What do you do when you’re anxious?
This question comes up whenever I’m ranting about mental health as I always do. Anxiety is something everyone deals with but sometimes, it gets overwhelming and the thing is, I always confused anxiety disorder with depression/stress! and a lot of people make this mistake so I’ll save you the stress.
When your worries are persistent or out of proportion to the reality of the threat, and get in the way of you living your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. (source)
Coping with this is a job in itself, it can be a struggle. It is a mental illness that’s so confusing. I feel extremely anxious whenever I have so many things to do, I’m going to a new place or at work. I’m no professional but these are some strategies that have helped in managing anxiety
Stop and breathe.
Whenever my thoughts overwhelm me, I literally stop everything, I mean EVERYTHING. I stand up and switch positions or my environment. This can be going to the bathroom or going to the next room in the house. Whatever, just switch and breathe. You can perform breathing exercise and count while you inhale and exhale!
Identify your trigger & identify management options
What environment, thoughts, people trigger my anxiety? The news became a HUGE trigger for me and it took awareness to identify this. I mean, everyone watches the news but the effect is definitely different for everyone.
You need to spend time studying yourself and your habits, when do you feel overwhelmed, at what point do you feel a shortness of breath? These things help you identify what triggers your anxiety.
Managing these triggers will be the next step. I decided to reduce watching the news but I know some triggers aren’t that simple to manage. For me, a difficult one was conflict, with family or friends. This was/still is a trigger for me because I overthink the situations, I feel overwhelmed with angry thoughts that can actually be scary, so managing this is a journey. I decided to breathe, think and apologize. Even when I feel wronged, I apologize and remove myself from the situation (in terms of perspective).
Truth be told, this is yours to take control of, its in your hands! Realize this and begin your journey on figuring ways to manage these triggers.
Related post: My lessons learned on Friendship.
Exercising seems like a vigorous activity to indulge in but, it helps your mood, improves sleep patterns and provides stress relief.
You don’t have to do what everyone is doing. Find an exercise that works for you- walking, yoga, pilates, cardio, boxing? Just find what works for you and stick with it.
Have you guys tried yoga?! I’ve never tried but I can’t wait to lol. However, I’ve been rather consistent with cardio (primarily because of scoliosis) and it feels good so far.
Express your emotions/ Pray
Remember these are the ways I manage my anxiety. So yes, I pray. When I’m anxious, I barely want to pray, that’s my reality. I just don’t feel like praying but I do. I know that God is above my feelings and will always be so, I just talk to him. It takes only a “God I feel overwhelmed, please ease this situation, thank you”. That simple! Most times, I feel better, not immediately but eventually.
I also use a self care checklist and I made one for you guys!. The main aim is to express how you feel, so write or talk to someone you trust. My someone is God.
Like I said, I know its a struggle! There’s nothing to be ashamed of :). Being aware of your mental health is the best form of self care! So own it and care for it.
I have included a free Printable weekly self care checklist! This is just a fun way to keep your daily self love routine in check because self care is ALWAYS important. You can get it here!