxiety.
- Walk in nature
- Exercise– Sometimes you may prefer cardio; sometimes yoga will be more appropriate. Listen to your body, and choose what is right for you.
- Talk to someone– Anxiety and other mental health issues are often a taboo subject- find a friend who is comfortable talking about what you are experiencing or a therapist that you trust. Anxiety is not something you need to handle on your own.
- Take a nap
- Try a coloring book– It may be a fad, but it’s one I’m hooked on. Find a book on Amazon or your nearest bookstore, and choose your favorite markers or pencils to draw with.
- Watch your favorite show– I’m a Friends fanatic, and I turn to my boxed DVD set of the entire show when I’m feeling anxious or depressed. Choose your favorite show that makes you laugh, and choose a way to watch with no commercials.
- Read– I prefer easy fiction stories that don’t require much thinking. Whatever you prefer, don’t choose a book that will increase your anxiety.
- Reduce caffeine and sugar
- Reduce alcohol
- Have a cup of tea– I find that the act of drinking herbal tea helps me to relax. I love holding a warm mug, slowly sipping the hot liquid, and taking deep inhalations to breathe in the aroma.
- Read your medications– Do any of them mention anxiety as a side effect?
- Take a bath
Above all, surround yourself with love and empathy- It’s okay to experience anxiety! Show yourself lots of love and understanding during this process.