I never considered myself to be someone who struggled with anxiety. Quite the opposite, actually. I was always the level-headed one. While I watched the rest of my classmates struggle, stress out, and wind up as massive balls of anxiety, I seemed to be able to take everything in stride. Write lists, tackle one thing at a time, and soon everything’s calmed down.
When I got out of school, however, things changed.
No longer was I being faced with simple things like homework – things I could write lists for and organize – but life altering things – like relationships and careers and not screwing up the rest of my existence forever. And here comes the pressure.
I went from someone calm and collected to someone who could barely get out of bed some days because of the amount of fear and pressure I was feeling. Not particularly fun.
Now, for the purposes of this post today, I’m not going to get into the whole anxiety thing. There are a lot of things going around the internet about dealing with those massive bouts of stress, and while I may go into that a bit more later, I’m specifically here to talk about my checklist.
We all have our ways of coping, right? One of mine is keeping a list of things that help me relax, so in those moments of heightened anxiety, I’ve got something to go back to. This isn’t a full fledged list by all means, but it’s certainly something that’s helped me get through my worst days, so perhaps it’ll give you something too.
- Take a bath or shower. It separates you from the rest of the world and allows you an escape from the things stressing you out. Bonus points if you have cute bath bombs.
- Read a book.
- Play a video game.
- Watch a trashy sitcom and veg out.
- Allow yourself to feel miserable and stressed and be okay with it.
- Ask for help.
- Write a long, run on sentence about all the things you have on your mind to get them out there.
- Take a look at your to-do lists and give yourself permission to not worry about anything on there.
- Pass off tasks to other people so you can feel like something’s been accomplished, while not being overwhelmed by the task yourself.
- Take a walk.
- Drink tea. Particularly tea with lavender, peppermint, or Valerian root.
- Pin point your triggers and find ways to avoid them in the future.
- Take a nap.
- Spend time with a friend or someone who can either relax you or provide a distraction.
- Go out and get a snack or food you love but don’t have often and treat yourself.
- Take yourself out on a date.
- Set my priorities straight so I don’t worry about anything else. For example: the only things I have to worry about today are staying destressed and eating properly.
- Make a list of all the simple things that day that make you happy. For example, a cup of tea, the fact that I get to work with one of my favorite coworkers that afternoon, or that Netflix exists.
- Essential oils.
And, if none of that works, I bury myself in my bed, wrap myself up like a burrito in blankets, and lie there in my cocoon until the rest of the world is far away and I can veg in my blanket fort of safety.
What are some of your tricks to handling anxiety? What’s on your list?