To start this post off honest, the holidays were rough. And I definitely understand this post might be late for some people, myself included. However, I hope that by writing this, I can help those of you who are suffering from anxiety year-round.
Anxiety is such a big issue and our generation is suffering more than any before. Some of us are experiencing anxiety every now and then, others are experiencing it every day.
I am lucky enough to be able to say that anxiety is not a part of my daily routine. In fact, I hadn’t had a real panic attack for a while. My panic attacks started when I was 19 or 20, and lasted about 1,5 years. I thought I’d gotten rid of them. I changed my life, added a lot of happiness, felt way better about everything, and didn’t have that crippling anxiety anymore.
Until recently. I let my life slip out of my hands, and the negativity started piling up. This led to me crying for 4 days, having 3 panic attacks in 2 days and being inexplicably exhausted for the last week. I felt terrible and decided it was time for a change. I want to share my tips on how to manage your anxiety like I did mine.
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Tips to manage your anxiety
To me, music is always a good idea. Music is my therapy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Figure out how music can be most beneficial to you.
Maybe you like to turn it up real loud and get all of your frustration out. Maybe you need to listen to one sad song to feel better. Maybe an instrumental or acoustic song calms you down. Maybe it helps to pick a song and follow one single instrument throughout the whole song.
When you’re calm, make sure you listen to happy, positive songs.
Have you been nourishing your body? My new mantra is; Is this helping or hurting me?
Think about what you’ve eaten in the past 24 hours. Have you already eaten anything today? And were these things helpful or hurtful to your body?
Try to get some food with sugar and vitamins. Fruit is always a good idea. The sugar helps your energy level, and the vitamins are just there cause you need them.
You also know it’s important to drink water, but it’s so easy to forget. Are you properly hydrated? Take a look at the past day and see if there is anything that could be improved immediately.
Take a shower. Get into a hot bath. Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Drown yourself in body lotion/butter/oil. Pamper yourself. Do your nails. Wax your legs.
Basically, take care of your body.
You can also check my suggestions for the perfect self-care day here.
4. Get moving
To continue on the body-trail, get your body moving! Break a sweat, go for a walk, get your blood flowing and get distracted.
A run might be the perfect way to throw off any frustration, anger or even sadness.
A good workout can make you feel stronger and empowered.
Anatomically, it gets more oxygen to your brain which can help you think, but it will also stimulate endorphin production, and legally blonde taught us all that endorphins make us happy.
A good work-out can definitely be one of the most instant fixes to manage your anxiety!
5. Get outside
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel better after a little outing in nature.
Whether this is the beach, a big field of grass, a flower garden or a forest, nature is good for the mind.
The quiet of nature can counterbalance the busyness and stress of our everyday lives, lead to a lower risk of depression and stress-related illnesses.
Spending time in nature can also increase our satisfaction with life, and make us happier in general.
6. Focus on one thing
Manage your anxiety by focusing on one thing, and one thing exclusively.
As an exception, you can allow yourself to have some instrumental music playing softly in the background, but ideally, you’d focus on one thing.
This is about being mindful, present, and giving your brain a break.
For me, this always used to be painting my nails. Whenever I’d be restless, annoyed, frustrated and didn’t know what to do with myself, I’d paint my nails.
The precision needed made my brain focus on that small task, and without fail made me feel calmer afterwards.
Find your activity, or activities, and focus on them.
7. Write it down
When your brain feels like a contained tornado, grab a pen and paper and write it all down. You can write it as a story, a to-do list or anything else, but write it down.
Often this calms our brain because it realizes that all the worries are recorded somewhere and will not be forgotten.
It can also be therapeutic when you realize you have something that you have to work through.
Write about it, explore the topic and possible worries in your mind and see if this helps.
8. Talk to someone
Whether it is your mom, your partner or a friend, talking to others can really help manage your anxiety.
They don’t need to come with a solution, however tempted they may be to make you feel better, it’s often more about having someone that listens to you.
You can share your thoughts, your worries, sadness and frustration and they will listen and let you speak.
Find your person.
9. Take a digital break
As I said before, some of our generation’s anxiety is our own fault. We get so caught up in the social pressure of having to look perfect for instagram, and everyone sharing their perfect lives online.
One step is to realize these are only the highlights of their lives, and they too have bad days.
Second is to realize that whatever they have, means it is also open to you. Instead of jealousy, use it as motivation.
Third is to just turn it off for a day or two. Focus on your life instead of theirs and see how you feel.
You can read more on how less social media makes you a happier person right here.
Wow, those are quite a lot of tips on how to manage your anxiety, right?
Mental health is still so underestimated and overlooked.
Never think your mental health is not important or you don’t deserve to feel happy.
If you feel down, go through the list or reach out to someone.
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