There is no small amount of anxiety in the air right now. And here’s what I’ve been thinking: I can’t change the THINGS out in the world, but I CAN decide how I’m going to take care of my mind and body and spirit in the meantime.
Here are a few things that help me. I’d love to hear what helps you on anxious days, too.
Three things that help when I feel anxious:
Breathe. More. Again.I like 4-7-8 breathing (breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, out for a count of 8), but I tend to take three breaths and figure I’m all good for the rest of the day.
Except! That is not how that works! The longer I spend BREATHING ON PURPOSE, and the more often I do it, the longer I feel better.
Surprising but true! (Okay maybe not surprising at all.)
Schedule the worry.Two o’clock in the morning is not actually the most productive time to worry about stuff!
And yet that is when I tend to turn things over and over in my head, thinking of all the possible WHAT IF’s and generally working myself into a spiral of doom.
Instead of that, I thank my brain for bringing the concern to my attention and assure my chattery mind that I can be anxious about that thing in the morning, if I so choose.
(For one thing, nothing is ever as bad in the morning as it seemed at 2:00AM. And for another thing, in the morning I will be dressed and my phone will be charged and I can actually DO SOMETHING if something needs doing. In the meantime, I can sleep.)
Decide what’s most important TODAY.Or if today feels too big, decide what’s most important RIGHT NOW, and just do that.
I used to think I had to POWER THROUGH on anxious days. Now I know better.
Anxiety thrives on having a Whole Bunch of Things I Can’t Control all up in the air. If I put all those things aside for a minute and focus on just the most important thing, the anxiety doesn’t have nearly as many options to latch on to.
That might mean less gets done in a day. That might mean messages go unanswered, or things don’t get posted, or errands have to wait, or we have spaghetti for dinner AGAIN. We will all survive spaghetti for dinner again.
This is not medical advice, obviously, and not meant to replace whatever else helps your anxiety. I am not an Anxiety Doctor, I am just your friend on the internet who is working hard at feeling better and wants you to feel better, too.
(I’m also your internet friend who wrote a book about giving yourself permission to be who you really are, and I am telling you now: Permission Granted to find ways to feel less anxious, even if the circumstances around you don’t change. xo.)