It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve sat down at my computer and actually written a blog post... oh wait, it has been! I feel like every time I want to do a blog post I start having so many ideas, start creating content in my head, and then I get anxious about it so instead of sitting down and writing my thoughts, I allow them to control my actions and don’t end up writing the post! Well... I’m over that reaction and I hope you are too!
In today's blog post, I'm going to open up a bit more. I want to share with you how I’ve learned to overcome moments of anxiety in everyday life and how use it in impactful way!
So first off, let me start off by saying that I've had ALOT of practice. I've lived with anxiety for most of my adult life, so I have felt the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows all while having anxiety. And in general, anxiety is a funny thing... it's debilitating, yet exhilerating. It gives me so much energy, yet also exhausts me. It leaves me second guessing myself, yet also being extremely confident. Oh, how I wish I could experience life without it sometimes!
So, here goes with my tips for being an extremely efficient, successful anxiety-ridden adult in everyday life! The first four are fairly obvious but actually hard to put into practice, so it’s worrh mentioning the obvious ones first!
1) Get Enough Sleep
This seems like the most obvious thing in the book, but it's actually really hard for me especially when I'm having an abnormally anxious day. My mind races, I have to-do lists piling up in my head, I can't sleep... So I end up checking my phone or cleaning or doing something "productive" because in my mind, I need to be productive when I'm awake. I have learned that I have to actively tell myself to rest. I have to put the phone down, take deep breaths, do my evening routine, and truly "get ready" for bed otherwise I won't want to go to bed. My evening routine has been consisting of the following lately:
- Making a hot herbal tea with nothing in it but water (no honey, splenda, etc)
- Doing something with lavender: Take a bath with lavender bubble bath, rub lavender oil on pressure points, burn a lavender candle, spritz lavender water on my face, etc
- Take off all my makeup and truly wash my face with a skincare routine. This helps trigger my body to know it's time to start unwinding the day since I'm literally taking the day off my face
- Get nice and cozy in my favorite pajamas and blankets
- Actively TRY MY VERY BEST to not look at my cell phone or any other devices with blue light
- If I really can't sleep, I take melatonin to help force me into that sleep. I've been loving my Perricone Sleep Booster, works like a dream (no pun intended haha)
2) Drink Less Coffee
Here's another hard one for me. Since I was 12 in middle school, I drank coffee to wake me up. I love the smell of it brewing, I love the taste of it, I even love grinding the coffee up! I was a barista for 3 years of my life too, so coffee is something that's just become a part of my daily routine. However, I can find myself getting out of control with my coffee habit it I have more than 3 cups a day, and that includes espresso. During some of the busiest times in my life I remember having up to 10-15 cup of coffee per day! What in the world?! No wonder why I couldn't go to bed and would wake up groggy the next morning - I was relying on caffeine for my energy boost. Do yourself a favor, especially if you suffer from anxiety, and limit yourself to a few cups a day ideally in the morning and don't drink coffee past 3pm. I have been switching to Teami Skinny Tea throughout the day for consistent energy without the crash and negative effects of coffee! I love their Teami Tea Tumbler to take it on the go too.
3) Drink Less Alcohol
Here is another obvious-but-easier-said-than-done one. I love unwinding with a glass of red wine, or white wine, or a vodka soda. I mean, sometimes that truly is the best way to unwind after a long, stressful day at work or just in life! HOWEVER: don't make this a habit. Looking back on my life there are SO many moments where I could have just gone to the gym, did some yoga, or drank a cup of tea instead of opening up that bottle of wine. The past year I have been enjoying wine more than ever, but I try to limit it as best as I can. That way, not only am I doing what's best for my body (and my anxiety) but I'm also enjoying the process of experiencing the drink too and not abusing it as a way of releasing stress. Instead, I use it as a way to experience and enhance life as a special treat.
4) Workout Consistently
This has got to be the hardest thing but the best thing that I suggest you do if your struggling with everyday anxiety. I haven't had any overwhelming feelings of anxiety when I have had a consistent workout routine. Now, I don't mean that you go to the gym and do weightlifting for 60minutes/day and then go do cardio for 60minutes/day - I'm just saying be consistent. Wether that be going on a quick walk daily or doing the stair master for 20 minutes 4 times a week, just be consistent. Your body releases endorphins that not only elevate your mood, but also ease anxiety. Start today by taking a walk, I promise you'll notice a difference within a week or less!
5) Surround Yourself With Positive & Understanding People
THIS. You HAVE to do this, I swear it has helped tremendously. A few years ago I was surrounded by toxic, negative, energy-sucking people! I would go to bed tired and I would wake up tired. These people took so much out of me that there was nothing left for myself, and that helped fuel my anxiety. I slowly started to cut people out of my life. Did some of them try to rile me up and get them to weasel their way back in? Of course. Did I let them? No. At some point you have to ask yourself, "Is this person helping me or hurting me?" And if the answer is hurting you in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, it's time to let them go. I'm not saying you don't have to care about them, a wise woman once told me, "You can love someone from a distance." And I've led my life just like that ever since. If it's a family member, then that's a little trickier, try your best to have an open dialogue with that person. If it's a lover, then by all means, I made critical decisions that I will never regret and I am surrounded by positive, caring, kind people in my friends, family, and love. It's a decision that isn't an easy one, but you have to consciously make sure the people you surround yourself with elevate you, not bring you down.
6) Plan But Don’t Plan Too Much
I am a planner. I plan my work schedule weeks in advance, I plan vacations months in advance, I plan what I'm going to do daily... It's just part of my nature. I've always been like this so it's something I have just accepted about myself. However, I used to get SO upset when things didn't go as planned. My mother told me I used to do this as a child too, so it's no surprise it followed me into adulthood. I would get so upset and overwhelmed if life didn't go according to plan that I would let it ruin my mood and my day. I would get overwhelmed with anxiety and would freeze up and just not be able to function. It's taken time, but this is something that can be practiced. I plan the bigger-picture things, but on the day to day I set out a list of things I'd like to accomplish. I tell myself that I'd like to get a,b, and c done, but if I don't get x,y, and z done than it's ok. This little change of reassuring myself that I don't have to finish everything in a day has really helped when life gets off-plan and I don't have an anxious meltdown! Instead, I simply take a deep breath and add it to the ongoing list of things I'd like to accomplish and live in the moment! Also: everything happens for a reason, so try to remember that as well in moments like this.
7) Seek Help When Needed
I think this is so important. We can't do it all alone, and that's ok! If you truly feel like you need to unload on someone, ask someone's advice, or just are feeling overwhelmed to the point where you don't know where to start: seek help. Whether it be a close friend, family member, or professional just ask. If someone doesn't feel they can help you, then seek a professional. I have been in multiple times in my life where a professional councilor gave some of the best advice in the world and it's nice that they don't really know you at all. They don't judge you or pry too much, they just simply allow you to work through your own anxiety. Don't be afraid to ask for help, you are only one person and it takes a village to be successful in life!
8) Take Moments To Yourself
Last but simply not least, I think everyone should take moments to themselves. Whether that be a daily walk at lunch alone, a simple bath without being bothered, or even just zoning out and watching your favorite show on netflix - take these moments to yourself and cherish them. I've even gone as far to tell David after work that, "I'm out of words and just need a few moments to myself babe," and he gets it! It's healthy to unwind and decompress on your own. Enjoy these moments and allow them to refresh yourself so you can continue on with your day feeling balanced.
This blog post wasn't the easiest for me to write about, but it's been something that's been on that ongoing to-do list of mine for awhile. I hope with me opening up to you guys about my struggle with anxiety, that this helps you in some way!