Over the past week or so I have been engaged in heaps of conversations based around the ways in which I cope with my anxiety and depression. So I thought, hey, what a great blog post! Here are my top 4 tips on how to manage your anxiety, and reduce your stress levels!
Although this is pretty straight forward, it’s amazing as to how effective breathing can be if it’s done properly. I have found that during times when I am getting worked up, or can feel a panic attack on the horizon, breathing can prevent this. Just remember, breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, breathe out for 3 seconds. Simple yet so so effective!
2. TREAT YOURSELF
One of the best ways for me to relax and wind down after a stressful day is treating myself. By this I don’t mean I go out and spend copious amounts of money on myself and buy designer clothing (although this would be nice), but it’s the small things I do that make the biggest difference.
For example, I love painting my nails. This has been my major coping mechanism for as long as I can remember. I see painting my nails as a way for me to have complete control over my body. I am the one that makes the strokes, I am the one that chooses the colour. For me, this complete control is everything. It’s satisfying knowing that you are in control of your mind.
Other awesome ways to treat yourself are things like doing a facial, tanning, wearing your favourite pjs (mine are flannies with cupcakes on them) while you watch your favourite movie or finding new music that you love.
Don’t worry, if I was reading this my first thoughts would also be a) so cliche, and b) no thank you. But trust me, it’s so worth it!
When I say exercise, I don’t mean go out and find yourself a personal trainer and work your butt off (if you want to however, that’s also cool). I mean exercise as you feel necessary. Yes, regular exercise is the way to go, but sometimes that thought scares me.
Instead, I go for a run when I am really down in the dumps, when my head feels like it is about to explode because it’s running at a million miles an hour. Going for a run at high stress level times like this really does let me clear my head. I love running without music at these times because you are able to hear everything around you. The buzzing of the cars, the wind against your ears, the little kids playing in the park. You realise that the world around you is beautiful, and that today was just a little bump in the road.
I also love playing netball as it’s a really easy way to release any anger that I have. I think that finding a sport that you love and can play either competitively or socially is really important as it acts as concrete or a solid ground. It’s something that you can always rely on, and you know that it will be the same each week.
4. COUNT TO TEN – OVER AND OVER
I saw this on the TV show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and have loved it ever since. Basically, whenever you are having a really bad day or are super stressed (also helps when you’re running and your legs are hurting), count to ten over and over again. The logic behind is this:
When you start counting it’s easy but by the time you reach ten it can be pretty boring or much harder. That’s why you count over and over. You reach the “hard” level and then just start again, and everything seems easy.
You know that these bad times can only last 10 seconds, then you can start all over.
Managing anxiety and depression can seem impossible at times. But it is really important to remember that it is very easy, if done at small steps at a time. It’s all about finding what works for you, and building upon it.