Anxiety affects millions of people every single day. From stressful jobs to over-scheduled days, social media, lack of sleep, social gatherings, family troubles… the list goes on. We all have so many different things going on in our lives and it can get super overwhelming! I know if I don’t deal with my anxiety it will consume my whole day and I won’t be able to focus on anything else, which is not fair to myself and the people around me.
The holiday’s are coming up and are a time where I make sure to take extra care of myself. Don’t get me wrong, holiday’s are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be really stressful. So here are a few ways I manage my anxiety and not let it consume me during the holiday season!
1) Utilizing the voice memo app– You know that app that’s built in on your phone called “voice memos”? It’s something I use regularly and is one of my favorite ways to check in with myself and “journal” on the go! Sometimes I don’t have time to physically sit down and write out all of my thoughts, because I have a lot, so the voice memo app has been great for me. I like to go on a walk around the neighborhood with my headphones in and just talk it out- it might seem weird at first but trust me, it has been so effective. (I’ve even hit record on a long car drive too) I also like to be able to go back and listen to see how much I’ve changed (I’ve been doing this for years) or if there is a problem that I still haven’t dealt with. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable too!
2) Listen to music– “Where words fail, music speaks”.. this is one of my favorite quotes because it couldn’t be more true. Find music or a playlist that soothes you and makes you forget about the world. I have a range of music that I like, but when I feel anxiety kicking in I always put on my favorite classical music. Maybe it’s because I grew up playing in symphonies, but I know that if I put that music on my soul will be soothed. I forget about the noise inside my head and my crazy day if I give myself just 20 minutes of listening to music.
3) Perspective– This one is big for me. A lot of times my anxiety is a total first world problem and is over things that truly do not matter! Take a step back and think about the things that truly matter to you and how wonderful your life really is. We take many things for granted that people around the world don’t have access to… running water, a roof over your head, nutritious food, school, cars, clothes that keep you warm, doctors offices, etc. It’s really easy to get caught up in your own head and problems, but taking time to step back and be grateful for what you do have can really help.
4) Make someone else’s day– Nothing puts me in a better mood than doing something for someone that makes them happy. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but just something small that make someone know they are appreciated. Pay for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, thank someone you see out in a military uniform for their service, message the person who inspires you on Instagram, make muffins for the office, reach out to an old friend and tell them you are thinking of them, etc. I also like to do little things for Alan that he doesn’t expect, like stocking his favorite beer in the fridge, cleaning the coffee cups out of his car (oh man does he always have a TON!) or taking over doing the dishes.. just little things that make his life easier or happier- it makes me happy too 🙂
5) Detach from reality– Escape in a good book, watch a funny movie, read a fun magazine or take a walk outside. Turn your phone off and step away from all of the notifications…another thing to do is unfollow people on social media who may be giving you anxiety or who don’t make you feel good about yourself. Social media can be great, but it can also make people feel anxious, or that they aren’t good enough or doing enough. I realized that I was following a few people who didn’t make me feel great or were negative so I unfollowed them and got rid of those anxious feelings! It seems silly, but it helps not seeing that stuff pop up on your feed all the time.