It's the one thing not a lot of us like to talk about, but as today is National Mindfulness day, I decided to share with you guys my top 5 easy ways to manage anxiety.
I never truly addressed the struggle I've had with anxiety until this year. There have been a ton of changes in my life and throughout all these changes, I had noticed a trend. I would get frequently overwhelmed, even if there was nothing to be overwhelmed about. I would be so stressed about the amount of tasks I had to do, that I wouldn't get a single one done. I noticed myself spending hours just thinking, panicking, writing lists, getting distracted easily to the point where I would get extremely behind on my work.
Not only that, but I started having panic attacks to the point where my chest would get so tight that I couldn't breathe... and this happened minimum twice a week.
Through the help of many amazing people and friends, I have been able to implement small changes in my life that have helped me get through the anxiety I was experiencing.
Hear about my struggles in my latest "Get Ready With Me" below:
5 Easy Ways to Manage Anxiety
As earthy and spiritual as this may sound, it actually helps! I am no expert at meditation, but I found that taking just 5 minutes out of the day to practice meditation and breathing techniques has made a world of difference for me.
If you're just as new to meditation as I am, I highly recommend downloading Headspace. Headspace is a guided meditation app that guides you through not just the basics of meditation, but also provides you with 1-3 minute exercises you can use throughout your day.
Upgrade to a membership and you can unlock multiple different meditation "packs" tailored to things you are struggling with, whether it be happiness, self-esteem, relationships, productivity, patience, etc. As I made the conscious decision to start taking better care of myself, this was the first purchase I made to a better me and I couldn't be happier for doing so.
Headspace was so kind enough to let me give away 5 year long memberships to you guys! Here is what you have to do to enter
2. Like and comment on the giveaway post here
This giveaway will run for one week and I will dm the winners on Wednesday, September 19th to claim your subscription :)
The easiest way for me to get the racing thoughts out of my head, is to get them out on paper! The simple task of writing down whatever is in my head throughout the day and every night has transformed the way I deal with my anxiety.
As I mention in the video I linked above, one of the most frustrating things that happens to me is the fact that I can't stop thinking. I am constantly multi-tasking and always have multiple things going on at once, that I naturally over-think and have thoughts piling up in my head all day long.
One of the simple things I've started doing is, when I start to feel overwhelmed, I stop, pull out my favorite pen and journal, and write down what I'm thinking about, how I'm feeling, and a solution to each of my problems. This can take me as little as 5 minutes to do and instantly refreshes my brain to prioritize what I do need to think about and what I don't need to stress about.
Yes, the dreaded "you need to exercise to feel better" bullet point! As much as I hate the fact I'm preaching about this since my college sport back in the day was one of the causes of my anxiety, it really is a crucial part when it comes to dealing with anxiety.
I had been consistently going to Pilate's classes since the start of the year. Recently, I noticed a huge change in my overall mood after I had gotten surgery on my jaw that left me unable to go to Pilates, aka, breathe heavy for about 4-6 weeks. I felt amazing because I had so much more free time to do things, but I also felt much more sluggish, unmotivated and down right lazy when I didn't have to go to Pilates class every Tuesday-Thursday.
The one thing that effected me most however, was not having that hour-long pilates session to focus completely on making myself better, stronger and healthier. Pilates to me was a way to detox the day, focus my mind on only myself and my body and to refresh my mind mentally. Exercising is the easiest and fastest way to take an hour or so out of your day just to put your anxiety in a bucket, kick it to the side and forget about it. Just an hour of this can transform your mood and give your mind a "you got this" boost in tackling your anxiety.
I still have trouble over this one, but it is necessary. I don't mean stay busy as in working all the time and having a million projects going. I mean staying busy as in doing things you wouldn't normally do, hanging out with friends more often, and taking more time out of your day to do things you love.
I don't know about you, but I am my most anxious right when I wake up, before a meeting, when I'm driving, and right before bed. The common theme with all of these things is that in every instance I just mentioned, I am alone.
When I am alone with my thoughts, my mind decides to spill out all of my anxiety triggers out of no where, like money struggles, if I'm having relationship issues, adult responsibilities, etc. However, if I keep myself busy and give myself a reason to look forward to something coming up, it eases the anxiety just by a little bit.
**and the more I do things that contribute to my issues, the more I feel better about them! See? It's an amazing cycle!)
I know many of you might not be like this, but I am a list person (this goes along with me being a journaling person as well). At the start of each day, I immediately abolish my anxiety by making a list of everything I need to get done, and I make sure everything on my list is actually attainable (otherwise, making an impossible list of tasks will only give you more anxiety!).
After that, I make a list of everything I want to do that day, whether it be hanging out with a friend, reading a chapter of my current book, exercising (which can also be a need), shopping for new makeup, etc. This list instantly lifts my mood and gives me things to look forward to, which eliminates the stress of the "needs" list, make sense?
I treat both lists equally as important to each other because making time for things you want during the day is the most important part of self-care and managing anxiety, and I make sure to never go to sleep without finishing each list.
Talk it Out
I have been extremely fortunate enough to have amazing people in my life (including a life coach) that have been able to help me through the toughest of times. There is nothing wrong with seeking out help and it's actually very brave to admit when you need it and you can live your life much more free and positively as a result.
There are days where I can talk to a friend about a few issues I'm struggling with and I am just fine, but there are also days where every area of my life seems to be crumbling. When I feel like my anxiety is at an all time high and have no idea where to start fixing my struggles, that is where my life coach comes into play.
If you are dealing with severe anxiety, it will benefit you greatly to talk to a licensed professional or a doctor. If you believe you have mild to moderate anxiety (which is where I categorize myself), just having a close friend or a life coach to guide you through the difficult times can instantly make you feel better. But take note, what is the common theme here?
Talking it out.
There are times I get so in my head that I end up talking to myself to get through the highest points of my anxiety and that just makes everything worse. Don't fear judgement of other people or annoying the people around you for just wanting to talk out your anxiety issues. At the end of the day, you are the most important person in your life, so why not do everything possible to live the best way you possibly can?
You don't need to suffer. You don't need to just "get through" your anxiety. You can start living the life you've always wanted to right now, right at this very moment. So what is holding you back?
I hope this provides a bit of relief for those of who you may be struggling with anxiety on any level. Feel free to dm me on Instagram if you want someone to talk it out with and let me know in the comments if something has helped you through anxiety that I did not mention.
Love you all!