Disclaimer: I’m not a healthcare professional – these are just things that have helped me personally
Life can seem a little chaotic right now and even the simplest of things can be difficult to navigate. Everyone is struggling in some way or another but there are ways to help manage those feelings. I’ve been doing a variety of things to help cope with anxiety over the last few weeks and they have helped me sooo much so I thought I’d share with you as well <3
Read on for 20 ways to cope with anxiety!
20 Ways to Cope with Anxiety
Establish a Routine
Personally, I start to feel anxious when things (big things) are out of my control. In this case, it’s really helpful to establish a routine, something that you CAN control. It doesn’t have to be a full day, color-coded schedule though! It can be a work routine, a routine for the family or as simple as a relaxing morning routine. Right now, it’s important to have something that you can feel you are in control of.
Get Off The Internet
News headlines (with their click bait titles) are enough to trigger anxiety these days. And being on the internet (as well as social media, for that matter) all day doesn’t make things any better. The “situation” is mentioned everywhere we look and while it can bring comfort knowing that others are experiencing similar circumstances, it can be draining. Taking a “day off” is a simple but effective solution.
I’m a huge advocate of meditation… because it works! Personally, I prefer guided meditations like those from Headspace and YouTube because it helps me concentrate and visualize and I love that there’s an abundance of different types of meditations for different needs but you don’t necessarily need to do it that way. It’s all about what works for you. I usually do it for 10-15 minutes before starting my day or as needed.
Yoga & Deep Breathing
I discovered my love for yoga years ago and it’s become one of my favorite ways to cope with anxiety. I use to physically go to classes but now that I’m home, I’ve been doing classes from YouTube or IG live. I’ve even started teaching my husband! Yoga is great for so many things health-wise but I particularly love the breathing aspect of it. Concentrating on the breathing and movements brings me to the present moment and takes my mind off of everything happening in my life. If you aren’t into yoga, the breathing technique can still be of value when you find yourself suffering from anxiety. Using your belly, simply breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and breathe out using your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat.
This has really been helping me in particular! I LOVE being outside and the source of most of my frustration is the fact that I’m cooped up inside. We’ve been going for walks each evening, going for long drives during the weekend, sitting out on the balcony multiple times a day and even found a remote location for a picnic. My advice is to get out as much as you can.
Learn a New Hobby
Having time for yourself is really important and for me, staying busy and learning new things takes my mind off of everything else. Right now, I’m brushing up on my French, learning how to create video content, recording music, and finding time to create more art. This can honestly be anything but make sure it’s fun, something you’re interested in and most importantly, you must find time to dedicate to it because you owe that to yourself.
I’ve been reading a lot more lately and I love that it provides a temporary escape from all the uncertainty. I recommend going the fictional route and choosing something with a storyline – adventure, fantasy, comedy, romance, whatever. I personally love old classics like The Great Gatsby or silly light reads like The Confessions of a Shopaholic series 😉
Spend Time with a Pet
Spending time with a pet can be healing in so many ways! And not just a pet, but animals in general. Sadly, we don’t have any pets but I’ve been watching birds from my balcony, taking care of my plants and petting every cat I see lol! I’ve also been looking at fostering an animal for the time-being, which can be a great option as well for any that might be a in a similar situation.
Take a Bubble Bath
Bubble baths always make me feel 100 times better! When I’m stressed or just generally feeling a bit unwell, I go all out and incorporate bath salts (or a glitter bath bomb!), olive oil and the bubbliest bubble bath I have on hand. I also put on a cold face mask and just relax.
I’m a big advocate for self-care practices and I take time out for this every single day, even if it’s just a few minutes. Activities like painting your nails, relaxing with a face mask, stretching and going through an entire skincare routine can be therapeutic but self-care isn’t only limited to pampering. Keeping an eye on your nutrition, scheduling workouts for yourself, getting dressed and staying on top of hygiene are also very valuable forms of self-care.
I may not have moves like Jagger but I do like to dance ha! I love to stream a good dancing video every now and then but most of the time, I’m just free-styling it 😉 Dancing while I’m cleaning or putting music on and just having an impromptu dance party for fun are two things that get my blood flowing resulting a feeling of overall happiness.
There’s no question that art is therapeutic. It’s a great stress reliever and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Being an art major, I love dabbling in pretty much every medium but I especially love good ol’ pencil to paper, painting, pastels, charcoal, photography and even digital arts like graphic design and videography. But you don’t have to be an artist create or even appreciate it. That’s the thing. Art is subjective and it’s more about how you feel about it rather than what it looks like. Collage-making and coloring are also two fun yet simple activities that you can try! In fact, my husband and I just ordered adult coloring books 🙂
Is there anything sweets can’t fix? Baking can make you feel productive, like you’re really accomplishing something and is a great way to cope with anxiety. It’s fun to do and you’re left with yummy treats as a result. In fact, I’ve got a few recipes that I want to try out myself!
Surprisingly, something that helps me is shopping! And by shopping, I don’t mean constantly buying everything in sight. In fact, there are many times where I don’t buy anything at all. Lately, I’ve loved to peruse websites in search of summer dresses, cute accessories, pretty makeup and feminine home decor. I’ve put everything on a wishlist and it’s just fun to imagine what my life would look like with these items. And for the things I do buy, it’s always such a treat to receive it in the mail. I promise you that I’ve never been more excited for the phone mount I just received from my Amazon order lol!
Clean & Organize
I, like most people, have been on a bit of a cleaning rampage. I’ve organized everything in sight from the kitchen and living room to my closet and bathroom. Cleaning and organizing are good examples of feeling in control and productive when everything feels chaotic.
Play/Listen to Music
As a musician, playing music always makes me feel a lot better! And this would actually be a great time to learn a new instrument. If you’re not keen on actually learning to play, listening to music is just as effective. The other day, my husband and I listened to our favorite songs from the 50s into modern day. We reminisced about each song, the memories they brought back and why we loved them so much. It was so special!
Talk to Someone
Loneliness in general can bring about feelings of anxiousness or even depression. As an introvert, I’m personally enjoying my alone time… but to an extent. I do need human contact and I certainly feel for my extraverted friends. Since we can’t be together physically right now, I recommend planning a virtual meet up! I’ve been chatting with friends and family over FaceTime and have even been meeting up with other bloggers virtually! It’s so nice to see a familiar face (or anyone else for that matter lol!) and it can definitely make you feel a lot better. And if you are really struggling, I highly recommend looking into therapy with Betterhelp. There is absolutely nothing wrong with talking to a professional and this website was actually instrumental in helping me move forward after going through difficult life circumstances.
Start a Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is something that has completely changed my perspective. It’s brought me more into the present moment and makes me really think about the little things that I’m grateful for each day. Before this, I (like many others), took things for granted and this situation has really put things in perspective for me. Another thing that has helped me cope with anxiety is keeping a virtual quarantine diary. I post it every day on my Instagram stories and it’s not only been healing for me but it’s also been a big hit with my community and helped us connect more.
Have Something to Look Forward to Everyday
Right now, it’s so important to take time for yourself. I realize that we are all in different situations and some of us have less time for ourselves than others but it is so so SO important to schedule that time for yourself so you can recharge. You need to have something to look forward to every single day because honestly, the days can all start to look the same. This can be anything really… just something that makes your heart happy, even if it’s as simple as making time to enjoy your favorite coffee in the morning with no one else around.
Know You’re Not Alone
Lastly, know that you are not alone. I think this is what has helped me cope with anxiety the most. I have been surprisingly calm throughout the majority of this ordeal. But I’m not perfect. At the beginning, I actually did experience my first ever panic attack and it was terrifying. I took some time to think and to worry… and then I let it go. I realized that this is out of my control and that I can only control how I react so I decided that I was going to make the best of this unfortunate situation.
Let me just say that I’m not trying to downplay it at all. My husband is still working as he is an essential worker. My sister-in-law is a nurse and my brother-in-law just started a new job at a hospital. I lost my income and like many other business owners, I don’t know what the future holds. But I do have hope that things will work out and that pushes me through each day. And in some strange way, it’s been so much easier to get through this knowing that I’m not the only one. I think it’s beautiful how we’ve come together to support each other and to help others in need and I hope we all come out of this stronger than ever.
Sending you all so much love! <3
Have anything to add? How do you cope with anxiety?