I felt like this topic is an important one to discuss especially with everything we have been dealt with this year with the pandemic & other major events. Now, I’d like to preface, I’m not a medical professional. So take my advice with a grain of salt. I just wanted to share with you how I’ve combatted moments of anxiety & stress. And I felt like some could relate or benefit from these lifestyle tips.
I ENJOY MY MORNING MEDITATIONS
Mornings used to be really difficult for me. I’d instantly get this weird feeling in my stomach & my face would immediately go into this frown of worry. I think some of it had to do with my hatred of private school as a kid. I’d dread everyday I had to go to that school. I’d go to the nurse all the time begging them I was too sick to be there. I hate to think those experiences as a child lead me to feel this way as I grew up, but it almost became an innate habit, one I knew I had to break.
Something I do now in the morning is take a deep breath & just lay there for a second. I don’t look at my phone or anything. I just lay there in my thoughts & just be in the moment. By not rushing myself out of bed, I’m able to combat those initial negative feelings & realize I have nothing to worry about in the first place. Even on days where I have something major to handle, my perspective is more positive overall. I’m proud to say I rarely get this feeling anymore at all & I attribute this morning meditation as the curer.
I’ve discussed the benefits to slow living & I think being a more anxious person leads to rushing their tasks, not letting themselves be in the present moment & not actually enjoying the act of taking their time. I’ve learned to slow down & just relax. I look forward to my morning chai tea lattes & just be. I used to always think if I had a to-do list, I had to finish it quickly. And I still get this way sometimes. But I’ve taught myself to not beat myself up if I don’t get every task finished in one day. Rushing only leads to error. I’d much rather do something well in a slow manner instead of doing something mediocre & speedy.
I FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
In the beginning of 2020, I decided to keep a gratitude journal. Most days I try to remember to write at least one thing I am grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be major. It can be as simple as my morning chai tea or getting a workout in that day. By shifting my mindset to gratitude, I have seen a difference in my mood & overall perspectives on life. Especially with everything going on this year, it’s easy to wake up unmotivated or upset. But I swear to you, it is possible to find something joyous in each day.
I LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
I feel like a lot of people can relate to having anxiety or worry about the future. I have worried so hard about it where I sabotage the here and now. I try to live my life a day at a time. Sure, it’s normal to dream of the future & to set goals for yourself, but my thoughts would run ramped to the point of keeping me stuck in the present. Instead, I focus on my daily goals & learn to accept the future is inevitable & constantly changing. And chances are your future will turn out exactly how you NEEDED it to be.
I LEARN TO BALANCE ALONE TIME & TIME WITH OTHERS
I’m the type of person who is an extroverted introvert. I’m empowered by my alone time but also crave social interaction. But sometimes in moments of stress, anxiety & struggle, I retreat to the comfort of me myself & I and push others away. I hate burdening others with my problems (even though I’m told it’s not a bother). I’d much rather be the person bringing joy & happiness to the table than a bunch of negativity. And although I am working on being more open with people, I still stand by this belief & prefer being the positive light in their days.
I SURROUND MYSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
I noticed my anxieties & negative feelings arose when I was hanging out with people who brought out the worst in me & could handle their alcohol better than me. Which is my own damn fault. I was a chameleon always trying to be just like everyone else. Alcohol has been the biggest culprit to my anxious behavior. I’m not talking about the casual settings where I’d have a glass of wine or even a few seltzers. It would be the nights I took shot after shot trying to be this person I wasn’t. And I think some of us have been in a setting where you feel like it’s the thing to do. I’m not condoning peer pressure. But I think we all can relate to those times where we just wanted to be a part of the crowd. And I was for sure that person. I’d get home after a night of heavily drinking, regressed back to a younger version of myself where anxiety took control over me. I hated that feeling of defeat. Now, I still socially drink. But it’s different. It’s more about spending quality time with one another & seeing where the night takes us. And sometimes I’m confident in myself to just get water. I feel more in control & more like myself.
I’M KINDER TO MYSELF
I realized my anxiety would get the best of me when I wasn’t taking care of myself. I’m like an infant. I desperately need my sleep & the right food. When any of that is missing, I’ll for sure be off kilter. Self care is so crucial to our wellbeing. Here are a few forms of self care I do that helps with my anxiety & stress:
. I take a multivitamin & B12 (mostly) everyday
. I treat my shower & makeup routine as therapeutic
. Bubble baths (especially in the winter) put me in a better mood
. When I take the time to dry & style my hair, I immediately have a better day
. I incorporate some form of exercise regularly (cardio or yoga)
. I get enough sleep or allow myself to nap occasionally
. I watch a funny show, read a book or watch Youtube to boost my mood
. I keep a clean house
. listen to ASMR or meditation when I’m feeling stressed or can’t sleep
. I spend time with family or friends that lift me up
I’m not saying it’s abnormal to feel anxious. That’s the reason we have fight or flight reactions. It’s when those reactions come out of nowhere at any given situation. I hope my tips are helpful to you. Let me know in the comments ways you handle stress & anxiety.