Dealing With Anxiety In 10 Different Ways
Kristyn Meyer is on a journey to make herself the best human that she can be. These posts are a reflection of that. She welcomes your support via reading and through commissioned affiliate links within her posts! To stay up to date on all of her shenanigans, please subscribe to her email list! (psst…there’s a free gift involved)
Dealing with anxiety is not a new thing for me. I’ve been struggling with it for a very long time. The medication that I take controls a lot of it, but during certain circumstances even that doesn’t completely take it away. Being that the feeling of anxiety itself is horrible and makes you unable to focus on anything but, I have had to figure out ways to turn it off, even temporarily.
And due to the circumstances we find ourselves in currently, I wanted to share my findings with you all. I hope that they help those of you who are also dealing with anxiety, even just a little bit.
Dealing With Anxiety In 10 Different Ways
I know that I go on about this all the time, but really, honestly, truly – it works. I would say about 90% of the time that my anxiety is high and I do an intense workout, it decreases exponentially. It has to be an intense, high heart rate one though. Something like running on the treadmill/outside or a Beachbody cardio workout. The more I sweat, the better. Anxiety rolls off of me along with the sweat!
This isn’t for everyone, but is obviously one of my top go-to’s. I have been known to grab my computer, write out all of my stressors and why they are causing me anxiety, and then delete the whole thing. Just having it written out makes me feel like I have expunged it from my body and brain. I can often feel my heartbeat slow down after I have done this. It’s definitely worth trying!
Reading A Book
When I was in a deep depression a few years ago, reading is what got me through it. I could literally get lost in the story and it helped me to not think about what was going on in my actual life. Any time my emotions were high I picked up my book and read. I could feel my muscles start to loosen the more that I did it. It was an escape from reality, even if only for a brief period of time.
Board Game With Kids
This is a recent revelation. My daughter is really into playing games right now. They do it in school sometimes and she has requested to play them at home because of it. In the past week my anxiety has shot up several times with everything going on in the world, and I have realized that playing games with her and the family helps. It takes my thoughts off of reality and into the fun that we are all having together.
When I was pregnant with my son my OCD was out of control. Literally, I could not control it for anything. One night out of desperation I poured lavender essential oil into my bath. However, I didn’t just do a few drops. I accidentally (or maybe purposefully actually, I was pretty desperate) poured a great deal of it into the water. The smell radiated from my master bath to my bedroom and I slept like a rock that night. I’m not an essential oils person, but that definitely made a huge difference.
Speaking of sleeping like a rock, I know when my anxiety peaks and it’s nearing late evening or night that I need to just call it. Most often sleep will help to rid my mind of anxiety, or at least alleviate it. I have learned throughout the years that fighting it will only make me have an anxiety-filled night, so I just need to give in and shut my body down. If I can’t shut my brain off I take a sleep aid to help me drift off. I almost always feel better the next morning, like I’ve had a reset.
No TV or Social Media
I tried this one for the first time this past week. Everything on TV is focused on the pandemic, same with social media. I decided that for my mental health I needed a break from it all. I turned off the news and avoided social media sites. And the knot in my stomach actually went away – it was magic! I think constant exposure to stressors make your thoughts spiral, and it’s a good thing to step away when you can.
Laughter is truly the best medicine. I have a board on my personal Pinterest account that is dedicated to stupid humor. Whenever I feel like I need it, I go there and read through them. I always end up crying from laughing so much and feel so much more light-hearted afterwards. Watching a funny movie, especially one you haven’t seen before, works too!
Maybe it is only me, but I feel like my brain often knows what kind of music I need for the given situation I am in. I kid you not, back when I used to work in Foster Care and had to go into court and testify, I would BLARE T.I. on my way to the courthouse. Like I would turn the volume as loud as I could stand it. I would literally not be able to hear myself think, so it made me not dwell on the task I was about to undertake. Now I find myself going for certain playlists depending on how I’m feeling. My brain just guides me to what I need.
I know that this is quite stereotypical that the OCD person turns to cleaning during stress and anxiety. But really I’m not like that outside of those times. Anymore that is. I used to be, but medication fixed that. However, during bouts of anxiety my house is spic and span. And yes, now is one of those times. Something about focusing on something bigger than me helps calm my nerves.
And because I’m really good at having anxiety, here are a few bonus options for you:
- Baking. Personally, I’m more of the type to eat the baked goods during stress and anxiety. However, I know that some people swear by baking during anxious times. It makes them focus on what they are doing and takes their mind off of what is troubling them. It’s definitely worth trying, it at least gives you carbs to eat in the end!
- Screaming. One day I was so stressed after leaving work, that I screamed at the top of my lungs in my car for several minutes. I did make sure that my windows were rolled up so that people didn’t think I was completely losing it. Between my work and my daughter’s preschool was a five minute drive, and I screamed off and on for most of it. When I pulled up to get her I felt like I had taken the edge off of my stress and was in a better place than I had been.
- Breathing/Meditating. Full disclosure – I don’t know if I’m the best person for meditation because I don’t do well with patience. I have dabbled in it though. Meditation that is. And when you can get yourself to the point where you completely turn your mind off it is so freeing. It takes me a very long time to get my brain in the right spot to accomplish this, but it is always worth it. Additionally, the Breathe app on the Apple Watch really helps in this situation too.
- Crying. Sometimes you just have to cry it out. I have become really good through the years at finding hiding spots to ugly cry in. At home, the shower is a great cover up. In public is a little more difficult, especially because afterwards you emerge with a tear-stained, red, blotchy face. And then you have to tell everyone that you have allergies or that there was something in your contact and your eye keeps watering.
- Phone A Friend. There are times you just need to unload on someone else. Picking up your phone and calling someone close to you to tell them what you are going through and what you are dealing with can help so much. Several years ago I was struggling with grief after losing my mom. One night I picked up the phone and called my Grandma and just bawled through the phone about everything that I was feeling. It felt like a weight fell off of my chest after I hung up.
Whatever it is that you need to do to decrease the amount of anxiety you feel, do it. It is a form of self-care. It is taking care of yourself. At all times, and especially right now, you need to do what needs to be done to be the best version of you. And if that involves you ugly crying in the janitor’s closet while blasting T.I. through your airpods, then more power to you.
Take care of yourself. Love yourself. Practice grace and patience and you will be okay! Dealing with anxiety isn’t easy, but you’ve got this!
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
– Benjamin Franklin