Are you constantly thinking or overthinking? Do you sleep through the night or toss & turn? Are you drained during the day yet awake at night? I know the feeling of restless nights, long days, and feeling drained. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine, not enough exercise, among many other common issues can be making it worse! To address your anxiety you must start with taking care of yourself. Once you start to recognize what makes you so anxious you can start to control it. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for a very long time and have discovered some coping mechanisms that have really helped me. Today I want to share five tips on how I deal with my anxiety and ways you can start managing it.
- Journal. Take five to ten minutes each night before bed to write down your thoughts and feelings or things that have been stressing you out. Writing with pen and paper is something we don’t do enough in this day and age. Get to know yourself and your feelings to figure how and why something is affecting you. Keeping a daily journal can be extremely beneficial to stabilize mood and lower anxiety.
- Make a List. Write down your daily tasks and weekly tasks on one sheet of paper. When you have checked off your daily tasks, you can move onto the weekly tasks to accomplish more in your day. It can be very overwhelming for us to constantly be thinking about what we want to do, should do, need to do and could do. When I can visualize my week instead of just thinking about it, I get more accomplished and my anxiety lessens. Once you get into the cycle of making lists everyday, I promise you will feel better and be more productive.
- Have a Routine. Going to bed at around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each day can sound like a real chore. I’m here to tell you that having a daily routine improves all aspects of your life, hands down! When you have a routine you are typically getting more sleep which leads you to having more energy through the day to tackle your to do lists! In 2 weeks of sticking to a routine I have made it to all of my early morning classes, felt less anxiety, and have checked more boxes off my to do lists! I’m here to say that it actually works.
- Exercise. Save the cardio and high energy workouts for the morning! These types of workouts are energizing and boost our mood throughout the day. Low impact exercises in the evening are much better at calming and relaxing the body which also calms the mind. Working out is one of the best ways to manage your anxiety. It increases endorphins, lowers anxiety, and helps you to stay asleep. When you have anxiety it can keep you from sleeping through the night which leaves you groggy and looking for a nap later. Prevent this by also sticking to a routine.
- Limit Caffeine. Caffeine puts our bodies on high alert and actually exacerbates anxiety. With busy lives only getting busier, we need a little or a lot of caffeine just to get through the day. I suggest stop drinking anything with caffeine after 6 pm. This way your body can relax and have time to calm down before you need to go to bed. Otherwise you’ll be staring at the ceiling all night wondering where the time went only to ruin the next day. Instead, try switching to water or non-caffeinated teas at night to stay hydrated. If you want to achieve a restful night’s sleep you must wear yourself out during the day and stay hydrated to ensure your body is working at full capacity. I have had my fair share of staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, and lightly sleeping for weeks on end due to my anxiety. It seems to creep up on many people just when they need to power down so controlling your caffeine intake can help with this.
All of the tips mentioned above are tried and true tips I have done to combat my anxiety. Dealing with anxiety can seem like a daunting task but it’s possible to manage it. It just takes time, patience with yourself, and some consistency. I hope these tips can help you as they have helped me.
Do you have any tips for combating anxiety ? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!