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This April is a crazy month for me, with the next couple of weeks being particularly action-packed. Tomorrow I’m giving a presentation that I’ve been working on for weeks, and a week after that I’m having (another, ugh!) surgery. Needless to say, anxiety levels are all over the place. To combat them, I’m pulling out some of my favorite anxiety-fighting tips, and I thought I might share them with you, too, in case you’re facing some anxiety yourself!
I’m not much of an “outdoorsy” person, but there’s something about getting outside that can be really calming when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. When my anxiety rears its ugly head, I try to remind myself to get outside, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to get some fresh air and a fresh perspective.
ASK FOR HELP
As someone who enjoys being in control, this can be a tough one for me, but it’s always so helpful whenever I reach out to others and ask for help. No matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to go it alone. If you’re lucky to have friends and family who can help you out (even if it’s just as emotional support), ask! And, if not, seek out resources online to help you feel less alone.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative” person, creating something is a great way to get your mind off of your anxiety and into something new. Recently I’ve been focused a lot on creating my presentation, but I also take breaks from that to do a little bit a of drawing (which I share nearly every day on Instagram!). If art isn’t your thing, consider creating a meal!
Making sure you’re hydrated is a good trick for combating anxiety, even if it might seem a bit odd. Personally, whenever I don’t drink enough water, I get headaches and just generally don’t feel right, so whenever I feel my anxiety level getting high, I check in to make sure I’m hydrated. (Eating healthy is also a good idea, but I’m not always so great at it, particularly when stressed!)
WRITE ABOUT IT
Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, taking the time to jot down your anxious thoughts can be a great way to alleviate some of the stress you’re experiencing. If that ends up causing more anxiety, consider writing a list of things you can do to make yourself feel a bit better or write a list of things you’re grateful for.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Deep breaths sound cliche, but paying attention to your breathing really can make a difference when it comes to combating anxiety. Your breath is something you have access to at all times so it’s a useful tool for soothing yourself no matter what the situation. I personally find the 4-7-8 Breathing Method to be really helpful when I’m extra anxious!
LISTEN TO SOOTHING SONGS
Music can have such a big impact on your mood, and you can use that to your advantage when it comes to your emotional state. Create a playlist with soothing (or uplifting!) songs and put it on when you’re having difficulty staying calm. It’s a quick way to shift your focus. (And, if you’re like me, you can also through a little dancing in there!) For some playlist ideas, follow me on Spotify!
Staying present might feel like the opposite of what you want to do when you’re anxious, but it’s important to remember that anxious thoughts come not from what’s happening now, but from ruminating on what has happened or worrying about what will happen. Do your best to ground yourself in the moment to ease some of your anxious feelings.
FIND A POSITIVE DISTRACTION
When my anxiety really starts to get to me, I do what I can to find a positive distraction (usually in the form of a really good book or a funny film). Avoiding your feelings isn’t something I’d generally recommend, but distraction can be a useful tactic when feelings get out of control and turn unproductive (as anxiety almost always does!).
If you’re feeling anxious or struggle with anxiety, I hope some of these tips will help you out. I’d also love to know what tactics have worked for you when it comes to battling anxiety or stress. Let me know your top tips in the comments section below!