I’ve had some experience with anxiety over the past few years, and a little bit more experience lately. After some trial and error I figured out a few things that have been helpful for me that I wanted to share because A) if you have also had some heightened anxiety you are not alone and B) maybe something here will be helpful for you.
1 – Don’t panic. It’s anxiety. It’s not anything else. (If you’ve never had anxiety this won’t make sense.) Recognize and acknowledge it.
2 – Deep breathing. If you can just go sit and do it at that moment… it’s calming. So extremely helpful. In fact, I started studying quite a bit about breathing methods because it was so helpful. (I also have allergies and deep breathing is very helpful for, well, breathing better.)
3 – I can’t believe I’m going to say this…but caffeine/coffee. I read that caffeine can possibly contribute to anxiety and I’m kinda believing it. So…I completely cut it (coffee) out. Then I was feeling much better overall and I got it going again (because…coffee!). A little bit was fine, but any more than a little seems to be bad for me at times.
Alcohol and sugar also fall into the not-so-great-for-anxiety category. Dang! All the good stuff!
4 – Move. Getting in a workout almost always helps. Give me some push-ups and kettlebell swings and I usually feel better. I suggest moving in various ways to see what works for you. Even when you don’t really want to, just do it for 10 – 15 minutes. You will almost always feel better.
5 – Find your state of flow. One of our members spoke about this a while ago. A state of flow is becoming immersed in an activity…totally in the present and all wrapped up in what you’re doing. Even though the studio is closed, I have been working as much as ever and am grateful for the ability to create and coach — that is a flow for me. And my kettlebell training. I also picked up practicing elbow levers. For some it could be painting, gardening, anything. When I’m in the zone I realize that I’m okay and I can see solutions more clearly (instead of all the potential problems).
And of course…taking good care of yourself (eating well, getting enough sleep, plenty of water) and having a good support system are extremely important to help with anxiety and just in general, especially now. (If you need help with that, I’m your gal!) Get those things in place and start thinking about how you can move forward and conquer.
I know many people struggle with anxiety daily. It’s a real thing that can make daily activities and regular things challenging. I realize that my anxiety probably isn’t just going to vanish forever, but I feel good in knowing the things that seem to work for me.
You’ve got this! Stay strong out there. Be good to yourself and be good to others!