In one form, or another, everyone suffers from some degree of anxiety. Whether you have been diagnosed with a medical disorder, or suffer occasional bouts of stress, elevated levels of anxiety can take a toll on your mental and physical wellness. Especially during the quarantine era, where time is in abundance, and stressors are plentiful, anxiety can consume entire days, weeks, and months of time. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help overcome these distressing feelings . By trying out different strategies, you can find the perfect coping technique to meet your specific needs!
1. Clean up your space. I’ve always been an ardent believer that a clean room equals a clear mind. Unnecessary clutter and trash weighs heavily upon your psyche, even if you don’t realize it! Moreover, the act of cleaning is therapeutic, and may help untangle your nerves during moments of elevated stress. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to deep clean all the toilets and fold every piece of laundry. A simple act of organization, such as setting your bed, can jumpstart those positive vibes, and prepare you for a productive day.
2. Stand up straight. This one may seem odd, but trust me, it works! It implements the theory of “fake it ‘til you make it”. By standing tall and proud, you instill confidence and strength in your body. This self-esteem boost prepares you to take on the day, and overcome novel stressors. A slouched back drags you down into a pit of anxiety and despair. So the next time you feel the jitters coming on, try mending your posture!
3. Journal! You don’t need a special diary to journal your thoughts; a scrap of paper or the notes app will suffice! Simply grounding your anxiety-ridden thoughts into reality, and addressing your stressors head on, will help you overcome difficult obstacles. Journaling is a healthy mental release, as it transfers your emotions from abstract thoughts to concrete words. Once these words are written down, you can rationally assess your state of mind, and make clear, informed decisions.
4. Put your phone away. We know, this one is much easier said than done! Instagram and Tik Tok are inundated with exercise, travel and beauty fanatics, and it can all be a little overwhelming at times. Likewise, Facebook and Twitter have been vanquished by contentious, divisive keyboard warriors. Sometimes, you need to take a step back from these alternate planes of reality, and immerse yourself in authentic life. Set down the phone, and engage with your family, friends, pets, and peers. Don’t forget that life exists beyond the boundaries of a screen! With work and school suddenly shifting to online forums, the real world often evades our senses. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to make a conscious effort to participate in non-virtual reality.
5. Light a candle. The visual and aromatic qualities of a candle calm your senses, and ground you in the physical world. Take a trip to your local Bath & Body Works (or order online), and select your favorite scent. I recommend drawing a warm bath and playing peaceful music to set the chill mood.
I hope these handy-dandy tips will help you overcome any anxiety battles you may be facing. And remember, if self-soothing techniques are not adequate, it is always encouraged to seek medical help. You are not alone in this journey; we are right alongside you! And you WILL survive this difficult terrain; you will make it to the other side of your anxiety mountain.
Written by: Brianna Rauchman