This crazy world can be a bit overwhelming at times. Sometimes you can struggle to find the time to do the basic things. You know, like eat, sleep, and sometimes even breathe.
There’s an obvious reason why there are such high numbers of people with anxiety nowadays and it’s because we are always on the go. We are always looking to the next thing and jam-packing our schedule to within an inch of our lives. We want to be the best at everything and succeed. But that can come with a price.
How do you ever properly wind down if you’re always on edge and trying to make the most of your day?
I know that I’m an absolute sucker for having a list the length of my arm every day of things to do. Like tonight. Tonight if my first night off in a week and I have a list of things I want to accomplish that will result in me still going to bed at stupid o’clock and not actually relaxing.
So, every now and then I have to actively take the time to give myself a reality check. Whether it’s just taking 5 minutes out of my day to recentre myself or to spend a whole day just doing whatever the hell I want, it’s important to find those coping mechanisms to ensure you don’t go stir crazy.
Coping with anxiety…
Here are my tips for coping with anxiety for you fellow anxiety-ridden, super busy people on how to find a little bit of calm in your week.
Learn to say ‘no’.
This is one I had to really force myself to do.
We all have FOMO (fear of missing out). We worry that if we don’t go to ‘that’ party, or don’t study that class, or see all our friends and family within the month, that we will spontaneously combust.
It is so much easier to maintain a level head when you learn to say ‘no’ to some offers.
If you have a lot of stuff to do when you get home from work then don’t feel bad about not going out with your workmates for after-work drinks. You have a life outside of work to sort out. If you have a night off and your friend asks if you are free but you really need a night with Netflix and your bed, that’s OK. (Just don’t change the plans if you already made them because NOBODY likes that person.)
Take a second to breathe.
Sometimes I can get breathless and suddenly stressed out of nowhere. It can be the littlest thing, or a build up over time, but suddenly I get tight chested and struggle to breathe. My brain swims with so many thoughts that I can’t focus and it can happen totally randomly.
There’s no shame in this. (I guess it’s kind of like a mini panic attack.) It’s just knowing how to manage it. And the cure to a panic attack is BREATHING.
Remove yourself from the room and step outside for some fresh air or go to a quiet room where you can sit/lie down for 5 minutes. Removing yourself from the environment will automatically make you feel a bit better and it gives you quiet time to rationalise your thoughts and concentrate on breathing in fresh air and expelling the negative energy out.
Breathe in good thoughts and expel the negative energy.
Listen to relaxing music.
If your environment is a bit chaotic, block it out by listening to some relaxing music.
You can easily find playlists already made for the occasion on the likes of Spotify. My personal favourites are meditation music pieces; some of the ‘chilled out’ playlists are a bit too jaunty for me when I need to calm down.
Stay off the alcohol.
Or at least try not to binge it.
I’m a big advocate for a cheeky glass of wine when I get in to help me unwind at the end of the day. But if I’m in a high state of stress and anxiety, a few glasses of wine can actually make it feel worse.
Remember alcohol is a depressant, so keep that in mind when you open the bottle at the end of a particularly stressful day.
Talk to a friend.
Getting stuff off your chest is a great way to alleviate negative emotions. Plus, more often than not, you’ll discover that your friend is probably feeling exactly the same way as you.
Being able to talk through your anxieties and concerns lifts a big weight off your chest. So call your friend out of the blue for a rant or a chinwag. It may be just what you need to put you in a lighter mood.
Do something just for you.
Learning to be by yourself is such an important skill. You need time to recharge and have peace and quiet, and you can’t do that with other people around dictating what you do. So do something that is just for you, alone.
Whether your idea of zen time is taking a bath with candles or booking yourself in for a massage, or going for a run in a beautiful location or sitting in a beer garden with a book and a glass of wine, or a pampering night (ya know, shave your legs and put on some moisturiser; the luxuries)…
Whatever it may be, do something that nurtures your soul and gives you time to breathe. Run by your own clock and don’t let anything else dictate it.
So there you have it. Some of my easy tips for coping with anxiety in a busy world. How do you tackle your anxiety head on? I’d love to hear your methods, so feel free to post them in the comment section below. Namaste.