Anxiety creeps up out of nowhere and before you know it, it feels as though you’re being smothered. As time moves on it gets so bad that you put yourself to bed, convinced you might not wake up. It’s debilitating. Anxiety can make you feel weak, it makes you feel embarrassed, and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to overcome it, your chest is heavy. The first step you need to take in your journey to manage anxiety is to accept it. You’re not weak, it isn’t embarrassing. So many of us suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone.
Through self-care, you can manage your anxiety to get yourself back to a point where you enjoy life. You’ll still have anxiety, your palms may still get sweaty, but you’ll have a better handle on it.
• First of all, visit your doctor. If your doctor recommends that you take prescription medication to manage your anxiety, then do it. There are all different ways you can manage it, but it’s always wise to take the professional advice the doctor offers you.
• Breathing is calming, it helps you feel as though you’re in control. To people with anxiety, that’s a powerful thing. If you’re at home, then you can lie somewhere quiet to do this. Now lie down and place one of your hands above your stomach and the other on your heart. Now, slowly breathe in through your nose, counting to seven. Now, breathe out through your mouth while counting to seven. You can repeat this exercise until you feel calmer. It’s good to practice this breathing exercise in peace and quiet until you get the hang of it. Once you do get the hang of it, you can try deep breathing anymore.
• A journal is an excellent way to get a load of. Write it all out.
• Find a positive affirmation or mantra that you can recite each morning. This should be something that encourages a calm mindset. You can write out your mantra or affirmation and stick it up around the house or in your car. Wherever you will see it and feel inspired by it.
• It would be nice if you could disengage from every activity or situation that piques your anxiety. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. What you can do, though, is find helpful ways to manage situations you know trigger your feelings of anxiety. Pay attention to your physical response and find ways to avoid these situations. For the unavoidable situations, launch your breathing exercises and navigate the situation as best you can. It isn’t perfect, but it’s all we’ve got.
The most important act of self-care for people with anxiety is kindness. Be kind to yourself. Shield yourself from negative thought patterns, and when you have a bad day – remember tomorrow is a brand new day. Create a daily routine that provides you with structure and purpose. Go out of your way to do things for yourself. You may enjoy walking through the woods, it might be reading a great mystery book or just soaking in a hot tub. It really doesn’t matter what acts of self-care work for you. The point is that you complete acts that do work for you. You might not feel like getting up and going out for a walk, but once you do you will feel much better.
Your priority is to find self-care acts that work for you. So, you might say the greatest act of self-care is knowing yourself well enough to know exactly how to meet your unique needs.