Please note: what works for me, might not work for you. My anxiety might be considered extremely light
It must come as no surprise that we all stress, and some more than others (I’ll raise my hand to that). Over the past couple of years, I have stressed more than ever before, and guess what? I’ve added anxiety to the mix as well!
I hadn’t really experienced any anxiety before. Am I lucky? Oh, I definitely think so. I would have friends talk about it and it sounded like a crushing feeling. I counted myself blessed that I didn’t know what that feeling was like.
Some common indicators that you’re stressed and/or anxious are that you’re over/undersleeping, have racing thoughts, and ruminating. You may also experience a poor diet, isolating yourself, withdrawing from your natural support systems. When you’re feeling anxious your hygiene can be affected too.
Well, I’m here to tell you, I know the anxiety feeling all too well. And I’m opening up about it.
Why now? Why all of a sudden does this overwhelming feeling take over me and make me feel lost? I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older and scared that I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. Or maybe it’s that I’ve made massive changes in my life I didn’t think I would ever make.
I was talking to my best friend about my anxiety and how mine directly correlates with situational stressors. So my triggers are easy to identify. What I mean by that is if a situation doesn’t go the way I planned or hoped, I can feel extremely anxious. When a situation/conversation, etc becomes clear and I get answers, I’m able to start to move forward and feel better.
Unfortunately, other times people can’t identify triggers, or theirs are related to past traumas, so it might be harder to move forward and eliminate the feelings of stress/anxiety.
That’s why I’m giving some examples of what helps me get through it! What I wanted to share with you guys is some practices I’ve been working on that have helped me. Now I know I’m not alone in this because many of you have reached out to me via Instagram and shared your same struggles and feelings.
I thought this would be super beneficial and helpful to those that may not have ideas on how to help themselves or maybe something on my list is something you haven’t thought about. Let’s get after it.
Cry, yell, sing, and make loud noises
I’m completely serious about this first one here. I am a
AND I don’t always mean sad tears. I’m just legit so emotional and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry telling people I love them. I cry watching Disney movies (Lion King kills me). Sometimes I
How on earth do you expect to feel better if you don’t let your emotions go? Let them go! Let it out. Do not hold them in and let them build. If you’re not a crier? Scream. Heck, scream and yell into your pillow. Scream on top of a mountain (if you’re near a mountain). Try screaming in your car and if people stare at you in horror, well who the hell cares?
Do you know what else I do? Put on every damn sad song I can think of (old emo high school music anyone?) and I sing my heart out. There’s something about singing sad songs that give you all the feels and just unburdens you. Or angry songs can do the trick. Hello, Rage Against the Machine.
Skeptic? Give it a go and let me know how you feel afterward. It will come to a point where you have nothing left to give in the way of tears. Trust me, even this emotional gal has cried herself out.
Journal, write, type
This one has been hard for me. Funny right? Considering I blog and love to write. I just mean I have a hard time writing down my thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper. It’s like I’m my own worst enemy with it because after I do it, I feel amazing. But it’s like pulling teeth to get me to do it.
I know some people have a hard time expressing themselves. It might seem weird to some to write to yourself or write down your thoughts. Because they already live in your head, why put them down on paper right? Once again, it’s like unburdening yourself. I wrote mini letters to my papa after he died and I cannot tell you how good it felt to get my words out of my brain. I would never be able to tell him my thoughts (which killed me), so instead of bottling it up, I got it out.
Lots of tears, lots of frustration, but it was so damn therapeutic and made me feel stronger than I did before. Especially when I have those annoying AF ruminating thoughts. Writing shit out about pros/cons/best/worst case scenario really helps me process and slows down my internal dialogue.
I highly encourage you to try this. It can be a letter to yourself, a loved one, or someone who is no longer with you.
Change your environment
This is a big one. As someone who works from home, it can be challenging to find motivation in my day. To get out of my head and out of my rut. My friends have encouraged me to work in different places around the house. Get out of bed. Get completely dressed like you would if you had to leave the house for work and also find places outside the home to get shit done.
Walking when you’re feeling that build-up is amazing for the soul and mind. Yes, I know it’s been a crazy cold winter, so why not a drive instead? Drives clear my head, they distract me from my anxiety building up over certain situations and gives me a chance to get out! Put on your music, or a favourite podcast and go.
I’ve even left the house to go window shopping and take my mind off certain situations/feelings. Homesense cures all (totally kidding, but like it’s close). Now, I’m not saying that by moving to a different room or getting out is going to completely eliminate your stress/anxiety, but it will help.
And even tiny relief is astronomical in my opinion. The last point I want to bring up is…
Respect your struggle
What I mean by this, is acknowledge that you’re not feeling your ultimate best and know that’s OK! Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t blame yourself for the way you feel. And don’t apologize for it either. Check-in with yourself daily and do what it takes to get you to that happy place. That feel-good feeling.
Don’t think you’re alone. You never ever are.
Don’t be scared to seek professional help. Seriously, I’m in the process of finding myself a therapist and I couldn’t be more excited. Just remember that this is a process and you’re going to have good days and bad days.
Try your best not to sit and relish in those negative thoughts and feelings. I KNOW how hard that is. Trust me. I’m one to sit and let those negative feelings take over. It usually takes someone close to me to snap me out of it.
So just try to remember, that as your day progresses, you have choices. If you need to stop all that you’re doing and go for a walk, or sit in your backyard and soak up your surroundings to find your calm. Do that.
Now, there really are a ton more things that you could do and I’d love to hear in the comments below what you do to overcome feelings of stress/anxiety. I just wanted to share a few things that have been working for me and I also didn’t want to overwhelm you with a list.
As always, never be shy to reach out and chat! I am an open book and love talking with every single one of you (unless you’re rude).