I don’t know about you, but I get anxious often. Sometimes, it can be the smallest of things that cause it.
Other times, it can be something much greater. However, it doesn’t always have a reason. It can sometimes just creep up on me when I least expect it. I have found that self-care can help to alleviate my anxiety, and I wanted to share with you seven things I have found to help.
- Work out
Working out might feel like the last thing you want to do when your anxiety levels are high. For me, my bed is a safe place, and I could just curl up there for hours, even days, on end. However, it isn’t healthy for me. Forcing myself to get up to do a workout can make a considerable difference. Whether it’s a Zumba class (online or not), a little run or a brisk walk, most times, I finish feeling better mentally than when I started, and I have endorphins to thank for that.
- Chat to a friend
Just picking up that phone and having a good chat with a friend can make a considerable difference to my mood. Reminiscing about days gone by and also discussing future plans can feel really special. Meeting up in person (not currently, of course!) is important too. Don’t be tempted to view this as being synonymous with a big night out drinking though as alcohol can make anxiety worse. Initially, a drink may make you feel much better, but the effect soon wears off and can actually leave you feeling much worse.
- Pamper yourself
Get out your nail lamp and gel polish collection, shape your nails and then paint them. Spending a little time on your appearance is by no means something imperative, but I have certainly found that this helps. Taking time out of your everyday stressful life to focus on doing something just for you is vital. I always feel that little bit perkier once I see the result. Face masks are great too. I just love tugging at the dried-on mask and seeing it flake or peel off.
- Read a book
Many people are like me: love reading but find it challenging to do so. I adore reading. It’s a form of escapism; you can visit anywhere in the world, become someone else, do daring acts, feel someone else’s emotions for a while. Reading can tug at your heartstrings and impact your feelings, so it is vital to choose something appropriate when your anxiety is high, particularly if you are an empath.
- Cuddle someone
My daughters are just the best when it comes to giving cuddles. We snuggle up in bed and watch a film together sometimes. The love I feel picks me up instantly, and I know they are benefitting too. Cuddles are so powerful. If you have a pet, stroking it could help too. Alternatively, a childhood teddy can work wonders as well.
- Listen to your favourite songs
Music can be uplifting: singing along to it as well as dancing, just enjoying it. I’m not a strong singer and struggle to hold many a note. However, I do feel the benefit from it. I love cooking whilst listening to the radio and singing along to my favourite tunes from the ‘90s. Recent research from the UEA shows that singing in groups can help anxiety, and many more groups are available these days, from rock and pop to traditional choirs and everything else in between.
- Sleep better
Sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. When you watch the films, and they force prisoners to stay awake as a form of torture, you can see why it is successful when your struggle to get enough quality sleep. It is draining and can impact many areas of our lives. Setting up a sleep routine will help. Head to bed at the same time each night and avoid screens for around an hour beforehand (I find this challenging!). Setting an alarm for the same time each morning will help your natural body clock too. It may take a while to settle into a new regime, but it will be worthwhile. Consider also decluttering your bedroom and the use of calming aromatherapy oils to enhance sleep. I find myself sleep-talking a lot when I am stressed, so this affects my anxiety even more. It seems like a never-ending cycle at times.
I hope that these have been useful to you. How do you help yourself when you’re struggling with anxiety?