I tend to get anxious sometimes. In the last year or so, I’ve been encouraged to think through my triggers of what works me up or makes me anxious. They’re things like flying, work stress, PMSing, money…really, there’s no shortage of things that can get me worked up. Thus, I’ve come up with a few coping mechanisms that can help whenever you need to take a moment and calm your anxiety.
Coloring. Yes, this was a fad within the last five years, but have you ever tried it? I’m not talking about all those fancy “adult coloring books.” I’m talking just standard, young children coloring books. Even if you don’t want to buy one, there are a ton of printable online! Whether you use colored pencils or crayons or markers or whatever, it’s an easy to follow creative outlet with little to no rules.
Reading. We all know my feelings about reading. It’s a great way to escape into another world and focus on something else.
Word puzzles. This one is one of my favorites. I have a ton of word and logic puzzles spread out all over my house. It really takes brain dedication to complete a puzzle which means that you’re more likely to move past whatever it was that was making you anxious.
Puzzles. This one goes both ways. Like word puzzles, it does require your brain, but I am also known to get grouchy when I can’t find pieces or things aren’t working the way I want them to.
Working out. Whether you work out at home or at the gym, endorphins are known to improve your disposition. Want to punch someone at work? Hit the punching bag. Need a new idea for a project? Go for a run!
Write it down. Journal your way through your next anxious episode. Why are you feeling the way that you’re feeling? Was there something that set you off? Brainstorm ways to solve the problem or get through it.
Cook or bake. Time in the kitchen is cathartic for me. I prefer baking to cooking when I’m feeling particularly anxious.
Go for a walk. This is a solid option for work stress. If I get overwhelmed or stumped with a project. I hook Olivia up in her harness and go for a walk. Step away from the problem and do something different.
Medicate. I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Nothing of what I mention has been prescribed by a doctor. However, I have added L-Theanine to my medicine cabinet and it’s great. I generally only take it when I fly, and it’s perfect at helping to just calm me down. From everything I’ve read (and I read a lot before I started taking it), it’s just an ingredient found in green tea. Nice and simple. There are other options like CBD oil that people tell me work for them too.
Deep breaths. Take a step back and take a few deep breaths. The oxygen will help.
Make a mental list. I’ve heard this very frequently for fliers. Make a list of facts that you know. I often repeat to myself, “Turbulence is caused by the plane passing through different pockets of air.” Thank you to my boss for that one after I told her I was an anxious flier.
Regardless of what you do, don’t get overwhelmed. You’ll end up falling deeper and deeper into the anxiety spiral, and that’s not healthy for anyone. If you do spend a lot of time in that spiral, talk to someone about it!
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